It’s the best time to explore and soak up some homegrown music, with up-and-coming artists rising here and there, in every genre that you can imagine. One day, you’re head banging to a rock band, the next day, you’re bopping to some hip-hop tunes. It’s a never-ending discovery of fresh tracks—and Filipinos have a lot to offer of that!
And Sony Philippines acknowledges this widescope talent. As if having pop-folk giants Ben&Ben in their roster of artists isn’t enough, the record label recently launched a new batch of must-watch-out-for musicians who cater to every music taste.
If you haven’t encountered them on streaming platforms or even in bar gigs, it’s time to give space to these acts on your downloads bar. Meet indie pop-rock outfit the vowels they orbit, young hip-hop prodigy Alex Bruce, folk pop sensation syd hartha, and Wanderband runner-up Nathan & Mercury.
the vowels they orbit
Who: The 5-piece band composed of Nikka Melchor (vocals and rhythm guitar,) Hannah Dela Cruz (keyboards and vocals,) Jeremy Sayas (drums and vocals,) Gene Santiago (lead guitars,) and Patch Javier (bass guitars) met as friends back in college. The group started out playing in small gig venues across the metro, and eventually got discovered by Soupstar Entertainment’s Darwin Hernandez. Since then, the vowels they orbit’s music gained a wider audience, performing in bigger events and opening for other OPM bands such as Autotelic, Gracenote, and December Avenue. They’re also one of the guest acts for American pop-rock sensation Against The Current’s concert in the country.
Watch out for: Soon to be released 5-track EP which includes their songs Kiliti and Pasa
Listen to: Their debut single Selos, which lead vocals Nikka describes as a song that tells about the “non-violent, cute type of jealousy.”
Who: Big things come in small packages, and Alex Bruce is a perfect example. The 12-year-old rapper already made waves in the Pinoy mainstream scene, with one of her video performances last year reaching over a million views. The young artist, who started rapping at age 4, takes inspiration from the likes of Ruby Ibarra, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Tupac Shakur, and Lauryn Hill.
Watch out for: Her album that’s currently in the works
Listen to: Pull It Off, her first official single, where Alex inspires one to just do your thing and never be afraid of showing people what you’re capable of
Who: Folk-pop act syd hartha “fell in love with songwriting,” and has since been making music in her early teen years. Now 17, she’s becoming a staple in the gig circuit with her hit song Ayaw as a steady crowd favorite since its release this year. The single tackles the issue of consent, and syd feels the need to come up with tracks that talk about timely topics of the new generation. “As an artist, ‘yun ‘yung role ko. Ako ‘yung magiging voice,” she says.
Watch out for: Two songs that are set to be released later this year—one about extra judicial killings, and one about life and what goes on behind the curtains of a music artist
Listen to: Apart from Ayaw, listen to live versions online of Paru-paro
Nathan & Mercury
Who: Lead vocalist Nathan Huang originally intended to go solo, but a common friend’s birthday party made way for the whole band to realize that they’re meant to play together. Now, with Angelo Sison (bass,) Alex Samonte (guitars,) and Daniel Monong (drums) the 4-piece band is one of the rising acts that steadily gained pace in the scene. Apart from being regular in bar gigs, performing in Wanderland Music Festival 2019 (Nathan & Mercury placed first runner up in the Wanderband competition) is already under their belt.
Watch out for: A full-length debut album to be released this year
Listen to: Fools, the band’s 2018 release, if you’re patiently waiting for love.
Photographs by Trixy Gosadan
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