When asked for Filipino artists you need to listen to, the answers are aplenty. With a soundscape so rich and diverse, the list of recommendations are bound to run long regardless if you’re into girl group pop, emo rock, or R&B.
In line with Billboard Philippines‘ arrival today (October 15), we’re kicking the festivities off with a list of Filipino artists that are a must listen to — compiled from Filipino artists themselves. Gathered from the guests of Billboard Philippines‘ launch party, we asked our guests, which featured the likes of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, PLAYERTWO, Ena Mori, Rayms Marasigan of Eraserheads and Sandwich, BINI, James Reid, Unique Salonga, Zild, Blaster, Badjao, BGYO, Inigo Pascual, and Jason Dhakal, who they would shine the global spotlight to.
From Juan Karlos Labajo to Ena Mori, here are 9 must-listen-to Filipino artists recommended by Filipino artists themselves.
Juan Karlos Labajo
Recommended by Unique Salonga, Juan Karlos Labajo — who simply goes by juan karlos — has broken records by being the first Filipino artist to enter the Spotify Global charts with his track, “ERE.” He is currently gearing up to release to follow up album to Sad Songs and Bullshit Part 1 early next year.
Filipino R&B’s rising star Jolianne is a must listen to, according to pop singer-songwriter James Reid, The Cebuana singer first gained mainstream fame in 2015 as a contestant in The Voice Kids Philippines. Since then, she signed with Careless Music and continues to make waves all over the country.
One Click Straight
Indie rock favorite One Click Straight has made a splash in the local and international music scene. Known for the goth and emo aesthetic and electrifying live performances, this indie band is one to look out for as recommended by Ena Mori and Zild.
If anything, PLAYERTWO rightfully deserves the spotlight — and they think so too. The Davao-based hip-hop collective went viral on TikTok with their breakout single and Awit Award-nominated, “THAT’S MY BABY.” After releasing their debut album, HAPPY ACCIDENTS, the group is set to perform on stages all over the country and abroad.
Ogie Alcasid is a multi-awarded singer-songwriter whose discography has become the soundtrack to the Filipino experience of the past, present, and future. And as Regine Velasquez-Alcasid put it, “Not just because he’s my husband; my husband’s songs are the quintessential OPM songs.” He’s best known for songs like “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” “Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigan Ka,” “Ikaw Sana,” and more.
Jason Dhakal’s sultry voice and writing has made him a favorite in the R&B genre, just ask BGYO’s Gelo and Nate. As Billboard Philippines wrote in a review of his latest album, BEING, “BEING is an example of the stark evolution that sees Dhakal assured in both identity and sound.”
Billboard Philippines Discover artist Ena Mori has received international acclaim for her revolutionary take on pop and her fellow Filipino artists agree, being the most recommended artist of the night. Her debut record DON’T BLAME THE WILD ONE! was crowned as NME Asia’s Best Asian Album of 2022 and has even secured her a slot on SXSW 2022’s Asian Den showcase.
Asia’s Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan is known for her incredibly strong belt and impressive vocal prowess. Recommended by Inigo Pascual and BINI’s Aiah and Mikha, she continues to carry on the flag of Filipino excellence here and abroad.
Blaster Silonga, known by his mononym BLASTER, carved out his unique pop sound after the disbandment of IV of Spades. Today, he continues to create art that is fluid, genrebending, and overall, uniquely his.