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Bullet Dumas “Usisa” Concert Was an Introspection on all the Heartbreaks We’d Rather Forget

Words and Photos by Carinna Reyes

A part of growing up is getting our hearts broken. As pessimistic as that sounds, there comes a time in our lives–even at the most unexpected moment–when things don’t go the way we want them to, no matter how much we’ve tried.  Eventually, we bury this feeling to push through.

It becomes an unspoken rule among us adults; we can laugh about it, make jokes about our heartbreaks, but no one can ask us questions. No one can force the other to face whatever it was that pushed us to mature.

And that’s exactly what the music of Bullet Dumas dared to tackle. When not performing, Bullet had the personality that was the opposite of his songs. Laid-back, casual, and friendly, he made the audience feel at home by cracking jokes about the glamour and technicalities of having a concert. He made us feel like we were just at his home, jamming and drinking beers to spend the night.

Bullet Dumas Usisa Concert 2

But once he strummed the guitar and sang, everything became different. His scat singing, his messy yet in-tune playing of the guitar, and his almost-raps in between verses were sure testaments to Bullet’s talent, but it was his lyrics that’s left an imprint on me even days after his event.

Aptly titled Usisa, the songs in this album are confrontational and raw. Listening to him play and staring at the blank tv screens behind him urged me to be aware of my own heartbreaks, and the truths I was too afraid to face. Honestly, it was as if he went into my brain, took all the emotions I couldn’t possibly put to words, and turned them into songs.

Bullet Dumas Usisa Concert 3

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What sets his songs apart from the thousands of sad songs we’ve heard before was that it wasn’t depicting just one emotion, it was trying to tell the whole story with only a few, repetitive words. In his songs, I felt the rawness of what heartbreak felt like, its messiness, and the desperation that comes with it. The tug-o-war of the heart between trying to move on and holding on to what had been before, and the pathetic attempt to end the ugly feeling was well-narrated through his songs, it made everyone in the music hall turn to themselves and reflect.

The beautiful part of this is he didn’t just tackle heartbreak on relationships, he also sang about facing the heartbreaking truths of our country, and nature, without sounding preachy. The realness of his songs will make anyone who listens to it to search for the truth about their surroundings, to Usisa.

All in all, it was an incredible experience to watch Bullet Dumas perform. With Jacques Dufourt in Percussion, Yuna Reguerra in Bass, John Apura in Guitar, Jasper Mercado in Keys, and Mark Villena in Drums, they turned my simple Friday night into one of the few I will never forget.

If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from his songs, it’s to never be apathetic. It is to constantly remind myself that heartbreaks are painful and nearly impossible to bear, but it is crueler to turn cold and ignore the harsh truths that I have the power to change.

Bullet Dumas Usisa Concert 1

You can check out his album, Usisa, in bandcamp.com

Also Read: BGC Arts Center launches Pinoy Playlist 2018: An annual music festival showcasing the tapestry of Filipino Musicality curated by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Moy Ortiz, and Noel Ferrer