music festivals

Fête de la Musique 2024 in Cebu: For the ‘pop girlies’ and diverse music lovers

Rappler.com

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Fête de la Musique 2024 in Cebu: For the ‘pop girlies’ and diverse music lovers

ALL ABOUT MUSIC. Cebuana singer-songwriter Liana San Diego performs during Fête de la Musique Philippines at the La Parisienne in Cebu City on June 21, 2024.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

'We’re always about giving a platform to have the voices of artists be heard,' says Dexter Sy, one of the organizers of Fête de la Musique in Cebu

CEBU CITY, Philippines – New artists and music connoisseurs gathered on Friday, June 21, for the Cebu leg of Fête de la Musique at La Parisienne in Cebu City.

The event showcased standout performances from a diverse set of Cebuano musicians, ranging from afrobeat disc jockeys to hyperpop singers.

For Fête de la Musique first-timer Paulina Villaluz, the event was unlike any other music festival she had ever been to.

“It’s very diverse because, most of the time, music events here in Cebu, they’re basically like one genre for an event. But Fête de la Musique 2024, it’s really diverse, and they’re all Cebu artists,” Villaluz told Rappler.

At the event, MISTERMIL set the mood with a divine set list of afropop music. Cebuana artists Liana San Diego, SUGARKISS, Zoya, and IIICCCYYY also wowed the audience with songs of empowerment and covers for Pride Month.

The Cebu stage also saw rising rap duo ELEMINO & DŒZA perform their latest single “Damned” and folk rock band Hollywood Folk Hogan play unreleased songs such as “Girl.”

Collaborative, evolving

Dexter Sy, one of the organizers of Fête de la Musique in Cebu, highlighted the festival’s significance for local musicians. 

“We’re always about giving a platform to have the voices of artists be heard,” Sy told Rappler.

According to Sy, the festival is about the collaborative experience among artists not just in Cebu but also across the country. 

Sy is the founder of Melt Records, an independent music label that supports local and independent artists. 

Reflecting on Cebu’s evolving music scene, Sy shared that there was a significant shift in style since he started in the industry in 2010. He added that there were now various genres never before seen in the local music scene.

This year’s Fête de la Musique in Cebu is particularly special for Sy, as it marked his third year of being involved in its organization. 

“This year is much bigger, with Ayala Terraces being the biggest stage in the three years that we held the event,” Sy shared.

The celebration this year marks the 30th anniversary of Fête de la Musique in the Philippines.

The second stage of Fête de la Musique in Cebu will feature a breakdance performance on June 29 at Ayala Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu. 

It will showcase Cebu bands such as The Qings, The Sundown, Sansette, Mandaue Nights, Kubra Commander, and Coloura. 

Up-and-coming

Cebuana artist Liana San Diego shared her journey from being an audience member in last year’s celebration to gracing the stage this year. 

“It’s a great feeling, very validating. I’m just really happy and over the moon right now,” San Diego told Rappler.

As an artist who writes music to tell stories, she said her performance was aimed at evoking emotions in her audience. She believes that the audience doesn’t need to understand the subtext of her song but to feel the song while listening to it.

San Diego’s performance included a rendition of Chapell Roan’s “Red Wine Supernova,” a song she initially reserved for a Pride event. 

San Diego also performed unreleased songs, which she hinted would be formally released later this year. 

“These will be key singles for a big release, probably later this year, in the fourth quarter,” she shared.

Diane Tungol, a solo artist, also brought a powerful presence to the stage under her newest project, SUGARKISS.

“Growing up watching Fête de la Musique shows, it feels amazing to play again, especially under my stage name, SUGARKISS,” Tungol said.

Tungol first performed at Fête in 2023 with her previous band, Alice Who.

As a Cebuano artist, Tungol values the opportunity to connect with local audiences and showcase her work. 

“Any outlet that celebrates music and art is a huge help for me as an artist to just get my craft out there to see more people,” Tungol told Rappler.

SUGARKISS as a stage name and her songs were inspired by a scene from the movie Gone Girl, which shows the duality of sweetness and underlying rage. 

“Mainly, my songs are about women empowerment and female rage, so I’d like to just put it out there that women can be vile and nasty if they want,” Tungol said.

Rappler.com

Ian Peter Guanzon is a Rappler intern.

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