For most of us, music has different purposes. It could serve as a stress reliever from the impending traffic of Manila, a conversation starter for someone you have just met, or something playing in the background while watching the sunset. The hunger to find new music that resonates with us thrums through our blood.
Mellow Fellow is a rising Filipino artist who burst into the scene with his fresh sound. Some may know him from his melodic beats, crafted from the strums of his guitar and the tunes of his keyboard, or through simple word of mouth by those who know him. Although his contribution to the music industry has catapulted him into celebrity status, there is more to the voice behind the sound.
A breakthrough reputation
To start off, the first word that one can associate with him is “accomplished”. He started out in SoundCloud, a podcast and music sharing platform, with nothing but the intention to share his music online. His compilation of works, 604 Diamond Street and Jazzie Robinson, gained a following—one that is still growing. From there, his music, as well as him name, skyrocketed to popularity. Other singers and recording artists such as Clairo, Floor Cry, and Alyana Cabral have already collaborated with him on different projects. From the local to the international scene, Mellow Fellow is thriving.
When you enter his studio, one can see pieces of Ralph Lawrence Reyes—the person behind the music. Across the room, you can see several pieces of equipment— microphones, equalizers, and speakers. His electric guitars, keyboard piano, and drums are in one corner waiting for his next recording. For anyone who gets a glimpse of his studio, it is clear that the call of music was inevitable. “This wasn’t my plan. I was taking up marketing. I was supposed to go through that corporate path where I’d go to a company, work in a cubicle and get promoted. You know…all of that,” he says. However, it all changed when he put his music on Spotify.
“It felt weird at first,” he ponders on the moment he realized that his music was starting to make waves in the industry. When he started out, he had been making music as a creative release rather than for the sake of attracting an audience. But his music was heard and it echoed way beyond the borders of the Philippines.
From Manila to far-away places like Japan, Korea, Canada, and the US; Mellow Fellow’s sound landed on the musical radar of international listeners, gaining the young artist an audience from all around the world.
Making sound waves
“Some people can do it naturally and write something just out of the blue…for me, it ends up becoming very personal,” Mellow Fellow describes his creative process. Successfully bringing together his personal taste and at the same time catering to his audience, he seems to have found the balance between his urge for creative experimentation as an artist and what satisfies his listeners. “It always just starts with knowing what message you want to tell. You’ve got to feel something in order to write something,” he puts succinctly.
Ralph makes it a point to stay true to himself and refuses to create anything without a purpose, “If I don’t know what I want to say, then there’s no music.” This is probably why his music is so captivating. Mellow Fellow’s unique sound—calculated yet reckless, unrestrained yet controlled—is no doubt creating new waves in the music industry.
It’s a rare occurrence for someone with no initial purpose of becoming a musical star to unintentionally become a euphonious trailblazer in the music industry. Mellow Fellow, however, has defied the odds and made a name for himself anyway. It could be that he got lucky—maybe he came up with the right sound at the right time, reaching the right audience with the right rhymes. But it could also be that all along, the music he ended up making was predestined to be, creating a sound wave that would strike a chord in people and show them the beauty of the world through his eyes.