• Of “hugot” anthems, Caloy on becoming a Cebuano

      White skin, pale blue eyes, blonde hair, and a towering height. Caloy is a typical male foreigner you would see walking the streets of Cebu. He is usually clad in a loose shirt and board shorts with a huge backpack. He is that guy in some days as he takes pleasure in exploring the outdoors. But unlike most foreigners, the 28-year-old Swedish national has a far greater mission. He wants to make Cebuano music become known globally.

      Musician and online sensation Carl Johan Kihl also known as Caloy performs before media and guests during the media launch of Duyog Ni Caloy.

      And he is a true-blue Cebuano at heart.
      Born and raised in Västerås in Central Sweden, Carl Johan “Caloy Juapo” Kihl is a performer and musical artist who now lives in Cebu City. Caloy posts videos of his song covers on his self-titled Facebook page which gained traction from netizens all over the world.
      Caloy used to play in piano bars, serenading locals with his own compositions. He got his passion for music from his parents who were both engaged in music and theater.

      A strong desire to travel the world to make music tugged on Caloy and at the age of 21, he packed his bags to perform in different countries including Turkey, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Cyprus, Egypt, and Thailand.
      Today, the musician has decided to firmly plant his dreams of making music in Cebuano soil while learning more about the rich culture in the process. Caloy has been living in Cebu for a year now. “I met so many pure-hearted people here. I like the [music] culture here because you have it everywhere. You can’t see this in Sweden,” Caloy said.

      Caloy has collaborated with Guru Ads & Marketing Consultancy headed by his manager, Bruce Cortes Bollozos. During a media launch last Dec. 9 called “Duyog Ni Caloy” at the Casa Gorordo Museum, Bollozos said that they wanted to establish the artist as “someone who sings with emotions.”

      “We select songs that really fit him, we don’t want him to sing just any songs but songs that really capitalize on real emotions,” Bollozos emphasized.

      At the moment, Caloy continues to learn deeper about the Cebuano language and culture with the help of his Cebuano friends. He has made it his goal to write Bisaya songs that beautifully capture the whole myriad of human emotions and experiences. However, he’s particularly interested in writing and performing “hugot” songs or songs that draw out inspiration from heartbreaks and frustrations in romantic relationships.

      “It was hugot songs that actually got me attached to Cebuano music. Cebuano hugot songs are so powerful. They have grabbed my heart even though I don’t understand the words yet,” Caloy said.
      During the media launch, Caloy performed few of his favorite Cebuano songs including Wet Slipperz’s “Bisan Pa”, Kurt Fick’s “Hahahahasula”, and Ariel Rivera’s “Sana Ngayong Pasko.”

      Caloy is set to have his first mini concert and will be doing project collaborations with other local Cebuano musicians soon.

      (Dominic D. Yasay)
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