South Border (band)
|Origin||Davao City and Manila, Philippines|
|Genres||P-pop, R&B, soul, neo-soul, progressive pop, jazz, adult contemporary, hip hop|
Brown Hand Records
Hot Seat Records
|Associated acts||Sabado Boys
|Past members||Brix Ferraris
Rancis de Leon
Origins and early years
Originally formed in 1993, the band whose name is a tribute to their roots in Davao down south, first came into national prominence in 1996 when they launched their first self-titled album. It included a Jimmy Antiporda song entitled "May Pag-Ibig Pa Kaya" which they interpreted in the Metro Manila Pop Music Festival earlier that year. Another song, "Kahit Kailan" was awarded 1996 Song of the Year by various radio stations, thus giving them their first big hit.
The following year, the album reached gold, then platinum. South Border was all set for their first major concert at the Araneta Coliseum. As expected, thousands of their newfound fans trooped to fill the massive dome to the brim. Before the end of 1997, the exceptional talents of South Border was recognized by their peers in the industry when they won the most number of trophies at the 10th Awit Awards including Best Performance by a New Duo or Group, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Produced Record of the Year for their hit song, "Kahit Kailan". By the end of 1997, their debut album had gone triple platinum.
Bump!, The Live Album and The Way We Do
Not long after in the midst of a flourishing career, South Border found itself in the eye of a storm which called for a conspicuous change in their lineup. Luke Mejares replaced Brix Ferraris on lead vocals. But despite discouraging forecasts, South Border got back on their feet in no time. In a rush of creative adrenaline, the band doubled their efforts to finish their second album called Bump!. It featured "Sa ‘Yo", a haunting ballad that spoke of a heart’s yearning for a loved one and "Reborn", South Border’s first attempt at recording an instrumental piece reminiscent of their early jazz influences. In 1999, South Border once again caught the critical eye and received a total of 18 Katha Music awards including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Song, and Best R&B Song—all for the song "Sa ‘Yo". The following year, the band released its first live recording which was well received by their fans and drew rave reviews from critics. At the turn of the new millennium, the band once again made waves with the success of "Habang Atin ang Gabi", the theme song from La Vida Rosa, a Rosanna Roces-Diether Ocampo film produced by Star Cinema, and later from Misibis Bay, a Ritz Azul drama series on TV5. The lyrics were written by scriptwriter Armando Lao and the music was composed by Jay Durias, who considers this song to be one of his best compositions and arrangements to date.
The same song became the carrier single for their fourth album, The Way We Do, released in 2001. In November of the same year, South Border staged their biggest major show at the 30,000-seater PSC Track and Field Oval. But in the final quarter of 2002, another surprise jolted South Border’s avid followers—the announcement that Mejares was leaving the band to go solo. The search for his replacement was going to be another grueling task.
Episode III and present status
Having gone through another major change in their lead vocals lineup, the band scored a major win when they got not one but two astonishing vocal talents in Vince Alaras and Duncan Ramos. Twenty-six-year-old Alaras was a member of La Salle Green Hills’s Kundirana and was then known as "the boy who sounded like Brian McKnight". The younger Ramos on the other hand was a child prodigy — a singing and dancing wonder boy who often accompanied Gary Valenciano on his shows and tours all over the country.
The two new talents who danced as well as they sang provided a fresh and youthful take on South Border, which has since then came up with hits such as "Rainbow" which first hit the airwaves in 2003 for the promotion of Sharon Cuneta’s Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Crying Ladies. South Border’s music even dominated television with their song "Ikaw Nga"—the love theme from the hit TV series Mulawin. In 2004, the band released their first album under their own independent label. Episode III was a big commercial success that included the hits "The Show" and "Brown Hand Smash" — two songs that gave the group an edgier, danceable R&B sound.
On August 2007, the band officially announced the departure of its two vocalist, Duncan Ramos and Vince Alaras. The band reportedly claimed that the two wanted to pursue solo careers in the future. Both left on good terms with the band. Durias then took responsibility over most of the lead vocals until Kell Gatdula came over on the same year. Months later, the rest of the band members sought permanent residence in the United States along with their families. Gatdula left in 2010.
Currently, Jay Durias is the only remaining original member of the band after Ric Junasa left the band sometime in 2012-2013. On the other hand, Vince Alaras briefly reunited with the band between 2013-2014.
In 2014, the band signed up with Curve Entertainment Inc, spearheaded by Mr. Narciso Chan of Sony BMG. It also marked the year that Kell Gatdula reunited with South Border.
- Jay Durias – keyboards, lead vocals (1993–present)
- John Mark Ostulano – co-lead vocals (2012–present)
- Michael Aranas – guitar (2012–present)
- Joseph "Otep" Concepcion – drums, percussion (2012–present)
- Manuel Tabuñar – bass guitar, vocals (2012–present)
- Ephraim Jay Hoybia – alto saxophone, vocals (2012–present)
- Brix Ferraris – lead vocals (1993-1998)
- Luke Mejares – lead vocals (1998-2002)
- Duncan Ramos – lead vocals (2002-2007)
- Aaron Singh David – lead vocals (2002-2007, 2012-2014)
- Ric Junasa – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, flute (1993-2012)
- Tata Balane – bass guitar (1993-2009)
- Paul Benitez – drums, percussion (1993-2009)
- Butch Victoriano – guitar (1998-2009)
- Pido Lalimarmo – guitar, vocals (1996-1998)
- Jack Rufo – guitar (1993-1996)
- Rancis de Leon – alto saxophone (2005-2009)
- Mark Lancer Dela Rosa; Strings Keyboard, Backup vocals (2009-2014)
- Benjie "Bagets" Mendez – drums, percussion, vocals (2009-2012)
- Maki Ricafort – guitar, vocals (2009-2012)
- Marlowe Mata – bass guitar, vocals (2009-2012)
- South Border (1996)
- South Border Bump! (1998)
- South Border 'The Live Album (1999)
- The Way We Do (2001)
- Retrospective (2002)
- Episode III (2004)
- Episode III Platinum Edition (2005)
- Untitled (2014)
- Metropop Song Festival 1996 (Infinity Music (now GMA Records), 1996)
- UltraelectromagneticJam! An Eraserheads Tribute Album (Sony BMG Music Philippines, 2005)
- Tunog Acoustic Vol. 3 (Warner Music Philippines, 2004)
- OPM Love Mix (Star Music, 2004)
- Tunog Kapuso: The Best Of GMA Themes Vol. 1 (GMA Records, 2005)
- GV25: The Gary Valenciano All-Star Tribute Collection (Star Music, 2008)
- Telesine The Greatest TV & Movie Theme Songs (Star Music, 2009)
- All About Love (GMA Records, 2009)
- The Best Of Mga Awit Kapuso (GMA Records, 2009)
- 60 Taon ng Musika ng Soap Opera (Star Music, 2010)