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Pinoy vocalist to sing World Youth Day anthem in Brazil

February 23, 2013 5:00pm

Ooberfuse, a London-based electro-pop band fronted by a Filipino-British vocalist, has been chosen to record the English version of the official anthem for this year’s World Youth Day from July 23 to 28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Composed of singer Cherrie Anderson, keyboardist Hal St. John, and guitarist Nico Cox, the band translated “Hope of the Dawn” from the original Portuguese composition “Esperanca do Amanhecer.”

“We are very happy, honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to sing the official World Youth Day song in English,” Anderson said in an e-mail interview with GMA News Online.

Translating the song was “daunting,” Anderson said, because the band members are not fluent in Portuguese.

“[The song] is as much a tribute to a trans-Atlantic spirit of collaboration as it is to the power of the Internet and modern media,” said Cox.

“After multiple Twitter and e-mail messages recommending improvements and refinements, and numerous large music-data file downloads and uploads in Rio and London, ‘Hope of the Dawn’ was eventually born,” Cox added.

The result: a version that “remains loyal to the Portuguese original, but still reflects the style and ambience of the group,” said Phil Ross, national coordinator for the UK World Youth Day attendees.

Ooberfuse was formed in 2010 when its three members met at a church event, started to play music together, and joined the “Live and Unsigned” competition, where it was named Most Original Band and One of the Best Unsigned Live Musical Acts in the UK.

After singing the youth anthem for Pope Benedict’s UK visit in 2010, the band performed before an audience of 2 million at the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid.

Now working on its third album, the band will be performing in Portugal, the US, Germany, and Italy this year.

Filipino influences

With one band member being Filipino—Anderson’s mom is from Leyte—it’s inevitable that Filipino influences would weave their way into Ooberfuse’s music.

“In some of our songs, we incorporate a Filipino instrument—the kulintang—which many of the UK people love,” said Anderson.

Anderson, who confesses to enjoying Filipino food like inihaw na baboy, tortang talong, pandesal, and taho, regularly visits the Philippines, where her parents are now based.

“I admire Filipinos’ love for God and family, love for all things musical, and their positive outlook in life,” Anderson said.  - VVP, GMA News

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