There’s no way to underestimate the power of TikTok, particularly with the platform’s significant impact in the realm of music. Whether it’s with providing artists an open space to broadcast their work, or sharing an avenue wherein listeners can discover new songs that can resonate with them, there’s no doubt about how the app can uplift its users — especially in developing the rising stars of the industry. 

At Apotheka Manila, TikTok — in collaboration with Billboard Philippines — launched their first ever ‘Rising’ event in the country, bringing together the biggest names in the industry to celebrate the triumphs of OPM as we know it. With headliners Lola Amour, Toneejay, Maki, and Denise Julia as some of the acts performing in the event, the Byte-Dance owned platform succeeded in delivering an intimate event that felt simultaneously entertaining and engaging for everyone who attended the prestigious event. 

Photographed by Mayks Go.

Given that it’s not often to see almost all of the scene’s most promising and established artists under one roof (let alone one room!), the lineup of performers curated by TikTok promised a night of great music to enjoy in the presence of good company. The Nameless Kids’ opening set marked a strong start to the evening, with the live performance of “Sa’yo (Ang Mundo)” enamoring the crowd into a tender embrace that warmed them up for the next round of performers. Clara Benin enveloped audiences in with an intimate (and almost confessional) rendition of  “small town”, while Denise Julia demonstrated a brazen combination of confidence and sensuality that stayed true to her signature style as an artist. 

In both her performances of “bad” and “butterflies (2 am version)”, Julia was able to captivate everyone in the venue, which further exemplified just how much her music resonates with a larger crowd. Aside from singing a track with Julia, Jason Dhakal also impressed audiences with his vocal talents in a mesmerizing manner, as he effortlessly weaved soulful melodies like “can’t get enough” and “Para Sa Akin”, infusing a jazzy and romantic atmosphere. With the contemporary flair that he adds to his music, Dhakal breathed a special air to the ambience of the venue.

Toneejay livened up the place with heartfelt renditions to “Bawat Piyesa” and “711”, which took the crowd by storm as they sang and cheered to his engaging performance. Janine Teñoso kept up the momentum with stunning performances to “Di Na Muli” as well as her latest single, “Hulaan” — making it a stellar showcase of her powerhouse vocals.

Janine Teñoso

Janine Teñoso photographed by Mayks Go.

But one of the most impressive acts of the night came from young singer-songwriter Maki whose track “Saan” demanded everyone’s attention, including his fellow peers in the music industry. From this live performance, there’s no doubt of his deserving status as one of TikTok’s rising artists to watch. 

To cap off the night, the beloved Lola Amour graced us with their captivating stage presence, infusing their signature funk elements with their performances to “Fallen” and their chart-breaking hit “Raining in Manila.” But to everyone’s (pleasant) surprise, the group debuted an unreleased track (forgot track’s name) which marked a sweet treat to everyone in attendance. 

Lola Amour

Lola Amour photographed by Mayks Go.

Even to the point where it felt like the walls of Apotheka were closing in on the guests of the event, it was awe-inspiring to see a lot of industry titans and artists interacting with one another — a sight that demonstrated the unity of the Filipino creative spirit championing one another. From celebrated P-pop icons, rock stars, folk-pop legends, to the most promising young faces of talent today, it was obvious that TikTok achieved it’s goal of bringing together the best of the best in one astounding package. Paying little to no care about the packed nature of the event, it was highly evident that everyone was having a great time for the night. 

Beyond the black screen on our devices, TikTok was able to demonstrate the power of their platform in the real-life setting with the impressive execution of their ‘Rising’ event. Through championing the talented stars who have emerged from the application, this gathering provided a space wherein their effort could be recognized, celebrated, and understood as a tool that could bring the world closer together. And from what we’ve seen from all these artists who graced the event, there’s truly an immense hold that TikTok holds on providing an avenue for the world (musical or not) to truly come together.

Photographed by Mayks Go.