It's the End of An Era As Armi Millare Says Goodbye to Up Dharma Down

"We had a good run," the vocalist said as she leaves the band after 17 years.
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In what was a surprise announcement by both UDD and Armi Millare's separate social media accounts a day after Christmas, the band revealed that the vocalist has decided to move on from the band and perhaps pursue a solo music career. This seems to be an amicable breakup from both parties, and, based on the band's statement, UDD will continue with the three remaining members.

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A post shared by UDD (@uddph)

“Although we're sad to see her leave the band, we wish her all the best as she embarks on her solo career. And we hope you can all support her future projects as well,” the band posted on their social media accounts.

UDD's post was a bit vague as to why the vocalist left, but Millare's own post somewhat sheds light on what transpired and ultimately led to her decision. 

Millare revealed that back in June of this year, she decided to sever ties with Terno Recordings, the record label under which UDD is signed. As a result, she also had to leave the band which she co-founded with Carlos Tañada, Paul Yap, and Ean Mayor 17 years ago. She said that it was a difficult decision but one she needed to make despite the fears and uncertainties.

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A post shared by armi (@armimillare)

Both UDD and Millare thanked their fans and everyone who supported them since their inception.

“We would like to thank you, our fans and listeners, for being with us on this journey–17 years, 4 albums, and thousands of gigs. We are so grateful,” the band said.

What's next for UDD? 

As much as this may come as a surprise, we've already seen Millare work outside the band, releasing singles such as "Two Worlds" and “Into The Clear” and collaborations with Norwegian neo-soul band D'Sound, which proves that she can hold her own and will no doubt have a successful solo career if she decides to keep making music. 

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However, the question is how the band will look (and sound) without the only vocalist it has ever known. Sure, UDD is more than just Millare's voice but to say that she's been an integral part of the band's sound would be an understatement. It would be difficult to imagine UDD without her. However, it would be interesting to see how the remaining band members take on this new challenge. 

This isn't the first time an iconic Filipino band's frontman (or in this case, woman) left their respective bands. Rivermaya is still alive and kicking despite numerous personnel shuffles in the past. (Although the band's years with Rico Blanco is still arguably its golden age). Millare’s UDD will undeniably be the same. But I'm cautiously optimistic that whoever fills in her huge shoes (if they ever do decide to replace her) will amplify Tañada, Yap, and Mayor’s tremendous abilities and still make UDD a band whose songs people resonate with. 

A sad day for UDD fans 

This one especially hurts personally because UDD's songs have gotten me through the good and bad times in my life. Millare said in her post that there's nothing she fears more than the unknown–I feel the same. 

I've seen them perform live countless times, far more than any other band or musician. I even bought a vinyl record of their 2019 self-titled album despite not having a record player prior. The love I have for their music is immense, and it pains me to see the end of an era. I have no doubt in my mind that they will do great things in this new chapter, but it will never feel the same.

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A post shared by UDD (@uddph)

Surely their other fans and even the casual listeners also feel even a tiny pang of sadness, at the very least, with this announcement. Their hits “Oo,” “Tadhana,” and “Indak,” among others, will forever be etched in the collective consciousness of listeners. While underrated songs like “Feelings” and “Young Again” will always have a place in the hearts of devotees like me. These are great songs from a transcendent band.

Thank you Armi, Carlos, Paul, and Ean.

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MJ Pagaduan
MJ Pagaduan is the Content Producer of Esquire Philippines.
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