A force to be reckoned with, the local independent scene has slowly turned from an underground movement into a pool of artists dominating our Facebook feeds and Spotify recommendations. Most local music lovers are aware of these Pinoy indie musicians, but here are seven that you should definitely put on repeat.
Otherwise known as the swabe seven, this band has to be the hardest-working bunch in the scene right now. Their gig count alone averages about five shows a week. Very popular at the moment (especially after a controversial magazine cover), Sud seem to be waving the Pinoy indie music flag the highest. Their breakout hit, “Sila,” has already surpassed two million views on YouTube.
If you’re into the hugot feels or want to set the mood right, their music is for you. Putting a twist to blues-rock, you can’t go wrong with frontman, Sud Ballecer, and his smooth vocals plus that sax. It’s safe to say, “laglag panty” is solidified in listening to and watching these boys live.
If you’re an old soul, Apartel are just the group for a proper throwback. The brainchild of rock icon, Ely Buendia, Apartel are your Miles Davis meets big band fix! One of the first to locally release on vinyl, their debut record Inner Play hits every nerve just right. Whether you dance along to some of the tracks or hum the brass section to others, Apartel are #swag for all ages. Listen to “Is It Hip” and “Guijo St.” which are currently charting iTunes Philippines along with the rest of the album!
Not to mention, they’re also the founders of Pinoy indie label, Offshore Music. A label for well, Pinoy indie musicians!
3. Reese Lansangan
Indie darling, Reese Lansangan, has her branding down to a tee. It’s no wonder she’s gained such a huge fan base with her quirky songs that match her quirky style. A Jane of all trades, not only does she sing and write, she’s also a fashion designer and self-confessed geek! You can usually find her either in small music cafés with just one guitar on loop, or taking the stage of big festivals dressed in Japanese-inspired outfits. With such a friendly demeanor, it’s hard not to fall in love, but there’s one thing! She won’t accept wrong grammar.
Currently endorsing brand upon brand, Reese Lansangan is making a mark in her own unique way as a Pinoy indie musician and was even handpicked to perform with YouTube sensation, Daniela Andrade!
4. Banna Harbera
The newest (and probably youngest) group on this list of Pinoy indie musicians, Banna Harberashouldn’t be undermined for their age. The band name alone is a spoonerism of the iconic creators behind the cartoons, Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones, very witty. This could be one of the reasons, besides their modern-funk sound, why they’re in the Top 5 for Wanderband 2017. If they win, they earn the privilege of playing at next year’s Wanderland Music and Arts Festival. In the meantime, check out their EPs, Persistence, and Something New on Spotify, iTunes, and Tidal.
5. Ninno Rodriguez
Young, talented, and fearless: Ninno Rodriguez is more than what meets the eye. If you’ve heard of Curtismith, it’s time you start paying attention to Third Culture Kid—as he also goes by in representation of his rapping identity. Give him a mic and Ninno can spit fire. One of the real masters of spoken word in the Pinoy indie music scene, he’s not only an artist and musician but also the head of producer collective, Logiclub. With so much responsibility on his shoulders and respect from peers, there’s no questioning that this kid is going places. It takes guts to completely strip your music off of SoundCloud to generate buzz towards an official release on Spotify and Apple Music. TCK is available for streaming and is a must-hear.
One-half of the Dancel brothers, Vin and the rest of Peryodiko are practically a cornerstone of the local music scene. They pride themselves on being fiercely independent and because of their strong relationship with their die-hard supporters; they have raised enough money (PHP 103,550 to be exact) to fund their third album. It’s a special record for their tenth year that will include a bunch of exclusive merch if you’re one of the first to buy it ahead of its release.
It would be impossible to end this listicle without mentioning the faces of electronic-pop and indie duo, Moonwlk. Nick and Gabbi have a knack for coming up with catchy choruses and instant hooks. Technical but most definitely fun, Moonwlk, is never less than spot-on. They also recently raised funds to make a music video for their song, “Prefer,” and it did not disappoint.
If that doesn’t impress you, well just know that Nick (Nicholas Lazaro) is also a full-time producer and is working with acts like Peryodiko, Sixx, Runway Crimes, Lions and Acrobats, Paranoid City and the Sun Manager. Now that is a Pinoy indie musician!
As the music scene is growing, we’re sure we’ll hear more bright Pinoy indie musicians coming about and blowing our minds with original music and stellar performances. If you have any favorites, please let us know in the comment box below! Support local!