Music

Clem Castro of Orange and Lemons Talks About the Band Getting Back Together

On the latest episode of Esquire Sessions Live.
IMAGE CLEM CASTRO, ORANGE & LEMONS

In the fifth episode of Esquire Sessions Live, Esquire’s associate editor and podcast host PJ Caña talks to Orange and Lemons (O&L) frontman Clem Castro, a defining voice in Filipino pop. Castro’s been in the music scene for almost 20 years, from making music with The Camerawalls to his solo project “Dragonfly Collector.” But most Filipino music lovers will know him best as the lead vocals and lead guitar of Orange and Lemons, which broke up in 2007. 

After a few years of defining himself as a solo musician, Castro eventually broached the idea of getting the band back together. He had a clever strategy for a reunion, which he shared on the podcast. He first approached former drummer Ace del Mundo with the idea of getting back together, but Ace told him to talk to the others first.

“Then I did a tactic that he (Ace) wouldn’t see coming—I talked to his wife,” joked Castro. 

Now five years since their reunion, Castro shared that he’s witnessed a lot of changes in the music industry in the Philippines, and how it’s even easier now to be a full-time musician. 

“I think with the commercial scene now, ang daming banda who are getting a lot of streams, attention, bookings, and endorsements. Influencers na rin sila. But during our time, before you can really do those–before you can have that opportunity, big gigs and endorsements—kailangan hit na hit ka sa radyo. Ngayon hindi na eh, radio is no longer king. This time, kailangan hit na hit ka sa social media, meron kang organic following,” shared the O&L frontman. 

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With over two decades of experience in the local music industry, Castro has plenty of nuggets of wisdom to share with aspiring musicians. His top advice: know the ins and outs of the business—not just songwriting, releasing, and producing. Think publishing and marketing, and all the other hats you need to wear in the business. 

Listen to Clem Castro’s podcast episode on Esquire Sessions Live now, where he also sings a special rendition of O&L’s latest single, “Yakapin Nating Ang Gabi.” Esquire Sessions Live is on SpotifyApple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Esquire Sessions Live is held as a live audio Q&A on the Filipino app Calamansi where fans can interact with their favorite musicians and ask their own questions. Follow Esquire’s socials to catch the next live session.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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