September may signal the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines, but the month was chock full of great releases from artists all over the country. Juan Karlos’ Sad Songs and Bullshit Part 1 features a host of tracks that are among the artist’s best songs so far. BINI’s “Karera” is instantly catchy and a great J-Pop influenced song. Indie rock artist TONEEJAY’s “711” is making waves online and offline — and for good reason.

As the country moves forward after the pandemic, the music scene is back in full swing with live events, releases, music videos, and the like. In no particular order, Billboard Philippines presents its list of September’s best releases.

“may halaga pa ba ako sayo??” — Juan Karlos

“SMILE” — Waiian ft. Yorko & U-Pistol

Alternative hip-hop artist Waiian teams up with U-Pistol and long-time collaborator Yorko for a suave and laidback number. The smooth bass line complements the synth riffs well, and the trio’s combination of singing and rapping makes for a track that’s perfect for chill nights.

“Unta Tanan” — Kurt Fick

Vispop legend Kurt Fick displays a masterclass of ’80s-inspired ballads in his latest release, “Unta Tanan” (roughly translated as ‘I wish I had what you had’ or in Filipino, sana all). He blends the sound of Silk Sonic with the disco characteristics of Manila Sound. As Billboard Philippines wrote in a review of the track, “As he rests on his laurels, it’s interesting to see where he takes this sound even further. His discography is a testament to the fact he’s only getting better with time. It’s extremely clear that Fick pulls off this style flawlessly — unta tanan.

“Still” — Hev Abi

Prolific rapper Hev Abi returns with his sixth single of the year, “Still.” He pulls off his signature style of marrying contemporary jazz elements with drill rap — dropping adlibs over the track’s smooth synths and bass lines. The result is another memorable song in the breakout artist’s discography.


Electronic producer and artist FEIFEI’s “MINATO” is an upbeat and poppy track that immediately draws you in with her NewJeans-like dance pop sound. She brings in her rap influences in the song’s verses and sandwiches them between a hook that has her singing “Parang Minato, oh” (Just like Minato, oh) — making for an instantly catchy track.

“Otomatika” — Sam Concepcion

Pop singer Sam Concepcion doesn’t miss. After the wildly successful “Diwata,” he returns with an instant disco pop hit. His vocal ability shines through the track, and the earworm-worthy chorus elevates the song even more. If you’re looking to rediscover Sam Concepcion’s sound, “Otomatika” is a great place to start.

“711” — TONEEJAY

There’s a reason why indie artist TONEEJAY’s “711” is taking social media by storm. The song’s simple instrumentation puts the spotlight on his lyrics, which has become a standout hallmark of TONEEJAY’s musical style. Beyond the snippets of the chorus currently trending — “Gusto kong ibigay ang buhay na gusto mo” (I want to give you the life you want) — the song is a great indie rock ode to love and the hope that comes with it.

“Karera” — BINI

P-Pop girl group BINI harnesses J-Pop and executes it flawlessly in their latest cut, “Karera” (Race). “Karera” is an instant bop, with every melody in the song catchier than the last. The twinkling synths are great accents that pushes forward the bubblegum pop sound that they’ve been known for. With incredibly catchy melodies and beat that can’t help but make you dance, it’s safe to say that “Karera” isn’t just one of the best releases of September, but the entire year thus far.

“Sabik” — DENȲ ft. Arthur Nery

R&B singer DENȲ is making waves for her debut album, LOVES7AGE. She gained traction in 2021 for her breakout single, “Gusto With Ya” after the track trended on TikTok. Her collaboration with Arthur Nery delves into her signature sound, and Nery’s distinct voice is a great complement to DENȲ’s. This heartfelt duet stands out among the tracks on her record.