Dragonfly Collector
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Dragonfly Collector

Makati, National Capital Region, Philippines | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Makati, National Capital Region, Philippines
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New music alert: Clem Castro is releasing his first solo record!"

Singer songwriter Clem Castro has gone a long way since Orange and Lemons, the band he co-fronted for, which is, unfortunately, best known for the controversial hit “Pinoy Ako” for Pinoy Big Brother series.

Since then, he formed and fronted The Camerawalls, for which he released a full-length and then an EP; Clem also put up his own recording company Lilly Star records, dabbled in producing concerts, and joined — and won — the John Lennon Birthday Songwriter competition.

He disbanded The Camerawalls, traveled the disappointment out of that disbanding, and finally, he is here, ready to be the one-man-band he’s always seemed poised for.

Clem is releasing his first solo record, The World is Your Oyster in digital form come January. He’s dropping the physical records (CDs and vinyl, of course) a month later
He gave Coconuts Manila an exclusive listen to the record, and we’re happy to report that as all Clem-related releases, it’s refreshing, conceptual, well-executed, and most importantly, it feels like a complete and solid album. Clem took the time out to answer our pressing questions.

Q: Clem! Couldn’t help but hear some similarities between your last release, Pocket Guide to the Otherworld, and The World is Your Oyster.

A: Actually, my last proper release was the 5-song EP “Bread And Circuses.” It’s by Camerawalls, too, in 2010. (Pocket Guide was released in 2008). I agree about the similarities with Pocket Guide and Oyster. Oyster, as my producer puts it, is like a storybook with lunar and solar properties. The songs were written in 2013 and 2014, after a careful decision to try a solo path.

Q: Yes, we’re curious about what happened to The Camerawalls. Why did you disband?

A: Line-up changes, life and familiar obligations happened. The differences in status, goals and mindsets of individual members all contribute to a band’s longevity. This is especially true if the main interest is to make money out of it and, on the extreme, not to take it seriously as a business. The pressure of getting paid gigs was also a factor. It became stressful rather than enjoyable. After touring with the single “Wanderlust” with The Camerawalls in 2012, I called off all commitments and went to the US for a three-month vacation during winter. I did a number of gigs there. Hiked in national parks in California and Utah. Drove with my brother and his family from LA to Georgia and back, taking the famous Route 66. I came back with a fresh perspective, a new man. By then, I knew I was ready to go solo.

Q: That’s a pretty long absence.

A: Oyster was proudly crowdfunded on Pledgemusic last August. After a two month campaign, I was able to raise enough money with a little help from friends, family and music fans from different parts of the world to be able to record and release a well-produced album. I was supposed to launch the crowdfunding campaign December of 2013 after the release of my debut single “There Is No Remaining In Place”, but sadly Typhoon Yolanda happened. I held off my project, which gave me time to come up with better songs like “Dragonfly Collector” and “Darkness Is My Candle”.

Q: Who is your backing band?

A: Yes, as mentioned earlier, this is my debut solo album. Finally had the guts to do so. Most of the songs in this record, in their early stages of conception, I collaborated and jammed with the Gatmaitan brothers, Vengee (bass) and Jojo (drums). They were my neighbors in Bulacan and my first bandmates during high school. Passion-wise, I admire them both. They introduced me to the music of The Beatles and the rest was history. It feels like I’ve come full circle with them and the recording of Oyster was like a timely and very creative reunion.

For the rest of the rhythm section, Kakoy Legaspi played electric guitar, slide and lap guitars and mandolin on some of the tracks. Jonathan Ong, my producer, added some nylon and electric guitars, too. He was also responsible for all keyboard tracks and post-production in the album, like intricate icing on the cake.

Q : Employing the rondalla in Pocket Guide is one of the coolest things I’ve heard in OPM in recent years. Did you do anything similar this time again?

A: Initially, I wanted to use rondalla instruments in some of the tracks. But Kakoy Legaspi, my session guitarist, brought in a Mandolin and an 8 string Ukelele (a sweet item he bought in Canada), inside the studio. I liked how they sounded and personally, I like to try new things so we settled for it. The most memorable addition to this record was the use of an accordion for the title track, contributed by a 70-year-old Italian-American named Salvatore Lombardo. It gave so much justice to the intent and mood of the song. Transports me to a café in Italy or France, enjoying coffee and a cigar in a lazy, sunny afternoon.

Q: What is Oyster all about? Is there a theme here? Is it safe to assume this is a concept album?

A: Oyster documents my most recent writing inspirations about life and love in general including my travels, hiking trips, and the people I meet along the way. Each track is special and very personal. It never occurred to me to put up a concept album aside from the fact that this is my first solo record under a new moniker. A concept I find amusing and mysterious. I even have a song with the same title as my artist name. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard of anyone who pulled that off.

Q: The title single is so whimsical and rather French. How did you go about writing it? Was there an image, a movie, a phrase, or even a progression that inspired you?

A: My hiking buddy from Winnipeg, Christine Mazur, blurted it out while traversing Joshua Tree National Park in California. It was a life-changing conversation producing the urge to write a song with the idiom in mind. I also added the Latin phrase “solve et coagula”, a term in Alchemy which basically means to break down the elements and then come together into an integrated whole as a new synthesis. I believe it applies in people too, that we need to be broken to rebuild ourselves to a finer state, the perpetual goal of spiritual growth and human evolution. For that, a touch of madness is essential.

The music and chord progression came out naturally as I wanted it to sound as traditional as possible without losing its contemporary appeal.

Q: Dude man, your lyrics. Sorry to pry, but are you in love?

A: Yes, I am very much in love with life and the possibilities it can bring us. If only we desire to break the bonds of social conformity and traditional roles in society, I believe we can get more out of our mortal years. Love for women or the opposite/same sex is overrated. I believe travelling and doing the things we really love will make us wiser and help us find ourselves and fulfilment in life. For that, courage to take necessary risks is essential.

Q: Is "Until The Cows Come Home" a duet?

A: It’s a virtual collaboration with the American singer-songwriter Franki Love. She discovered my work when my song “Birthday Wishes” won the John Lennon 71st Birthday Songwriting competition. We corresponded and I offered to write and sing a song together with surprising results!

Q: Why did you choose Dragonfly Collector as your lead single?

A: It's not really a lead single, but rather an introductory piece to the album and the artist. A prologue perhaps. I find it difficult to pick a lead single in this album.

Q: Your narratives man. Do you have a favorite storyteller? Or one who heavily influenced you here?

A: I’m currently discovering the literary/musical works of Leonard Cohen. In the past, the works of Pablo Neruda, Paulo Coelho, and E.E. Cummings among others fascinates me. A few years ago, I started listening to modern folk American bands like The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes and their storytelling.

The World is Your Oyster (USD7 or about PHP350) digital copy drops worldwide on Jan 10,2015. It’s available for pre-orders at Dragonfly Collector online shop and iTunes. - December 15, 2014 | Coconuts Manila

"Premier(e): Dragonfly Collector: “Dragonfly Collector”"

For about a decade and a half now, musician/songwriter Clem Castro has taken on different roles and guises, first as one of the frontmen of much-loved New Wave outfit Orange and Lemons, and then as the leader of indie-pop trio The Camerawalls.

Nowadays, he goes by the name Dragonfly Collector, originally the title of his personal blog, and currently his more folk-ish side project/alter-ego. After a relatively lengthy absence from the airwaves (the last Camerawalls release, the Bread and Circuses EP, came out in 2010), Castro is set to unveil the first Dragonfly Collector full-length, The World is Your Oyster, before the year ends.

His eponymously-titled debut single (Big Country, anyone?) contains pretty much every sonic quality one would come to expect from Castro, from his Lennon-esque intoning to his jangly acoustic guitars. It sounds familiar enough for longtime fans to get reacquainted with Castro’s new incarnation, but it exhibits a bit of an evolution as well, sounding much more like The Decemberists and Belle & Sebastian than The Smiths or even The Beatles. You’ll have to listen much closer to catch any hint of a British accent, which I never really had any problem with from the start, but listeners of a more nationalistic vein might find this track more appealing than his previous bands’ Anglo-centric sound. - December 12, 2014 - Dig Radio / Yahoo Philippines

"The Dragonfly Collector Says ‘The World Is Your Oyster’"

“Sacre bleu! In this current world of electronic bleepitiness, we get a release from Dragonfly Collector a.k.a. Celementine Castro, yes, of Orange and Lemons and The Camerawalls. Sarap sa tenga. As seen throughout history, umay ang kalaban ng trend, and I think we will soon be hearing more organic sounding tunes.

I have a healthy respect for this man as a songwriter. He’s got a very playful mind and in The World is Your Oyster we see another frolicsome flavor from him. Great voice, great arrangement, and great musicality. While it is undeniable that we see his Morrissey-esque roots, Clem is nowadays claiming and imparting his own sonic signature. Dragonfly collector… welcome! Clap, clap, clap.” - Zach Lucero - December 9, 2014 | Radio Republic

"Fresh Tunes to Listen to This December"

Song: The World Is Your Oyster
Artist: Dragonfly Collector

Dragonfly Collector is the latest project of singer-songwriter Clementine, formerly of Orange & Lemons and The Camerawalls. The title track from his forthcoming solo record merges whimsy and wonder in a Decemberists-esque folk arrangement.

Fun Fact: Dragonfly Collectors debut album drops January 10, 2015. - December 8, 2014 | Spot.ph

"Review: The World is Your Oyster – Dragonfly Collector, 2015 (Lilystars Records)"

The normal progression for many artists – recording and otherwise – is to begin as a small, independent act that works its way up the proverbial ladder to become, should it be so (un)fortunate, a mass-market success that is but a shadow of the creative original. In the case of Clem Castro aka Clementine, formerly of Orange and Lemons and The Camerawalls, the rules of progression have been thrown out the equally proverbial window by an artist who has decided to go his own sweet way – with amazing results.

The World is Your Oyster is Clementine’s first outing as Dragonfly Collector, a crowd-funded ten-track album that showcases the artist as musician, wordsmith, and storyteller. TWIYO is a journey of sorts: a trip away from the mundane, workaday world and into a whimsical realm built upon lilting rhythms, quirky wordplay, and a deeply spiritual touch that goes beyond mere music.

For those of you familiar with Clementine’s work, this may come as a bit of a shock to the system: the influences are broad – more Western than Eastern this time. There is a hint of Native American storytelling in the disturbingly compelling The Tragic Story of Joshua and Fiedme; a lyrical tragedy that invites the listener to get between the lines and dig up the deeper, darker meaning within. Until the Cows Come Home, composed in tandem with Franki Love, is a throwback to a gentler time when music served as a quieter, more poignant reflection of life; the gentle rhythm playing up tender thoughts as it stirs up the heartstrings. Still more heartfelt isSomeday, Someday Maybe; there is a twinge of wistfulness that is almost heartbreaking to hear, but nevertheless touched with just the faintest hint of hope.

You get a touch of 1970s swing (Timothy, My Own Timothy) as he sings a little tribute/lullaby for a young nephew; kind of reminiscent of the BeeGees in terms of the rhythm but with a somewhat calculated gentleness and a touch of playful whimsy. The same 1970s/whimsical quality can be heard in Dragonfly Collector, a song that will remind those familiar with the artist’s work of The Sight of Love from his Camerawalls period. One also catches glimpses of mid-era Beatles, touches of Donovan and similar folk artists from first musical British Invasion: sweet, but not sugary or cloyingly so; a lighthearted wistfulness seen in playful lyrics, clever uses of idiomatic expressions.

But the strongest songs in the TWIYO tracklist have to be the title track and There is No Remaining in Place. Both songs feature an unusual roster of influences: traditional French music with its sweeping accordion strains and lilting rhythms; then the more intense, commanding guitars characteristic of Spain’s gypsy-influences provinces. Truth be told, The World is Your Oyster is something you would think came off the Amelie soundtrack. And then you get the Andalusian intensity and fire in There is No Remaining in Place – sounds that complement lyrics that reflect the universal truth about change, moving on, surging forward.

One song, though, presents a jarring contrast to the rest of the tracks: Darkness is My Candle. The instrumental intro is reminiscent of two things: post-Beatles John Lennon as well as the Filipino rock scene in the 1970s – think Mike Hanopol and Joey “Pepe” Smith – with its grinding funk and clashing guitars. Interestingly, though, paired with such lines as “I would sell my heart and buy your devotion” it works – and it delivers some serious groove.

One caveat, however: for all the cheerful, perky rhythms, TWIYO has a slightly dark undercurrent running through it. The Saddest Sound talks about life and death point-blank, and the song is bittersweet and poignant – the way life, alas, invariably is. And even the jolly-sounding title track ends with the line “Life is nothing but a joke; laugh and cry while it lasts”: like a grim smirk hidden behind a smiling mask. But it is, in my personal opinion, that gives this album much of its oomph: Clementine’s willingness to look reality in the eye, not quite sugarcoating it, but making it more accessible – and acceptable – to the human psyche.

I understand that he has taken a lot of risks with this specific creative endeavour, but these risks were well taken and are definitely – finally – paying off. The Dragonfly Collector shows himself as someone who isn’t just another mass-market popster or some angsty rocker griping about the System: the man is an artist whose work transcends genres and, given half a chance, can give mainstream musicians something to think about. Let’s just hope that he stays in character for the long haul. - December 1, 2014 | The Darker Side Of Me

"Pinoytuner Presents: Dragonfly Collector: “Someday, Someday, Maybe”"

Clem Castro, local indie-pop chameleon (I wanted to say “Pinoy indie-pop Meryl Streep” but that would have been weird and confusing) resurfaces anew as Dragonfly Collector. Castro’s newest iteration, his first since the quiet fizzling-out of The Camerawalls, is a celebration of singer-songwriter fare in the vein of Elliott Smith, et al., which is to say you might have to shut the f*ck up and pay close attention when you see him in coffee-shop shows—the performances, when he chooses to do them sans band at least, can get quite hushed and extremely nuanced. In short, it’s not for the loud, chatty, beer-guzzling set; in short, it’s not for the party animals, unless your idea of a “party” is trading sob stories and comparing heartbreak notes. Castro’s singing may have approached twee territory in the past—mostly because of the shadow the accompanying music casts—but on this, “Someday, Someday, Maybe,” he is simply all heart, all breath, all pained resignation. Actually, strike the “simply,” because there is nothing standard in pulling off an emotional heist in bright clothes, which is what Castro does, in a manner of speaking. The guitar work echoes the vocal melody—fit to a T and all that—while the plaintive lyrics drip like honey, if they’re not already flowing like tears: “Maybe tomorrow you’ll see me / Maybe tomorrow I’m older, wiser / Maybe I’ll deserve you / Maybe what you feel is more than a maybe.”

We’re not entirely sure how close the exclusive Pinoytuner performance of said song is to the intended arrangement, but if we’re good judges of anything, it’s that if a song is executed in the most naked guitar-and-voice manner and sounds good, it’s good. No modulation pedals, no reverb, no nothing. Clem, in his different musical outfits, has openly exhibited his different affinities—to Lennon, to Morrissey and Marr, to The Housemartins—but on “Someday, Someday, Maybe,” a singular vision reigns. Okay, maybe there are mild strains of “Julia”/”Dear Prudence”-style Lennon, and maybe some “America”-style Paul Simon thrown in, but done well, you can’t go wrong with those models. Taken side by side with previous single “There is No Remaining in Place,” the track appears to be part of a disc-length exploration of minor-chord major feels, of downtime balladry. - August 4, 2014 | Pinoytuner, Digradio

"Dragonfly Collector – There Is No Remaining Place (Video)"

Taking Dragonfly Collector’s new single into consideration, it seems to me that Clem Castro hasn’t moved to a sonic plane completely alien to The Camerawalls or even Orange and Lemons, but there was a lot more there than retaining the aesthetic appeal of his former music outfit. Clem was clearly a music thespian who knows how to make use of the brilliant space between commercial pop and outlandish indie sensibilities, an esteemed singer-songwriter whose passion for wide-eyed romanticism and ambition has been chronically overlooked all these years. Yet despite these things, the sensitive gent from Bulacan never sounded quite like any of his contemporaries, making sure that his songs move further away from what passes off in the indie music landscape as ‘trendy’ and ‘current.’

On “There Is No Remaining In Place,” the lead single off Dragonfly Collector’s upcoming album, The World Is Your Oyster, Clem sticks to what he does best: explore the sheer emotional grandeur of pop songs in the mope kind and deliver such emotional commitment in thrillingly confident form that resonates to as many people as possible. It works in the same way as “Clinically Dead For Sixteen Hours”, only that it’s grander in execution, but not tied down to a particular demographic or style.

Credit goes to his wonderful collaborators, who also happen to be veterans in the music scene: from Kakoy Legaspi to Wowee Posadas, all of which contributed individually to the lush instrumentation without succumbing to flashy gimmicks. There have been better comebacks than Clem Castro in Dragonfly Collector, but this single is another remarkable addition to his body of work, a precursor of better years to come. - February 20, 2014 | Vandals On The Wall

"Watch: Dragonfly Collector – There Is No Remaining In Place"

Dragonfly Collector is the new solo project of Clementine, who also fronts alternative rock band The Camerawalls.

‘There Is No Remaining In Place’ is the first single off his upcoming debut album, The World is Your Oyster. This stunning track was released late last year, and its brilliant aesthetic is without doubt the accumulated product of Clementine’s various endeavours in music within the last decade.

The music video for ‘There Is No Remaining In Place’ is tastefully directed and child talent Makshi Nachor does excellently in his role as the protagonist. Exquisite landscapes of the shoreline and tropical jungle feature prominently, and inadvertently promote the municipality of Dingalan, Aurora in the Philippines where filming took place.

Watch the official video for ‘There Is No Remaining In Place’ below.

Dragonfly Collector’s debut solo album The World Is Your Oyster is in the final stages of completion. In the meantime however, you can sign up to the official Dragonfly Collector mailing list in order to download ‘There Is No Remaining in Place’ for free! - February 17, 2014 | Pandarocketship.com


The World Is Your Oyster (Album)
Release Date: January 10, 2015
Record Label: Lilystars Records
Buy on iTunes | Online Shop

Track Listing:
1. The Tragic Story Of Joshua And Fiedme
2. There Is No Remaining In Place (Album Version)
3. Someday, Someday, Maybe
4. Timothy, My Own Timothy
5. Mysterium Tremendum
6. The World Is Your Oyster
7. Until The Cows Come Home (feat. Franki Love)
8. Dragonfly Collector
9. The Saddest Sound
10. Darkness Is My Candle

There Is No Remaining In Place (Single)
Release Date: December 1, 2013
Record Label: Lilystars Records
Buy on iTunes | Online Shop



DRAGONFLY COLLECTOR is the solo project of award winning Filipino singer-songwriter known as Clementine. Born Clemen Castro in Bulacan, he is celebrating his 10th year as a professional recording artist with the release of his first solo album, The World is Your Oyster. After a decade as the creative force behind commercially popular Orange and Lemons (1999-2007) that reached gold and platinum sales in the Philippines, and critically acclaimed indie group, The Camerawalls (2008-2012) he has professionally recorded and published over 50 original compositions.

Raised in a musical household thanks to his folk guitar and rondalla-teaching father, Clementine was weaned on The Beatles and British New Wave/Guitar Pop influences including The Smiths, XTC, The Jam, and indie pop groups like Belle & Sebastian. Recently, the indie folk sounds of American bands like The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes have left their mark on Clementine’s ear and stylings.

With his solo project Dragonfly Collector, a name originally used for his personal blog of musings, travels and poetry, Clementine expresses all sides of himself, from sinister to hopeful, woeful to optimistic.

Beyond writing and performing his own music, Clementine is a record producer and owner of Lilystars Records, Manila’s finest indie pop label since 2008, nurturing new musical talents from obscurity to success.

Band Members