Everything you wanted to know, and too much information, about Elson.

How long has Elson been making music?
Music has always been a a part of his life but things changed around the age of 10, when he would gravitate to stereos while visiting relatives' houses. Around that age he took guitar lessons but did not retain much. He then learned piano and tenor saxophone concurrently at around age 12 and started songwriting at around 14, where he played in his first band.


How many instruments does Elson play?

Several. In order of importance: Voice, piano/keyboard, bass guitar (4-string, 5-string and fretless), acoustic guitar, percussion, drums, saxophone. Elson also has a collection of traditional Philippine instruments, which he can play at the most basic level, and has a desire to learn more instruments along the way. He does not play the trumpet, violin or flute.

Which keyboards does Elson play onstage?

Elson currently plays a Clavia Nord Electro 73 keyboard (the red one). He wanted to buy a real Fender Rhodes, but there's no way he's gonna schlep a 140-pound keyboard with him for every gig. Atop that is a Yamaha AN1x virtual analog synthesizer (the blue one), or when the retro mood strikes him, a vintage Roland Juno-106 analog synth (the dark grey one).

What is "Elsongs"? Is that the band?

"Elsongs" simply means "Elson's Songs." It is also the "concept" behind his current musical direction and ambition as a singer and songwriter (as opposed to "e:trinity" being Elson's former "concept" as electronica musician and producer). "Elson and the Soul Barkada" is a live performance component of "Elsongs." The recorded component of this concept will be a trilogy of albums to be released in the coming years, each with a particular sound, meaning, direction and purpose. The first album is to be entitled, Elsongs 1: The Purpose of Innocence. The names of the other two albums will be revealed at the appropriate time.

"Elsongs" is also the name of Elson's own music publishing company, which is a member of the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers (ASCAP). The music from the two e:trinity albums were published under Elsongs.

Wasn't his album supposed to be completed by now?

Yes, but the delay is attributed to one or more of the following factors: 1) His busy life; 2) Procrastination; 3) Limited access to a sound-proof vocal recording booth; 4) Occasional lack of inspiration; 5) Plate tectonics, global warming, 9/11, the London Underground attacks, the War in Iraq, the Columbia disaster and Hurricane Katrina; 6) Who buys CDs anymore when everyone downloads? But seriously, it will be finished when the time is right.

What does 'Barkada' mean?

It's a word in the Philippine language of Tagalog meaning, "A group of friends." The name is appropriate not only because of his Filipino heritage, or the fact that a good percentage of the band is of Filipino heritage as well, or that the members are all friends of his, but because "Elson and Friends" sounds way too lame.

Can Elson and the Soul Barkada play at my club/venue/festival/party/corporate function/ wedding/debut/quinceañera/bar mitzvah?

They probably can. Please visit this page for any booking inquiries.

Why did Elson stop making music as e:trinity?

The reasons are numerous, and some of those reasons are intensely personal in nature. For a full written explanation, please send $14.95 to: Pacific City Multimedia, P.O. Box 292024, Los Angeles, CA, 90029, ATTN: e:trinity reasons. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

What is Pacific City Multimedia?

Pacific City Multimedia is Elson's own "recording label." It has officially released two full length compact disc albums (e:trinity's self-titled album and various shades of blue) one EP compact disc (e:trinity's promotional-only st:ep, which was positively reviewed by URB magazine in 2001). The name reflects Elson's favorite English word, his heritage and hometown (which span opposite sides of the namesake ocean) and his urban upbringing. The name "Multimedia" was chosen instead of "Records" to reflect its forward-looking and forward-thinking ethos and to leave open the possibility of future projects using other forms of media (which reflect Elson's belief that art and entertainment is now and will be presented in fused and amalgamated forms of media).

Pacific City Multimedia will release all three "Elsongs" albums, as well as other future projects.

What other bands/musical projects is Elson involved in?

Elson sings (and occasionally leads, as substitute choir director) the Gospel Choir at St. Agatha's Catholic Church in Los Angeles' Mid-City district. He primarily sings in the 5:30 p.m. mass every week. It ain't the Sunday Mass you're used to!

At least once a month, Elson performs with the improvisational comedy troupe Room to Improv as their musical accompanist. Soul Barkada backup singer Lisa Casabar is also a cast member of this troupe. Room to Improv performs on the first Friday of the month at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City, CA, and once in a while, if he feels like it, will sing one or two acoustic songs at the end of intermission.

Every so often, Elson sits in as a featured singer or bass player at the Monday Night Jam Session at Harvelle's bar in Santa Monica.

Occasionally, Elson puts on his sideman hat, filling-in as keyboard player for the pop/funk/Latin band, Gwen Cardenas and Kin

Did Elson really meet Stevie Wonder?

Yes. He met the music legend quite by accident, while visiting the Guitar Center music store in Hollywood, CA in late August, 1999. After shaking in his shoes for 10 minutes, Elson got the composure to go up to Stevie and quietly and politely asked his guide, "Is it okay if I say "Hi" to him?" At that point, Stevie turned to him and jokingly said, "NO!" laughed and reached out his hand for Elson to shake.

Does Elson have a girlfriend? Is he dating anyone at the moment?

...Elson has many girlfriends, in fact, most of them are overseas. But many of the local ones go to his shows and occasionally fights will break out between them because of the inherent tension in the room. (Note: This is mentioned with the logic that women are more attracted to men who are already attached than men who are not attached, in hopes that it will increase Elson's chances with the ladies...)