Homegrown indie artist Ena Mori has always looked up to icons like Björk and Kate Bush — artists who have pushed the envelope throughout their careers, constantly innovating and redefining their sound, and in the process, challenging and expanding the boundaries of pop music itself.

Armed with this inspiration and her classical piano background, the young Filipino-Japanese artist went solo after a stint playing keyboards for local fusion band Dayaw and started creating ingenious yet catchy electronic pop, which started getting the attention of music fans and critics not just in the Philippines, but also abroad. In fact, she recently performed at last year’s prestigious South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, and just completed a residency in London, England, where she performed several times as well.

Similar to how the music industry took notice of the groundbreaking work of her heroes, Ena Mori was recognized for her music, winning the 2023 Awit Award for Album of the Year for her 2022 full-length record, Don’t Blame The Wild One. While many listeners, critics, and peers gave praise to that record online that year, it was still a revolutionary move for the Awit Awards to select a release that wasn’t pop in the mainstream or traditional sense.

This is why Billboard Philippines has chosen Ena Mori to be honored as our very first Women In Music Rule Breaker. Apart from having a milestone-filled 2023, she continues to push the boundaries of her own art. She recently shot a one-of-a-kind music video for her new single “Heartache Generation” using new and state-of-the-art ‘smart glasses,’ and hopes to write and record more music this year.

“Every time I make a new record, I make sure that there’s something that will push [the music] forward, or further from where I was before or from what the traditional sound should be,” Ena Mori recently told Billboard Philippines. “The reason why a lot of artists are known for their own sound is because they pushed it a little bit further.”

Ena Mori will receive the Rule Breaker award at the first-ever Billboard Philippines Women In Music this March.