M.Y.M.P. (or MYMP, short for Make Your Momma Proud) is an acoustic band from the Philippines, which consists of five members. Their career started when Raymond Ryan, a station manager of iFm, watched one of their gigs, and met up with a producer to produce their 2003 debut album, Soulful Acoustic, which has since been certified Platinum.
In 2005, M.Y.M.P. released their second album titled Beyond Acoustic and third album Versions through Ivory Music. The success of the two albums prompted the re-release of their second and third albums in atwo-disc set the same year. In 2006, they released their fourth album, New Horizon and DVD of their concert at the Music Museum. In 2008, M.Y.M.P. released their last album on Ivory Music, titled Now, as the group signed a deal with Star Records.
Jacques "Chin" Alcantara founded the band back in late 1996. It was Chin's elder brother, Julius, who gave the band its name – a tribute to their departed mother. Chin's mother, Dr. Stella Lopez-Alcantara (a cardiologist), had died of complications from breast cancer when he was 17.
Back when it was originally formed, Make Your Momma Proud was a four-man rock band, whose arsenal included Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and, as Alcantara adds, a little Mr. Big. He was still a student at Miriam College then, taking up Communication Arts, major in Advertising. "My mom played the piano but she didn’t get to see me play professionally—she did get to see me start out", Alcantara said. In the year after his mother died, Alcantara took up the guitar and, in his words, "really got obsessed with it and that’s when I knew what I wanted to be a musician." Alcantara was enjoined by his father (an investment and a private development banker) to attend classical guitar tutoring, but stopped after a month. Alcantara taught himself how to play.
The peak of M.Y.M.P.'s amateur days was when it won the 1996 national championship of the San Miguel Beer Battle of (rock) Bands. Before that, the group had won the NCR championship, best vocalist and best lead-guitarist awards.
As a college band, M.Y.M.P. appeared in college fairs and shows, but as they became more earnest in their intent to pursue music as a career, they encountered difficulty in lining up gigs due to their "disciplined rock" repertoire. M.Y.M.P. added a keyboardist and began working on a more pop sound, completing the transformation with the addition in 2000 of a female vocalist, Marifil Niña Girado, known then as the R&B singer (and later as Nina, the Soul Siren) after leaving the band to go solo. M.Y.M.P. then industriously performed in bars, clubs and shows for years, building an identity.
In 2001, Alcantara handled an audition for a new female lead, and the group found Julie Iris "Juris" Fernandez. Originally from Davao, Fernandez explains she didn’t grow up exposed to music on a regular basis. Like Alcantara, Fernandez did not study music formally for long, eschewing the training to learn on her own. After graduating from Miriam College, Juris Fernandez was studying at the Ateneo, working towards completing her pre-med requirements when she decided that, like Alcantara, she wanted to immerse herself in music. After singing with Jimmy Bondoc, she fatefully auditioned for M.Y.M.P.
Early career (2003–2004)
It was the trio of Alcantara, Fernandez and percussionist Mike Manahan that established the beachhead for M.Y.M.P.’s frontal assault on the sales and radio charts.
Their recording career started when Raymond Ryan, the station manager of iFM, watched their gig. Ryan met with a producer to produce their debut album, Soulful Acoustic. Ivory Records then became their recording company. M.Y.M.P.'s debut album was released on Ivory Music and Video's 20th anniversary. The band became famous with their original hit song "A Little Bit" (which won the People's Choice "Favorite Song" Award in Awit Awards 2004) and cover versions of Sting's "Every Little Thing" and Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain".
The trio did click but M.Y.M.P. became a duo when one of their members decided to leave the group. Manahan left the band in 2003 due to what Alcantara called “professional differences” as well as a fallout from Manahan’s breakup with Fernandez; the two were in a relationship for a while. Yet, this did not stop M.Y.M.P.'s Juris & Chin from sharing their music.
Versions and Beyond (2005–2008)
The duo enjoyed their ride in the Philippine music scene as a new and improved M.Y.M.P. had emerged, a quartet together with Andrew and John as bassist and kahonista, respectively, as two more albums were released in a year. Beyond Acoustic and Versions, both 12-track albums, were declared certified Gold after less than a month.
Their original hit song "Get Me", and covers "Tell Me Where It Hurts", "Kailan", "Especially for You" and "Eternal Flame", were later used as theme songs for TV series and commercial ads.
On October 1, 2005, M.Y.M.P. had their first major concert at the Music Museum, titled 'Especially For You'. The success of the concert prompted the band to have another concert at the Araneta Coliseum on November 18, 2005, and its repeat on February 3, 2006. Both concerts were sold-out, with each concert having more than 10,000 audience capacity.
In 2006, they released a DVD of their concert at the Music Museum.
Now backed by keyboardist Edward Jimenez, percussionist Dexter John Angeles and bassist Aimiel Rivas, M.Y.M.P. embarked on its most ambitious career step yet: a summer tour of the US West and East Coasts, a development that excited Alcantara and Fernandez immensely.
The group released the album New Horizon in 2006.
In 2008, M.Y.M.P. ended their contract with Ivory Music and signed a deal with Star Records, and released their last album with Ivory Music, Now.
New label and lineup changes (2009–2010)
M.Y.M.P. ended 2008 with two other bands in the Philippine music scene, Side A and Freestyle and took center stage at the Back2Back2Back concert at the Araneta Coliseum on December 1.
In 2009, M.Y.M.P. were regularly seen every Sunday on ASAP's "Sessionistas" segment together with Soul Siren Nina, crooner Richard Poon, bossa artist Sitti Navarro, ex-Southborder vocalist Duncan Ramos and singer Aiza Seguerra.
Sometime in mid-2009, speculations about Fernandez and Alcantara having issues caught some media attention when Alcantara silently pulled out from a segment of ABS-CBN's Sunday variety show ASAP called "Sessionistas", leaving only Fernandez giving solo performances. The rumors intensified when the band failed to attend the first-ever Philippine Movie Press Club Music Awards in which the group won for Best Duo/Group.
The group had been silent until an official announcement they released at the Manila Bulletin Entertainment on November 5, 2009, confirming that Juris Fernandez was leaving M.Y.M.P. They said in the statement that they are parting ways due to "irreconcilable professional differences". However, since they were working on an album when the breakup happened, they also said they would work together to finish the five songs that they had already recorded, although the outcome will not be released as M.Y.M.P's, but as Fernandez's solo album with Alcantara as the producer.
On January 24, 2010, Juliet Bahala was introduced as the new vocalist of M.Y.M.P. on ASAP. Bahala, then an 18-year-old regional singing champ, hailed from Davao where Juris Fernandez also came from. She sang on M.Y.M.P.'s sixth album The Unreleased Acoustic Collection which was released in May 2011. During the promotion of the album, Bahala suffered severe vocal fatigue, laryngitis and vocal nodules which eventually forced her to rest indefinitely. She is now back in her Davao hometown pursuing her classical roots.
MYMP management held a grand audition for a female vocalist after and chose Jana Laraza as the new singer.
MYMP is set to release its 10th anniversary album under PolyEast EMI-Galaxy Records in February 2014 with Jana Laraza on vocals. She started singing professionally late 2009 only, with influences like Marsha Ambrosius, Vivian Green, Lalah Hathaway, Julliane, Floetry etc.
MYMP is under the management of Maria Teresa Tinio.
M.Y.M.P. released their sixth studio album, The Unreleased Acoustic Collection, in May 2011. The band also signed with a new recording label, Polyeast EMI-Galaxy Records, and continues to do shows around the Philippines and abroad. They are releasing their 10th anniversary album this February 2014 entitled "Electrified" with Jana on vocals.
TV show appearances
- ASAP (ASAP Sessionistas feat. Richard Poon, Aiza Seguerra, Nina, Sitti, Duncan Ramos and M.Y.M.P.)
- Maynila (TV series) (GMA 7)
- MYX Live (2004, 2005, 2007)
- MYX Presents: Love Moves, A Date with M.Y.M.P.
- MTV Homecoming (2005)
- At Home Ka Dito (2005)
- Your Song (2 episodes)
- "Pambansang Awit" Mano Mano: The Celebrity Boxing Challenge (2007)
- Balik-bayan (2008)
- 2004: Awit Awards - People's Choice Favorite Song ("A Little Bit")
- 2004: SOP Music Awards - Best Acoustic Act
- 2005: Aliw Awards - Best Pop Performance in Hotel, Music Lounges and Bars
- 2005: SOP Music Awards - Viewer's Choice For Artist of the Year; Revive '05 Category ("Tell Me Where It Hurts")
- 2005: ASAP's 1st Platinum Circle - Top Awardee (Versions and Beyond)
- 2006: Aliw Awards - Best Performance In A Concert
- 2006: MYX Music Awards - Favorite MYX Live Performance; Favorite Ringtone ("Tell Me Where It Hurts")
- 2006: Box-Office Entertainment Awards - Most Popular Recording Group
- 2007: ASAP's Pop Viewer's Choice Awards - Best Band Performance in a Music Video ("Only Reminds Me Of You")
- 2007: ASAP's 3rd Platinum Circle - Band Awardee: New Horizon (Single Platinum)
- 2007: ASAP's 24k Gold Awards - Awardee: New Horizon (Released Dec 2006, reached Gold in Feb 2007)
- 2008: Myx Music Awards - Favorite Myx Live Performance
- 2009: Digital Music Awards (Korea) - August International Artist
- 2009: Awit Awards - Best Christmas Wishlist for the album Now
- 2009: 1st PMPC Star Awards for Music - Best Duo/Group Artist of the Year