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Armi Millare of Up dharma down

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Yours, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Profile: The emancipation of Armi Millare

    Up Dharma Down’s Armi Millare shares her pursuit of a life in music, her aversion to bright lights, and her love for her cat.
    SHY, BUT SNEAKY. Millare admits to having snuck out to perform during her adolescent years, much to her parents’ chagrin.

    DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – Seven years ago, in a music scene largely dominated by alternative rock, Armi Millare and band Up Dharma Down broke into the mainstream music consciousness.

    Millare calls Up Dharma a performing band, more suited to live gigs than to television or radio.

    It is difficult to put a finger on the music. It wasn’t rock, it wasn’t jazz, it wasn’t pop, it wasn’t techno. One thing was certain - Up Dharma Down was an alternative to “alternative.

    And suddenly - and quite reluctantly - the soft-spoken girl behind the piano found herself in the limelight.

    The lure of the ivories
    “I was around five or six, I think,” Millare says. “A piano just got delivered to the house, so I started tinkering with it.”
    While children her age were out playing on the streets, the young Millare spent her afternoons on the piano, preferring to make music by herself.
    She began to explore other instruments - the violin, then the guitar, and then the drums.
    In the house we had a lot of instruments. For me once you learn the piano and the guitar, you can branch out into other instruments. All you need to have is a sense of rhythm and an interest in music.”
    She eventually learned how to play the kulintang and the Japanese koto, considering them crucial to her songwriting process.
    Millare comes from a typical middle-class Filipino family, where security and stability is paramount. The Millare household was not particularly musical.
    “I was kind of brainwashed as a kid to be a doctor because my mom was a nurse, my dad was into business so there was no way that us kids would be doing anything else."
    To her parents, music was a pastime. To their daughter, it meant much more.
    She wanted to make it her way of life.

    A decade of defiance
    .It was during Millare’s sophomore year in high school when she discovered a musical education was possible.
    “I came from a traditional Filipino family, where there was an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer,” she says. “But when I learned there was music school, I knew I’d go for it.”
    Coupled with the growing pains of adolescence and her own introverted nature, Millare’s first foray into serious music was difficult. She brought the idea up to her parents, and was told it was not an option. She was not going to take no for an answer.
    “It was really bad, a lot of lying happened. I always used schoolwork as an excuse whenever I would go to gigs.”
    Millare feels it was justified. For her, it was part and parcel of the compromise she had to make to prove that she was serious about making music, without the infamy largely attributed to the rock n’ roll lifestyle.
    “I wasn’t going to come home pregnant. I just wanted to make music. I didn’t even drink or smoke, ” she says.
    When Up Dharma Down began to make waves in the local music scene, Millare made the decision to move out and pay for her own school tuition.
    “My parents wanted a future that was stable, and the entertainment industry can be anything but. They just wanted to be sure that I knew what I was getting into, so I had to prove myself, work twice as hard.”
    Her parents have now come to terms with her choice to make music.
    “We’re okay, finally, after ten years,” she says. “But it took a while.”

    Braving the bright lights
    Millare says her songs are “either very sad, or very sarcastic.” She finds herself starting off with the melody more often than lyrics, although there are times when a catchy line comes first.
    “With ‘Oo,’ it started with ‘Di mo lang alam,’” she says.
    The song, a single from her band’s first album Fragmented, became an anthem of Pinoy millennials pining over unrequited love.
    Up Dharma Down may have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through the years—the BBC calls them the Manila band “most likely to cross over to the lucrative Anglophone market of North America”— but Millare still remains painfully shy. When she raises her hand while performing, fingers opening and closing, it’s not a call for the audience to follow suit.
    “In the middle of the song, I signal the lights people to turn down the lights a bit,” she admits. For her, the glare of the limelight can be daunting, in more ways than one.

    -Armi happens to be as one of my favourite female opm band vocalist in our country. I love their songs Oo and Tadhana. :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2016
    EARZE and kopiko like this.
  2. Thanks for Sharing!
    Yours likes this.
  3. EARZE

    EARZE PHC Contributor Established

    Thanks for sharing boss.. (y)
    Yours likes this.
  4. (y)
  5. Thanks for sharing :)
  6. youre welcome :)
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