On this week’s episode of Billboard Philippines Volumes, Sugarcane members Cedric Angeles and Froilan Bautista joined Billboard Philippines Editor-in-Chief Bret Jackson to talk about their journey as a band, what makes OPM sound like OPM, and what their first busking tour was like.

The tour, which was in support of their single, Sinehan (Cinema) was conducted last year in various malls around the Metro, with a stop in Cebu. It featured a completely acoustic and stripped down set, and fans were in for a treat as they watched Sugarcane in an intimate setting. A few months after the tour wrapped up in October, Angeles and Bautista shared that it served as an eye opening experience for the band.

With that, we rounded up three of the most important lessons that Sugarcane learned during their busking tour, and what it taught them about music in general.

1. Busking can create communities

The busking tour marked the start and growth of the Sugarcane fan community, now affectionately called Sugarfolks. One of the moments that stood out to them the most was when the crowd would sing along to their other songs, particularly “Kung Maging Akin Ka” (If You Were To Be Mine). At the time, they had just gone viral with “Leonora,” and the previously mentioned track hadn’t really caught traction yet. However, during one show, they tested out not singing the chorus of “Kung Maging Akin Ka” to see if people would sing along.

“We were surprised na halos lahat ng crowd was singing the song, so grabe yung experience at yung naramdaman namin noon,” Bautista reveals.

Di ko talaga inexpect ‘yun. Hindi ganun karaming streams ng song (I didn’t expect that at all. There weren’t a lot of streams on the song),” Angeles adds, before Bautista says, “Siguro I was expecting it more sa ‘Leonora’…pero masaya din (I was expecting it more with ‘Leonora’…but that still made me happy).”

3 Lessons Sugarcane Learned On Tour

2. Intimate settings teach you how to interact with an audience

Performing up close and personal to an audience can be intimidating for some, especially when there’s not much space between the artist and the audience. Through busking, Angeles and Bautista shared that the setting makes each audience member personal to the artist, since they can see them up front and personal and even interact with them before and after their set.

Mas nagkakaroon ng (You get to build more) connection with the people who listen to your music,” says Bautista, to sum up their experience.

3. Inspiration can strike anywhere

Bautista also shared that they were able to get a lot of inspiration from their tour. “Nagiging inspiration siya for us to do better in our craft, kasi may mga tao kaming na nakakaconnect dahil sa music, and it’s a really surreal experience para sa’min na as musicians, may nakikinig sa music namin. Tapos, parehas din, nakuha [ng audience] ng inspiration through the song, at kami din, nakuha din kami ng inspiration sa kanila.”

(It served as inspiration for us to do better in our craft, because there are people listening and connecting because of the music, and it’s a really surreal experience for us as musicians, [that] there are people listening to our music. And then, in the same way that [the audience] was able to be inspired by [our] songs, we also get inspired by them].

Watch the full episode of Billboard Philippines Volumes with Sugarcane below.

Listen to the episode on Spotify below.