Cotton Candy Melodies: My Musical Role Model

Angel Arada

Hey everyone! Let me introduce you to my favorite artist ever: Gabe Bondoc! When I was wandering through YouTube one day, I found one of his covers and immediately fell in love. He was perfect. His voice, guitar skills, and the feelings he conveys in his songs are beyond incredible. His music actually made my heart skip a beat. He is literally #goals.

What’s amazing about Gabe is that he doesn’t just make covers, he rewrites some of the words in the songs to fit his perspective, and even gives the song his own color by changing the chords. Honestly, if I didn’t find him that one day, I probably would not enjoy playing guitar as much as I do right now.

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I had to stop taking piano lessons because they were getting expensive. I always wanted to play the guitar, so I figured it was the perfect time to start. When it came time to buy my first guitar, I wasn’t planning on spending too much money. My parents and I went to the guitar store at Serramonte and got a ¾ guitar for $80. I thought it was a pretty good deal, considering that most of the others were about $200.

Trying to learn how to play the guitar was not easy. I’ve always heard people talking about how they learned to play the guitar by themselves, making it seem so effortless. I hated it. Nothing sounded like it was supposed to and my fingers hurt. I was very discouraged. Because of this, I didn’t really like playing the guitar and would rarely play it. Also, I didn’t know anyone who could teach me, so I was always unsure of whether or not I was playing it right.

This is where Gabe came in. I don’t remember which cover it was, but when I listened to his perfect voice and perfect guitar, I was mesmerized. How could his guitar sound like that? How is that even possible? What have I been doing? I was inspired. I wanted to be able to play like him. I wanted people to have the same reaction I had to Gabe when they heard my music. I started practicing more and eventually got better. Even though I’m far from being as good as Gabe (I don’t think anyone could ever mimic his greatness), I have improved a lot and will continue to try harder. In the meantime, come listen to a collection of Gabe’s songs that inspired me in the playlist above!

Songs Included in the Playlist:
“What To Do” – THAT GUITAR RIFF! I die a little inside every time I hear it.
“Sparks Fly” – His voice is so soothing (especially right before the chorus).
“First Choice (Original)” – 2nd verse is literally me.
“Fix a Heart” – The feels are hitting right at my heart.

Embarrassing Story Time: I was listening to “Love Alert” in one of the cubicles in the library at my school, jamming out and nodding my head vigorously to the beat. I was even mouthing out the words. When I looked up, there was a guy staring at me. Beware of the power of Gabe Bondoc!