Filipino bands

From strangers to hitmakers: Meet young OPM band HEY JUNE!

Juno Reyes

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From strangers to hitmakers: Meet young OPM band HEY JUNE!

ALBUM. HEY JUNE! members Aci, Coey, and Jim sport cat-themed bucket hats for the release of their first album 'Curiosity Killed the Cat.'

HEY JUNE!'s Instagram

On November 9, HEY JUNE! is set to release their first album 'Curiosity Killed the Cat'

MANILA, Philippines – When bands are formed, one of the most common assumptions is that they are usually made up of friends who one day thought, “Hey, let’s start a band!” The band would then rehearse and record all of their songs at a member’s house, and from there, the rest becomes history. 

Not for HEY JUNE!, though. 

The three-piece ensemble were total strangers before the idea of forming a band even came up. One would think that because its members Jim Mase (vocals and guitars), Coey Ballesteros (bass and backup vocals), and Aci Fodra (drums) didn’t know each other before they were brought together to make music, it would be difficult for their distinct musical abilities to complement each other. 

Clearly, however, that isn’t the case. Its members were initially tapped to form a project band, but when their management company Soupstar Music realized the magic these individuals could make together, they became the HEY JUNE! their fans – lovingly called “Junakis” – know and love today. 

Storytelling through music

It wasn’t long before the band began releasing their music to the public – dropping their very first single “Just A Hit” right before 2021 ended. They eventually went on to release their top hits “Panahon,” and “LASIK,” and most recently, “BIGLANG TAOB.” 

Now, HEY JUNE! is set to debut their first album Curiosity Killed the Cat, which highlights the woes and dreams of the youth living through the current era of technological dependence. 

“One of the reasons why [Curiosity Killed the Cat] ‘yung naging title ng album kasi it’s about sa mundo natin ngayon and sa personal buhay namin. Ang daming nangyayari sa mundo and it’s overwhelming, lalo na’t may AI (artificial intelligence) [and we’re] in the digital age,” Jim said. 

(One of the reasons why Curiosity Killed the Cat became the album’s title is because it’s about our current world and our personal lives. There’s so much happening in the world and it’s overwhelming, especially since there’s AI now and we’re in the digital age.) 

Much like the title, the members of HEY JUNE! are curious cats in their own right, being young individuals navigating the early stages of life and adulthood. 

Mga bata pa tayo. Ang dami pa naming pinagdadaanan, so nagkukuwento kami through our songs ‘yung mga na-e-experience namin, mga natututunan namin,” shared Coey. 

(We’re still young. We tell the stories behind our experiences and the lessons we learned through our songs). 

Learning the ropes

Despite their steady success, HEY JUNE! hasn’t forgotten where they came from. Over two years into the band’s career, its members remain the bright-eyed kids that look up to the artists that have paved the way for OPM’s flourishing – so much so that they even have a song dedicated to their idols in their upcoming album. 

Constantly being surrounded by other talented musicians who have been in the industry for a while longer, the band makes sure to use that opportunity not just to hear them perform live, but to also learn a thing or two from them. 

Lagi namin sinasabi na mahilig kami manood ng gig kasi para siyang free lesson (We always say that we love watching gigs because it’s like a free lesson),” the members explained. 

Jim, Coey, and Aci would conduct post-gig interviews of their own, asking the members of other bands about different techniques behind the guitar, bass, and drums. 

With their dedication to constant learning and their clear synergy as a band, HEY JUNE!’s efforts have undeniably paid off. 

The upcoming release of Curiosity Killed the Cat is just among the first of many milestones the young band is sure to achieve in the future. 

The highly anticipated album is set to be released at 12 am on Thursday, November 9. You can pre-save it here. –

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