Celebrating the Cebuano Music Scene in Fête de la Musique 2024

As one’s thoughts and feelings are carefully articulated through the composition of lyrics and sound, music is often thought of as another language for people to connect and bond with each other creatively. It is no wonder that events like Fête de la Musique are celebrated as it expresses love and appreciation for an art form that has been intertwined with the human experience since the beginning of time.

Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, returns to Cebu on June 21 to celebrate its 30th anniversary in the Philippines. Although it is a festival that originated in France back in the 80s, it is now celebrated in over 700 cities and 120 countries. It encourages people to share and play their music to the public.

Fête de la Musique Cebu 2024, co-presented by Alliance Française de Cebu and independent record label Melt Records, is a two-day event that holds a diverse lineup of both rising and seasoned local artists and bands. The first leg introduces seven up-and-coming artists with their own style and genre:

MISTERMIL opens the event with his DJ set of laidback afrobeats and amapiano. Some artists explore the different variations of pop music: Liana San Diego brightens the atmosphere with her folk-pop musings, IIICCCYYY delivers a fresh take to the genre by experimenting with hyper pop, and SUGARKISS enchants the room with her vocals and dark pop sound.

Four-piece band Hollywood Folk Hogan introduces a soulful blend of folk and rock, while hip-hop duo ELEMINO & DŒZA hypes the crowd with their energetic rap performances. Lastly, ZOYA closes the stage with her hypnotizing and alluring performance of her songs filled with afrobeats and R&B influences.

The second leg boasts an eclectic mix of Cebuano bands who have gained a prominent presence in the local music scene: Kubra Commander kicks off the stage with their powerful indie rock set, followed by the captivating performance of pop rock quintet The Qings.

Sansette brings back the summer vibes with their indie pop and jazzy tunes, while Coloura’s experimental mix of rock and synthpop brings audiences jumping on their feet. Mandaue Nights combines 80s synthwave and alternative rock which echoes a nostalgic sound. As the last set of the stage, The Sundown enthusiastically performs their indie pop and rock-infused melodies— officially concluding the unforgettable night of Fête de la Musique.

Spotlight on Local Music

Since Fête de la Musique is an annual celebration, it became a consistent avenue to appreciate the local music scene. The stage also serves as a stepping stone where new and small artists can be recognized and share their music with the public.

“For us, this [Fête de la Musique] is just another way of giving them a platform… Hopefully, it amplifies the voice for the artists and gives them an even louder platform to be heard from,” Melt Records co-founder Dexter Sy says.

With the mainstream popularity of global artists, we tend to overlook what Cebu has to offer to the ever-growing world of music. Fête de la Musique rightfully shines the spotlight on the creativity and originality of our local artists.

Rising artist IIICCCYY shares: “Diverse kaayo ang mga performers. You have people from folk, you have people from afrobeats, pop music, and rap. So, you get to have a taste of what Cebu has to offer. If you’re like a casual listener, or first time nimo maka ari og maka tan-aw og gig, makahibaw ka nga ‘hala naa diay tay ingani in the local music scene’.”

(The performers are so diverse. You have people from folk, you have people from afrobeats, pop music, and rap. So, you get to have a taste of what Cebu has to offer. If you’re like a casual listener, or it’s your first time coming here and watching the gig, you’ll wonder ‘Oh, we have music like this in the local music scene’.”)

Cebu has been fostering a dynamic music scene for a long time. We just have to keep an open mind (and ears!) to discover these homegrown artists who have always been eager to share their music with the world. These artists showcase originality in their craft with their distinctive color and style. So show your support and appreciation to your local artists— check them out, stream their songs, and add them to your playlists! Exploring these local gems may be something you didn’t know you needed. Who knows? Maybe they will become your new favorite artist.

Photo Courtesy Andrew Savage

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