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Spring ‘Reign’ for Surrey singer Argel MDR, whose pop songs explore ‘self-advocacy, happiness’

Growing up, he dreamed of becoming an actor and musician, and moving to Canada at age 15 made that possible, he says
As Argel MDR, Surrey’s Argel Monte de Ramos has released a four-song EP called “Reign.” (Submitted photo)

Argel MDR’s debut EP aims to find ways “to reign our lives and not care about what other people say about us,” according to the Surrey-based musician.

The singer’s high, hopeful voice fills the four electronic-pop songs of the new “Reign” EP, now on and other platforms.

The music explores “the importance of self-advocacy and happiness,” he says. “Each song explores a part of my lived experiences and concludes with an action in the hopes of finding the meaning of life and true joy.”

Born and raised in the Philippines, Argel Monte de Ramos considers himself a singer/songwriter, actor and playwright-producer.

At age three he learned to sing in a church choir, and today those Gospel and Motown sounds still influence his pop music.

Growing up, he dreamed of becoming an actor and musician, and moving to Canada at age 15 made that possible, he says.

Under the artist name Argel MDR, he recently won an excellence award by a BIMPOC artist (Black, Indigenous, Mixed-race, People of Colour) given by a Fraser Valley Music Awards panel created by CIVL Radio.

• RELATED: Surrey singer soars into Searchlight song contest’s top 10 with ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Last year, the uplifting electro-pop song ““It Doesn’t Matter” sent the Fleetwood-area resident soaring into the top-10 of CBC Music’s Searchlight contest, not long after he started recording his music as a pandemic-era project.

“I’ve actually been writing songs and just been keeping them in a book, trying to get the courage to get them produced,” Monte de Ramos said last June.

Music is a form of art that he uses to cultivate his creativity and journal his life as an immigrant, a bio notes. “In addition, music has been his way of connecting with young immigrants and the BIMPOC community to tell his story and inspire them to be proud of their backgrounds.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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