As we hope Taylor Swift brings her Eras Tour to the Philippines, there is a little Filipino connection with her pianist, Karina DePiano.
If you’re a Swiftie, or just scrolling on social media these past few days, then you would know that the biggest pop star in the world, aka Taylor Swift, just began her record-breaking Eras Tour. Glendale, Arizona was temporarily renamed Swift City in honor of the moment, with the first two nights of the concert being held there. With over 44 songs performed and multiple outfit changes, Taylor brought out all the stops for her latest and longest concert to date.
Across three hours, Taylor went through most of her eras (justice for Debut) in a music spectacular unlike any other. Among the many moments that have caught fans’ attention on social media include a part where Taylor dives into the stage and seemingly swims up the stage and the inclusion of the Bejeweled TikTok dance in the official choreography of the song.
It then comes to no surprise that international Swifties have been begging Taylor to reveal the dates for the international leg of the tour. And no more is this chant louder than in the Philippines. When Filipino fans organize an event just to convince Taylor to bring the tour to the Philippines, you know it’s serious. But while we wait for Team Taylor to announce international dates (hopefully with the Philippines included), that doesn’t mean blondie has completely forgotten about Filipinos. The Eras Tour has a bit of Pinoy representation in one of its band members being a Filipina, and her name is Karina DePiano.
SHE PLAYS THE PIANO
Karina DePiano, an appropriate last name for someone who plays the piano for a living, is a professional pianist, music director, and producer. Born and raised in San Diego, California, Karina has an Italian father and a Filipina mother. And while she did grow up in a mixed family, her Filipino roots were always there. In an interview, she shared that her Filipino side of the family lived in Los Angeles, and thus, she was able to see them often. Her mom spoke to her in Tagalog, which is why she understands it quite well. Classic Filipino food like adobo, sinigang, menudo, chicken afritada, lumpia, pancit, and more were also on the menu at the DePiano household.
“I feel extremely connected to my Filipino heritage. Living in Los Angeles provides me with such a rich connection to Filipino culture because of the big Filipino population here. I also feel so lucky that my immediate family lives here—I’ve grown up being able to hear their personal stories, learn more about my culture, and most importantly devour my Lola’s cooking,” she explained.
Karina learned to play the piano when she was six and graduated from the University of Southern California’ Thornton School of Music’s Popular Music Program with an emphasis on keyboard performance. While she was initially set to train in classical piano, she pivoted to pop music, a wise decision given her extensive career.
PIANIST TO THE STARS
Over the years, Karina has assembled a hefty resume, working with some of the biggest pop stars in the world. It’s a list that includes Troye Sivan, Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Rita Ora, Daya, Julia Michaels, Kesha, and Alessia Cara. She performed at the American Music Awards with Olivia Rodrigo and was the keyboardist for NIKI’s Nicole world tour in 2022. (If you went to Head In The Clouds In Manila, then you would have seen her with NIKI during her day two closing set.) Her TV show appearances include Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, and more.
Now, Karina has the honor of joining a new family on the Eras Tour as the pianist and being part of what is sure to be one of the biggest tours in music history. By the way, this actually isn’t the first time Karina has worked with Taylor. In 2021, she appeared in Swift’s I Bet You Think About Me music video where she played the keyboard with the band in the end. This was probably one of Taylor’s complex easter eggs to tease that she was joining the tour. Now that Taylor Swift has that Filipina band member, all she needs to do now is announce those Philippine tour dates.