While the beach and/or out-of-town vacations was the top priority for most during the recent Holy Week long break, KIKO MACHINE frontman JP Cuison opted to go for full productivity and decided it was the perfect time to unveil music he had been working on with kindred musicians with the release of his very first single “Lazarus” under the simple moniker JP Cuison & Co.

Dropped on all digital music platforms and streaming sites last April 5th (Holy Wednesday), “Lazarus” is equal parts musically ambitious and lyrically raw, being a straightforward retelling of the biblical account John chapter 11 wherein Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Cuison – who openly admits his love for the Bible and Theology – was inspired by musicals he watched during the pandemic, namely Ang Huling El Bimbo, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hamilton to name a few, and challenged himself to create a song that would attempt to create the same grandiose arrangement and dynamics. 



It was December of 2013 when I got really serious into the Bible – I learned about my limitations as a person, my sinfulness and depravity, and I realized that Jesus is my savior,” he reveals. “It was a lifechanging moment for me, and just like any lifechanging moment, I wanted to make it known to the world – and since I happened to have a gift of music, I decided to create this piece.

Albeit the obvious limitations during the time, Cuison was originally invited by guitarists Ken Liwanag and Adi Napiza, drummer Mark Ian Moral, synth-player Jim Mitchel Esteban and bassist Weil Ylagan to do a cover version of the KIKO MACHINE song “Takeshi.” “Sila ang pumili sa akin,” Cuison reveals, so the collective assembled for his project, as he took vocal and guitar duties himself. Though the recording was purely DIY (done in Cuison’s residence using a free music recording app…), the band did enlist the services of mixing and mastering engineer Angee Rozul to help tighten-up the final product. 


You can watch the video here: 



We feel it’s a great first single,” shared Cuison a few days prior to the release of the track. “It highlighted everyone’s strengths as musicians, and the complex arrangements of the single basically allowed everyone to really play-around and be as creative as possible… personally though, I was drawing inspiration from the greats as far as the overall sound was concerned: bands I’ve always loved like Led Zeppelin, Heart, Wolfmother and Rush.

Currently, the group has already finished songs in various styles: blues rock, disco, soul and RnB, 80s-inspired neo rock and country music, so interested music fans have definitely something to look forward to.


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You can listen to the track further here: