Musician, Songwriter, Activist

As one writer pointed out, Karl Ramirez writes music with “fresh optimism and truthful empathy … breathing fresh air into the progressive music tradition.” A collaboration of rock, pop, and electronic, his music ventures into new ways of articulating people’s issues, collective and social action.

His latest single “Pagbabago para sa Karaniwang Tao” [2013] (Change for the common person) is a catchy tune about the Filipino’s aspiration for real change, not just for a few but for the many “karaniwang tao”. A music video was released with the help of Loujaye Sonido and Richelle Rosales of Munting Media, and featuring Pol Torrente, Jay Jamoralin and Peter Panelo of the band Plagpul, and Peter Magat, a percussionist from Ciudad Tribu. “Pagbabago” airs in couple of radio stations and the music video has already aired in the MYX music channel.

Teddy Casino, a three term Congressman and one of the country’s leading progressive legislators, took notice of “Pagbabago” and its message of change for the common folk which he himself is advocating for in his bid for the Senate. Soon enough, he adopted the song as his campaign anthem.

Most of his releases are available for free at his Reverb Nation musician profile.

In 2010 his song “Convergence” won the grand prize in Net-25’s Rock the Beat songwriting competition. In the same year he was also selected as a participant in the first Elements National Songwriting Camp organized by Ryan Cayabyab and the 7101 Music Nation.

In 2011, “Makibaka” a CD compillation of past releases, was self-produced as a way of giving thanks to all supporters, music collaborators and friends.

Karl Ramirez is a human rights advocate, a member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. From demolition of communities to advocating politics of change, his involvement in social issues and cause-oriented organizations influence his songwriting.

He believes that musicians should take sides. As national artist Lino Brocka describes it, artists “does not work in isolation from society … he is a citizen of the slums, of the streets, of the battlefield if need be. The artist is always a participant.” Ramirez believes in writing meaningful music that inspires the heart and soul, and conscious in moving people to do good and effect change.

Discography

Songwriter, Arranger and Performer:

Arranger and Performer:

Sound Engineer and Producer:

  • Free the 43 – Written by Carl Lopez and performed by Aki Merced and Renato Reyes (2010)
  • Desaparecido – A violin rendition performed by Jonathan for the musical Mrs. B (2010)

Composer and ArrangerOriginal Sound Track of “Ka Bel” a documentary feature by Mayday Productions about the life of Filipino labor leader Crispin Beltran, March 2011

Musical Arrangement8 song segments in the musical “Makata’y Mandrigima, Mandirigma’y Makata” a Filpino musical staged at the UP Diliman Theater, November 30, 2009. Written by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and Palanca awardee Edward Perez. Directed by Rommel Linatoc. Musical direction by Rica Palis.

Songwriter and ArrangerOriginal Sound Track of “Hustisya” a video documentary about human rights produced by the Bikol X Press, 2006

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