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Maegan’s Mark June 7, 2013

Posted by Alex Sawit in Happenings at the Shop.
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By Alex Sawit

June 7, 2013

 

It’s taken me the last few months to realize this but what matters now is that I say it: Maegan Aguilar is one of the greatest vocalists of her generation.

Last March, we welcomed Meg as one of our new acoustic performers at Cyrano Wine Shop. Since Meg’s musical pedigree is already well established, I won’t belabor an introduction other than to mention that she is both friend and family to our shop’s music director. My only stipulations to our director were these: that Meg learn to sing “Simply Jessie” (oh yeah, it’s become a tradition for new performers to do this “audition” song) and that she tailor her singing for a wine crowd.

The latter was crucial. Ever since Meg first appeared on the local music scene, her enduring trademark has been that of a rock princess, a label that folks bestowed on her in alluding to a baby Janice Joplin thanks to Meg’s powerful singing style and hard-hitting repertoire. Understandably, I was concerned that all that intensity would prove overwhelming in the conversational atmosphere of a wine bar.

 

 

Safe to say, Meg graciously fulfilled both stipulations with ease. Her “Simply Jessie” is comfort food to my ears, an interplay of sumptuous textures and light, almost sweet, folk-like phrasing, turning a mushy old pop tune into something more satisfying. More than that, there was an impetuous elegance in her voice that I had never associated with Meg before. This was no rock princess. Having asked Meg to tailor herself to a wine crowd, she reduced her vocal power by half and then eased into it. Just like that, all the nuances came out as she sang as intimately, and at times as naughtily, as she pleased.

 

 

The fault is mine for not discovering this about Meg sooner. Believe it or not, I had never really listened to her until just a few months ago when she first performed at the shop. Yes, I recall hearing her on radio and on television but these occasions were extremely rare and always in passing. My best recollection actually comes from a TV commercial in which Maegan, then a teenager, was belting out a call to action for Pinoy youth empowerment on behalf of a soft drink brand. That was it. Further, my predisposition was influenced by friends who, being far more familiar with her music than I was, constantly dissuaded me with their opinion that a rock ‘n’ roll wild child was not my cup of tea.

That was before. I still like my tea but no analogy is more fitting now than that of fine wine. What Meg uncorks at Cyrano is something mellow that the years have cultivated to full maturity. Her voice, her artistry, is now a loving balance of power and finesse in obedience to whatever passion she may be feeling at any given moment on the stage.

 

 

Even her peers continue to marvel at her Cyrano performances.

“Do you give lessons?”, exclaimed an awestruck Mia T., a blossoming singer whom I hope will one day have an acoustic night of her own, as she could not contain her admiration of Meg after listening to her. Another girl, Denise H., who has performed at the shop many times and is one of my favorite female vocalists in the country, held nothing back once Meg had finished her last song for the night, telling her with a hug, “You are AMAZING!”

I’m happy that Maegan has made her mark at Cyrano. She’s happy she did too.

“What a great place to play at,” she wrote on her Facebook page after her first night. “They encourage originals, they let me be the artist that I am. The crowd listened attentively, gave warm applauses and their eyes were on me, expressing utter appreciation. Every artist wishes to have this kind of audience at all times, it’s very heart warming and inspiring to play for such people. Thank you CYRANO for the wonderful experience.”

You’re welcome, Meg.

And for the record, your “Blue Bayou” always puts Linda Rondstadt to shame. Don’t forget to sing “Jolene”, okay?

 

 

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Comments»

1. kptesoro - June 8, 2013

Thank you Alex! Meg has blossomed into an Artist with a Voice that comes literally “once in a lifetime”. I am so glad you’ve come to appreciate her gift as well.

2. kptesoro - June 8, 2013

This has been a joy to read… and I urge all Cyrano Friends to read it as well.

3. Maegan Aguilar - June 26, 2013

This wonderful blog came as a BIG SURPRISE to me. I saw it a little after it was posted on the Cyrano web page, evening time. I was having what I’d call a low day and nothing seemed to be going right. Sometimes yes, I do have those moments (that lasts “forever”) and I forget who I am as a human being, as an artist. And out of nowhere, a good friend from afar (my boss by default ;)) makes it indirectly known to me that he is an observer of my persona and an attentive listener of my music, and I’m able to see myself in another light. That I do affect my audience still and that my performance is alive. His meaningful words proved to me that despite my fears, I was meant to do this, I was meant to BE who I am. Thanks Alex, I know you don’t have facebook, glad I could reply here for yah 😉

Alexander Sawit - June 26, 2013

Oh yes, facebook and twitter…I’ve heard of those things! Just a few days ago I was forced to ask Vida, “What is ‘trending’? What does that mean?”

We’re glad that Cyrano has become your new living room. So just make yourself at home, Meg. Cheers to your new album in the works!


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