Bolt of Talent’s Lance Busa Is Ready To Bare His Soul This 2021
What’s in Butuan, Mindanao? The Timber City of the South, Butuan, is where Lance Busa, second of four children, discovered he—just like his mom’s side of the family—could sing. Those roots eventually prepared him to be named the champion of Michael Bolton’s Bolt of Talent in 2017.
The talented and soulful singer, Lance, has since moved to Manila by 2011. He recently signed with the New York based entertainment company, Lx2 Entertainment.
Lance gives us a sneak peek into his journey and what 2021 plans excite him now after the global pause of 2020. As he is also being managed by a global partner like Lx2, Lance is set to truly conquer the Philippines and beyond.
A Year of Unsung Concerts
But Lance says he was simply ready for more. Before the pandemic hit, ASAP was about to launch him and the rest of the Idol Philippines Top 5 in a new segment. Dan Ombao, Miguel Odron, Lucas Garcia, Zephanie Dimaranan, and Lance Busa were to be declared ASAP’s next generation of singers.”
But when COVID-19 came plus the shutdown of the Kapamilya franchise, the focus was on making sure the established singers continued to have a platform, understandably. So while ASAP online was around for him sometimes, it was different from being on-air.
Lance muses, “That left me hanging, I am up for something else, not this.” The top 5 of Idol Philippines, where Lance placed third, had already built a following as a collective, so their absence from regular TV affected how they could build an individual following.
Lance recalls being told by his management in Star Pop in early 2020, late 2019, “Prepare your set list, you have concerts coming up.”
It was his plan to establish himself as a singer and not just the winner of a Michael Bolton contest. Yes, there is much prestige to winning a spot on legendary singer/songwriter Michael Bolton’s reality show that trekked through unique locations in Southeast Asia.
The Bolt of Talent Stays On In Him
And sometimes, he did so in the face of disappointment. Even though the Bolt of Talent branding let him shine, by 2018, a year after being named its grand champion, Lance shares, “Feeling ko mali strategy sa pagpapakilala ko sa Pilipinas since hindi pumatok pangalan ko sa Pilipinas, hindi na push ng PR.”
He decided to sign up as a cast member of a Malaysian theme park complex, the Resorts World Genting. There, he would sing, dance, and act. But two days before the flight, the contract was cancelled but still compensated.
Before Lance could wallow in despair, the offer to audition for Idol Philippines came along, “So even with a Genting cancellation and flight, here was a blessing in disguise.”
“I toured with him all over Asia, it was a huge thing,” Lance shares.
Touring with Michael Bolton is really one of Lance’s biggest success stories. After that, he was able to do two concerts, an ABS-CBN Christmas Special, which felt, “Divine, if you do that, you know you are part of the family.”
He even got invited as an artist-singer to the ABS-CBN Ball.
Lance says what sets him apart is his sound, “It’s different: it is mainstream abroad but not here.” Lance explains how Filipinos expect singers to sound in a way that conforms to their taste, “Mahal daw ang tunog ko, di makakarelate ang masses.”
But it hasn’t deterred Lance from continuing to make music.
A Soulful Singing Act
But Lance also adds, “I can’t compare myself to anybody kasi I’m a soul singer, not a lot of people do that, it’s not very accepted in the Philippines. Let’s admit it, a lot of people don’t get noticed because they don’t birit or do ballads.”
To compromise, Lance had to sing ballads too, “Iniiba ko to make me memorable kasi I was trying to make my mark.”
“It takes one song to make a mark, I am still looking for that, I am in the process of making it.”
For example, when he covered Yeng Constantino’s Ako Muna, he sent a clear message about the powerful reminder of self-love. Idol Philippines’ followers first heard him do Ako Muna in one of the live rounds.
“Ako Muna, song ni Yeng yan na she gave to me, people praised that version of mine too, it’s an official version na, kasi it works well on Youtube and all over.”
He also shares how much his dad, who loves Stevie Wonder influenced him, “Stevie Wonder became my reference, my inspiration kasi my dad plays it. Also, Luther Vandross, Bobby Caldwell–hence my audition video of What You Won’t Do For Love in Idol Philippines, John Legend, Bruno Mars… lumaki ako sound nila, so my sound ended up that way. Pero sa OPM, si Gary V.”
What makes Lance very interesting too is how he isn’t afraid to be multi-dimensional. As a college student, fresh from probinsya life, Lance entered the College of Saint Benilde and supported himself as a working student. He auditioned for roles on TV, like GMA7’s Sa Piling Ni Nanay where he landed the gay best friend role.
He joined To The Top in 2015, a GMA-7 reality talent show hosted by Christian Bautista. He also did musical theater with PETA, Three Stars and a Sun.
Right now though, acting isn’t the priority but something he is still very grateful for.
“No complaints in doing it, I am a very reactive person which is very good for acting and I would love to keep doing it, pero I also have a bigger passion for music. I am grateful for the opportunity to act. As much talent as I can give to the world, I might as well do it.”
Lance is all about his music now. He is a sound/melody kind of guy, “It’s more sound than words for me, so I would love to collaborate with lyricists. I know how the story goes within a song, I have the melody kasi it helps dictate the emotion.”
Is 2021 Ready for the Sound of Lance?
He didn’t include Morissette Amon just yet in his upcoming wish collaborations, “If Mori kasi, given na yan, dami na namin performances, expected powerhouse male and powerhouse female, so I wanna go somewhere different.”
He also imagines doing a song with acoustic-folk-OPM sweethearts Ben&Ben, “Working with them, it seems like the perfect solution to bring in soul, I have to make sure to incorporate my own sound with theirs.”
But a legendary collaboration would be Regine Velasquez or Gary V, “Kung pwede naman mangarap, why not. She was my guest sa Kumu anniversary ko, kinanta niya opening ko sa digital concert ko. Even the bosses of Kumu were, nakuha mo si Regine, how did you get her… Sabi ko, I called the manager, I said, hi ms. Cacai, can she sing for me?”
Right now, Lance admits, “My greatest goal is to bring in my sound dito sa Philippines. I love my country so much and I hope my country will love me for me and not for what they want me to do. It can play both ways kasi it takes two to tango. I am sure of myself where I am going with my sound, kasi as an artist you have to be unapologetic with your music.”
As Lance strives to make his soulful sound more of a household thing, he is hopeful, “The world, it’s a bigger place, so I hope we can be more open to change.”
Lance is indeed one soulful guy that gives good vibes through songs that you would want to listen to when you’re feeling low.
“I am in Kumu, because people believe in me, I wouldn’t be streaming if people didn’t watch. I have people supporting me from all over the world, OFWs wanting me to sing for them. It’s the Lancesters, who have supported me since Idol Philippines.”
With each Kumu show, Lance applied his own brand of professionalism: with lights, sounds, background, “Everything is professional, I make sure of that. I elevated it. People expect me to be a performer. This platform is only a way for me to earn. It is a blessing. I live to sing, I don’t sing to live. It’s passion. At the start, I felt there was no way for me to do music during a pandemic. In Kumu, I created a community and I am blessed with that.”
This 2021, Malaysia’s Resorts World Genting came in again. And with plans by Lx2 to really launch him as a world-class artist, we shall see, he says, “Malaysia, I was always a choice for them, and that’s great but with Lx2, exciting what is in store kasi they have plans that need me to come in soon. They respect that I need to stabilize myself with a job being offered in the middle of the pandemic (Malaysia’s RW Genting).