After a pandemic-related realization, this month’s MEGA Man cover star Bret Jackson focuses on letting Filipino talent shine. Read the excerpt from his cover story.
While enjoying the laidback life in Dumaguete where he can hit the beach or go hiking in the mountains at a moment’s notice, Bret is also hard at work putting together an artist’s collective through 7640 and Paraisla. This is his way of shining the spotlight on Filipino talent from the provinces that could have remained unnoticed in the mainstream movie and music industry. This, along with a rap song that he wrote, is his tribute to Bernard.
He categorizes 7640 as an audio and visual marketing house but with a twist. “ It’s more in line with trying new things, kind of attacking commercial things, but done it in a 7640 way. If you ask people what TikTok videos they watched on Monday, for example, they probably wouldn’t remember anything.
One of 7640’s biggest supporters is AGC Power Holdings Corporation’s Archie Carrasco, who also sits as One Mega Group’s CEO. “Archie is one of my mentors right now, and looking at all the businesses he is doing and his vision for the future and what he thinks about, is amazing. I love learning from him every day.” With 7640 under AGC Powerholdings, Carrasco supports his vision, he says, and let him pick his own team. “Everyone that I got to pick on my team, they’re all people that deserve it, but most of them have never made any money off of being a creative.” They have been working on projects with big industry names such as fashion brands and record labels, using local talent such as videographers and artists from the Visayas.”
Another supporter of his vision is Chee Meng Tan of ADA who was one of the pioneers of the Spotify streaming service, who listened to his pitch about what he wants to accomplish. “He was amazed by the passion of soul of it, and wants to bring us into the ADA family, which was instrumental in bringing BTS to the US.”
The concept of Paraisla came before 7640, he says, and while the concept is evolving, he labels it as a music company. “Going home to Dumaguete, going around Cebu, Davao, everywhere, I’ve met amazing artists, they just don’t have the support. They don’t have it or they get the support but it’s not enough. It should be really like you get an artist with you, you mentor them, you give them all the tools they need, you help them become the best version of themselves, without changing them. I’ve met amazing artists who are literally starving artists. It breaks your heart when you hear these stories of these people.” They’re geniuses, he says of a band he met called Saksaksinakol, and he wants to give them and others like them the exposure they need to continue their art and make a living out of it.
He is so passionate about Paraisla that he actually had its logo tattooed on his leg, of an island as seen through a lens. “The lens is forever seeing things in a new light or being able to show whoever is inside it–they’re the star. They are the focus. That was our main mission with this. And that’s why one of our taglines is, ‘Let us be your first believer’. I meet artists with zero views, zero followers and I don’t care about numbers at all.
If you’re good about what you do, it’s only a matter of time before it catches on. If you are put in the right situation, like you put an artist that is really good in the right situation, people will go home wondering who that is and want support them. That’s how it works.” Aside from Saksaksinakol, the artists currently with Paraisla are Midnasty, Jetter, Danna Ysabel, Batang Indio, Kylegotscrewed, and Harold.
Photography JERICK SANCHEZ
Creative direction NICOLE ALMERO
Grooming CATS DEL ROSARIO
Styling RYUJI SHIOMITSU, BEA GUERRERO, AND MIGUEL QUILANG (TEAM RYUJI SHIOTMITSU)
Shoot Coordination MAE TALAID and MJ ALMERO