Culture Weekly

Keeping the beat up

January 20 - 26, 2021

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Keeping the beat up

Although the recent pandemic has rocked the hospitality sector, affecting individuals in various fields, it hasn’t stopped the likes of hotel marketing and communications specialist Ryan Rene P Advincula from making sweet music and inspiring a new generation of stars.

He hopes to give a helpful boost to entertainers stricken by the Covid-19 crackdown and introduce newcomers to an outside audience who have been using performances to lift their spirits.

Ryan, who had taken up marketing and public relation posts over the past few years at hotels such as The Diplomat Radisson Blu, The Intercontinental Regency Bahrain and the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa, is creating connections and bringing joy to people across the kingdom during these difficult times through his music vlog Viva La Rock.

“I created Viva La Rock to connect with talent, including hobbyists and sensational performers, as well as building a family of creative artists to showcase,” said the former Sacred Heart School student who plays drums in the popular Tax Dodgers band.

“I have witnessed how music and art can play an important part of our lives as it is a way of expressing our feelings as well as emotions. Everyone has got hidden talents - I say, don’t be shy to express them!

“My goal is to inspire everyone watching that you’re never too old, too corporate or too busy to be a rock star!”

His YouTube channel already features five episodes in which one includes his daughter drumming her favourite tune and another is of a visit to a music shop in Bahrain that manufactures oud and strings in the kingdom.

His family’s New Year Karaoke sing-along-relay of Gloria Gaynor’s soulful classic I Will Survive captivated viewers and his other video was a gadget review that can help vloggers, podcasters and musicians with their sound output.

“I aim to upload memorable, informative, fun and energetic moments for the world to see,” said the-father-of-two.

“I have been playing the drums for almost 30 years and am still learning! I was fortunate to play with various groups around Bahrain involved in different genres.

“The Tax Dodgers played at different events before the pandemic and as of now, we are just doing ‘home quarantine jams’. However, during my musical journey, I have discovered and am still discovering amazing new talent around Bahrain.”

Music has always been a part of his life, having been inspired by his mother, Solina, who moved to Bahrain in the 1980s and taught at the Bahrain Music Institute, one of the first music schools on the island.

“Music was the backbone of where it all started for me and my family here in Bahrain,” he said. “If it wasn’t for my mum’s passion and love for music, I would not have the passion for music and be the man I am today.

“She loved music and contributed her talent to NGOs, especially to the church, where she was head of the choir until she passed away.

“Also, our accommodation was in the same building where the school was, hence I would always wake up to the sound of music coming from the classes below, from people playing drums, violins or singing.

“That’s where I got influenced. My mother would always take me to her classes and she also became my music teacher when she taught at the Sacred Heart School Bahrain.

“Music is an art and a God-given talent. We are all born with it, however, it is up to us to discover and pursue our musical abilities.

“I never thought that I would be a drummer, however, as much as I wanted to be a pianist like my mum, I never could get into those keys and when I discovered that I could tap, play the tambourines and get into the beat, that was the start of my musical adventure.”

Those interested can email [email protected] to be featured in the Viva La Rock YouTube channel.

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