Baguio City, Philippines – Budding out innocent and a newbie in the indie music seascape, Divino Rivera goes out sailing bringing in raw yet fresh stripped-down acoustic melodies blended with picturesque poetry. There’s sure indie heartiness in his songs coming off somewhere folk-ish ballad, melancholic, warm, introspective, and inspirational. His sincere and expressive vocals, escorted by soothing strings, could as if take you to a familiar place or so close to home. As the songwriter himself, he inks down imaginative words translating them to a compelling message on a passionate sound.
It is not new for indie artists to emerge and also true with releasing music with humanitarian agenda. But, it is still so moving to hear “music-not-just-for-the-sake-of-music” but music-for-a-cause that we know still matters. The idea of his recently released EP, titled “Unos”, was conceived during Typhoon Haiyan’s aftermath begetting broken hearts and lives go through lengthy recuperating process. This EP was first released 12/19/2013 at his music website http://divinorivera.com for streaming, digital download and CD purchase. To those nearby, get the CD by contacting the artist at http://facebook.com/divinoriveramusic. Proceeds of this project will go to Jesus Reigns Ministries (his local church) rebuilding efforts for Typhoon Haiyan.
OPM lovers in the Philippines will surely recognize the Filipino music flavor in Divino’s tagalong song in this EP. Christian and indie music fans alike in the genre of Matthew Perryman Jones, Derek Webb, Chris Tomlin and Jars of Clay should give chance for this artist to be heard and even so, it’s time for you to lend an ear for him too.
Divino Rivera is currently the music director and worship leader at his local church and maintains a neat blog showcasing some of his writings at http://divinorivera.wordpress.com.
Here’s a snap review of the songs in this EP starting off with the melancholic-poetic track “Metaphors of a Restless Heart”. Well said in its crafty title, it paints an honest and vivid scenario pertaining to conditions of our hearts. Its inspiration came from Blaise Pascal’s famous quote paraphrased “There’s a God-shaped whole in human hearts that only God can fill.” Come contrast in the track “Strong” creating warmth and coolness in its sparkling surprises and folk-ish take. Conversing with “be-strong” and “hang-on” messages, it brightens up the laid-back rhythmic vibe and is potentially a Baguio-friendly or Nashville-friendly song. The title track “Unos” means storm and speaks of being strong in the Lord in the storms of life. With the stirring acoustic guitar and cello, this song journeys you through a bittersweet feel into something uplifting and igniting faith. And this EP concludes with an acoustic-driven track that could likely be soft-rock as it builds energy. “Everything’s changing” leaves off the listener in awe of how God changes us in unexpected places.
Short and Sweet Bio:
From the good old days of overdubbing on clumsy cassette tapes, he started recording his songs and later advanced to digital recording with the help of his violinist friend. A duo of acoustic players was then formed and labored on home recording which birthed out an EP called “Living Room Sessions”. Songs from this project garnered local radio airplays and appreciation from friends. Venturing on as an indie artist, he recently released an EP for the benefit of Typhoon Haiyan rebuilding operations. This EP features his singles “Unos” and “Metaphors of a Restless Heart” and can be streamed at http://divinorivera.com. Also released in 2012, was his acoustic Christmas EP for the benefit of typhoon Pablo victims and Baguio City Jail inmates. This EP made it to the Top Downloads of Noisetrade blues category. It highlighted Christmas covers and his original song "Wishin' Christmas be Alright" which acquired local radio airing and guesting. Looking back to his college days, he pitched his song “Music of My Heart” to a songwriting project of Jesus Reigns Ministries Church and was picked as the first track for the compilation “Awit, Himig, at Buhay” that was released September 2004.