"The OBS, a brand new flavor/ doing you a favor/ stereotype breaker," raps front man Carlos "Los" Magno, 23, on the Out of Body Special's debut album, Is Love, released in November 2007. Those are sentiments that have been expressed countless times in an industry where practically every new entrant claims to be offering something new, but with OBS' compelling fusion of genres (rock, deep funk, soul, R&B, jazz and latin) to back him up, it appears Magno's boast might have a ring of truth at least in the otherwise predictable world of Asian hip-hop.
Formed in 2004 at Ateneo de Manila University, the OBS cites a myriad of influences: Magno's musical heroes span Babyface to Tupac, drummer Ted Mark Cruz, 25, veers toward funk and latin styles, guitarist Patrick Co, 23, and percussionist Diego Beltran, 24, grew up on grunge, while saxophonist Garon Honasan, 27, and guitarist Martin Veerayah, 23, both love heavy metal.
The group's members consider this diversity a blessing. "We can go wild: do a break here, play this, lace in that," explains Magno. "Our only rule is not to copy." That principle serves them well in a country where technical mastery is commonplace, and is embodied in their first single, the hard funk Soundcheck a massive hit in the Philippines. As for wider fame? "Nothing is a hindrance," says Magno. "Whenever we meet an obstacle we make a rap out of it."
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