Filipino-American Musicians You Should Check Out Pt. 1

By Czaerra Ucol, FINDink Contributor

As a musician and frequent attendee of concerts, I am always happy seeing myself represented in the music industry. In order to get this ball of representation in media rolling, I decided to make a playlist of Filipino-American musicians (spanning a wide range of genres) that everyone should check out!

Mndsgn

Ringgo Ancheta, born in California and raised in New Jersey, is a hip-hop producer raised on Gospel music and your usual Filipino B-boy culture at home. His track “Abeja” with Sofie may seem like your usual chillhop, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg of his talents.

Toro y Moi

Born and raised in South Carolina, Chazwick Bundick’s first album Causers of This was released in 2010, and thus made his break into the chillwave genre. He’s known not only as a producer but also a singer-songwriter. While my personal favorite song of his is “Empty Nesters”, I’ve decided to include his song “Talamak” (Tagalog for, in some translations, “serious”) for its title and simple-yet-poingnant lyrics on love.

Yeek

Bringing a lot of "Filipino Rex Orange County” vibes to the playlist is this emerging, experimental artist. He’s a little bit of everything - songwriter, singer, and rapper - and his song “I’m Not Ready” evokes the feel of sitting on one’s porch on a nice summer day.

Aye Nako

Punk band Aye Nako, based out of Brooklyn, promotes their "community-oriented, anti-capitalist, LGBTQ-friendly ideology” throughout their entire discography. Mars Ganito, their guitarist and one of their vocalists, coined the name of their band after “what [his] mom used to yell at [him].” Their song “Particle Mace” is a fun song one could mindlessly mosh to with, but also provides deeper, politically-charged themes calling out various institutions.

June Marieezy

Marieezy was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved to the Philippines for a bit before returning to the US. Her vocal timbre and style of composition reminds me a lot of Ravyn Lenae, and her song “Fly” is just an example of her talent and her possible future.

Bambu

Jonah Deocampo is an activist and rapper from LA who is bringing people’s attention to the problems within the Filipino diaspora on the US. His song “Golden Era Shower” featuring Drunken Tiger, Ruby Ibarra, Dumbfoundead, and Gloc 9 features lyrics about various issues in the Filipino-American community, and even some bars in Tagalog!

Low Leaf

Experimental in sound, singer-songwriter Angelica Lopez has even been noticed by Flying Lotus for her combination of both analog and digital sounds. Her song “Bahay Kubo” is just one of the tracks off her album Akashaalay, based on a previous month-long trip to the Philippines.

Manila Killa

As one of the bigger names in this article, I’d honestly be a bit surprised if you hadn’t already heard of producer Chris Gavino’s stage name - or his duo Hotel Garuda with Candle Weather. Featured in this playlist is “All That’s Left”, a collaboration with Joni Fatora on vocals. It puts the listener in a bit of a dream state, and is good for listening to on long contemplative walks home.

Shawn Wasabi

Similar to the previous artist, this LA-based musician is also becoming a bit of a household name amongst the EDM community. His song “Marble Soda” kind of makes me feel like I’m in an arcade - a lot of the samples used are (if not at least sound like) they are from video games. It’s very happy and a good way to start the day!

Monica Laire

Laire’s pitch-perfect soprano voice is what immediately drew my attention to her track “Nothin’”. From Castro Valley, California, she actually reached the Top 48 on American Idol in 2015. Hopefully, as we’ve seen in past seasons, the (usually more talented) runner-ups will take their career very far.

Jess Connelly

Discovered through 88rising’s Fresh Delivery series, R&B singer Jess Connelly and producer LUSTBASS provide a soulful jam through “Turn Me Down”. Her voice’s rich quality is the shining star against the backdrop of calming electronic/chillhop beats.

Honorable Mention

Not to say she’s not just as important - this is only because none of her tracks are actually on Spotify - but Kehlani’s partner-in-crime, Noodles, is a Filipina DJ that has been rising in popularity since the two started touring together in 2014. Featured here is her mix for HYPEBAE.

Here’s the playlist in full! Happy listening!

 

Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.