IBU started performing as a group in March of
2001. However, the members are not new to the music scene. Not just
musically inclined, each member of IBU is an outstanding vocal soloist.
IBU is extraordinarily
dedicated to their music, setting aside hours of practice each week and
constantly improving their stage performance abilities. IBU's harmony
drenched songs, complimented by their ability to perform choreographed
upbeat songs are proof of their versatility as a performer.
By the end of the second year, IBU made close to 50 performances which
include opening for major concerts and shows that took them to Michigan,
Indiana, and California. IBU has shared the stage with the more established
Asian American groups performing at Marine World in Vallejo California, and at the
prestigious Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and to rave
They performed at night clubs, talent
showcases, universities, import car shows, and was featured on the TV show
“Stateside” which was aired internationally on ABS-CBN’s The Filipino
Channel and on the International Channel as well. Their TV appearances
include guest appearances on Chicago’s Cable Access Network and Hataw Pinoy
Television on Chicago’s Channel 28. In July 2003, they were featured on ABS-CBN’s
as well as on FOX TV Chicago. Their most recent TV appearance was on WGN’s
Channel 9. They have been featured as artist of the month on Tuningin.com
IBU’s music career became more defined in March 2003, when they auditioned
and won a state-sponsored project called the Chicago Music Opportunity
project (CMOP). 40 semi finalists were chosen from a field of over 300
audition tryouts and they participated in an extensive and thorough ten-week
training program before the talent competition that culminated the project.
IBU competed and won on May 16 with their R&B
rendition of their brand new song, “I Can’t Get Over You,” produced by Earl
Powell, with lyrics and music by Tommy Chanthasene. The judges for the
competition were music industry celebrities that included Caryn “Special K”
Lee from Warner Brother Records, Inc.; Barbara McDowell of Power 92 of 102.3
FM radio; Yoki Songmaker of Yoki Songmaker Production; Wayne Cannady, CMOP
vocal instructor, and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child. CMOP really
opened the doors to the mainstream music industry for IBU.
Since then they have been performing to
mainstream audiences, notably at the 23rd Annual Chicago Music Awards where
they have been enthusiastically received.
A week before CMOP’s talent competion, IBU held it’s first solo concert,
presented by the Student Activities Department of the College of Lake
County, followed by another solo concert in December of the same year.
Ambibo.com wrote about the CLC show “Speaking of energy, IBU were oozing
with it. Jumping, tumbling and singing at the same time takes supreme effort
for ordinary beings, but for them it seemed effortless. It wreaked
creativity too! From IBU’s improvisations, genuine artistry was evident. I
think I know why so many came to IBU’s first ever solo concert as an act.
People see themselves in them and share their aspirations. As I took final
shots backstage, shook hands with Mike, Tommy and Jonathan and wished them
luck, I heard myself confidently declare, “The world is waiting for us.”
Yes, I was inspired by them.”
IBU has signed a exclusive worldwide multi-album recording deal with a
Chicago based label, Rickey Hendon Records that has released IBU’s third
recording project, a compilation CD which also features a Detroit Singer,
Wayne Cannady at a CD release party in February 2004, at the Holiday Inn
Convention Center in Hillside. IBU released a single “Next To the
Candlelight” in July of 2002, and was also a part of the Chicago Music
Opportunity Project (CMOP) compilation CD, released by Top Notch Records in
July 2003. They are now working on a forth recording project, a full length
CD to be released in the mainstream market by Spring of 2004.
In November of 2003, IBU’s music ranked #1 in the R&B Charts of
Soundclick.com, the website that also named the as the hottest signed band
for that same month. Their song, “I Can’t Get Over You” is has been
constantly in the top ten to date. IBU awards include an Achievement Award,
presented by Felica Productions in October 2003, The 2003 Chicago
Filipino-American Hall of Fame award for the Excellence in Entertainment,
and the Most Outstanding Performing Group at the Filipino-American Music
Entertainment (FAME) awards in February of 2004. By the middle of 2004, IBU
will be doing a tour to promote their new CD.