Want to add some heat to your playlists this year? Look no further! These up-and-coming Filipino artists are about to set your music game on fire.
Looking for new music to add to your playlist this 2023? Well, look no further than these up-and-coming Filipino musicians who are making waves in the music scene this year. From sultry R&B to upbeat pop, these artists are bringing a new energy to OPM and are not to be missed. Spotify agrees, which is why they included them in their RADAR Philippines list for 2023, where they’re captivating new listeners with their fresh sonic experiences.
Over the years, RADAR has been a place where everyone can discover new artists on the horizon to listen to and fall in love with. It has also become a platform for budding musicians to be introduced to a wider range of audiences not just locally but also worldwide. This year, the Spotify Philippines RADAR list features P-pop wonders like Alamat, BINI, G22, and KAIA, who have been consistently changing the P-pop game with their catchy tunes, stunning visuals, and undeniable talent while showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines and solidifying their status as some of the hottest acts in the music scene right now.
“The growth of RADAR is a testament to a global appetite for local music. From soloists to groups, P-Pop to Hip-Hop, each of these artists across genres have displayed such talent; where they have seen new fans beyond the Philippines! This is just the beginning, and we’re so excited to introduce all of them to a broader fan base through RADAR Philippines 2023,” shares Kossy Ng, Head of Music Spotify Asia, in a press release. And without further ado, here are the other proudly Pinoy musicians that should not miss your radar.
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You know that an emerging musician is on another level when even an international superstar approves of his music. It was early last year that Paolo Sandejas’s life took a 360-degree turn when BTS’ Taehyung posted a vlog and sang, nay, vibed to his now-famous track, Sorry. Almost a year later, the Rock With You, Sway, and My Girl singer has become a rising OPM artist on his own terms, captivating a lot of hearts with his ever-soothing music.
Inspired by blues rock artists like John Mayer, Bruno Major, and Phum Viphurit, Paolo Sandejas has been making music since his early teens and is now on his way to conquer not just the local but Asian indie pop scene. Oh, and he’s also just released his first EP, BLOOM, containing his previously released songs like Aftertaste and Hide & Seek. If you’re into music that puts you at ease and relieves any kind of stress, Paolo Sandejas is the way to go.
Another emerging artist that’s got everyone talking is the Davao City native pop soloist, Paul Pablo. Inspired by the one and only Lady Gaga, the Awit Award winner is no stranger to taking risks and pushing boundaries. His music is a proud representation of the LGBTQIA+ community and he uses his platform to tackle issues such as love, identity, and social issues. The all-around performer behind entrancing bops like Bangin, Kalawakan, Kaya, and his latest single, Sagi, Paul Pablo melds electro-pop and synth-pop with disco and R&B elements to a mesmerizing degree. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for what’s next from the sensational Paul Pablo.
Looking for sultry and heavy-hitting beats? Filipina rapper and R&B artist Illest Morena can serve you just that and more. Trained in videoke and inspired by fellow female artists like the queen of rap, Nicki Minaj (who also inspired her moniker), and ethereal songstress Jhené Aiko, the Pick Up and Soul Ties singer is shaking up the local rap and R&B scene mostly dominated by men with her music that delves deep into love, sensuality, and everything in between. With a musical style she describes as “aggressive but chill,” Illest Morena bears a bold blend of infectious beats, fearless wordplay, and unapologetic attitude that is hard to resist.
One of the rising singer-songwriters and breakthrough artists this year who absolutely deserves a spot in your playlist is Kenaniah, the teenage musical prodigy that will make everyone swoon for sure. A multi-instrumentalist, the 18-year-old not only stuns with his charming good looks but also writes, arranges, and produces his own music. Under the wing of Kean Cipriano and signed to O/C Records, Kenaniah has already amassed over two million monthly listeners on Spotify with his indie rock and pop fare.
Last year, Kenaniah broke into the music scene with his smash hit Bahala Na, which has now reached over 30 million streams. His follow-up tracks like Hindi Ikaw, Better Now, Sana Walang Magbago, and I’m Gonna Be Alright have also been certified earworms, each with over a million streams. Kenaniah’s latest single, Hanggang Sa Buwan, is also the official theme song of Viva One’s upcoming series, The Rain in España. If you’re looking for fresh, nostalgic, and emotive tunes, this artist has got all the vibes you need.
Talking about emerging artists who are already hitmakers in their own right, here’s another teenage musical sensation, mrld (aka Meriel de Jesus), for your playlist consideration. With her signature husky voice, mapanakit lyrics, and an acoustic pop sound that heals as it hurts, the Cebuana musician has achieved quite a meteoric rise in popularity over the years with artistic feats that, to be honest, are incredibly remarkable for such a young artist like her.
Last year, mrld became the second most streamed female artist in the country with more than four million (and counting) monthly listeners on Spotify. One of her early ballads, An Art Gallery Could Never Be As Unique As You, was a hit during the pandemic, skyrocketing her popularity as one of the freshest voices to watch out for. Her first Tagalog song, Ligaya, is also a certified banger with over 60 million streams to date. She was even featured on a Times Square billboard in New York City, showcasing her incredible success.
With mrld’s easy and emotionally intricate melodies, you’ll easily find yourself getting hooked on her real wrld (her fandom name). Plus, mark your calendars as she’s set to release a new single on April 28 titled, The Fate of the One Not Chosen. If the title is any indication, expect to feel both attacked and comforted at the same time.
If you’re looking for a fresh addition to your playlist that has some hard-hitting bass lines that will get you hyped up eternally, don’t miss PLAYERTWO. This five-member rap group from Davao City is making waves in the Bisaya rap movement, representing their hometown with pride. The group boasts of rapper-producers Impreso, Luke April, and Wave P, alongside creative directors Ven Villariza and DJ PUHKEN, who are all established artists in their own right.
PLAYERTWO broke out to the scene last year when their catchy, upbeat track THAT’S MY BABY went viral, thanks to being featured in one of Cong TV’s vlogs. They also landed a music deal with Warner Music Philippines and is now being managed by Paraisla’s Bret Jackson. This is quite a feat for PLAYERTWO, who just started releasing music online last year.
Now, PLAYERTWO has gained over a million monthly listeners with their fourth single TIKTIKTOKIN (a complete bop btw) having just been released. We even had the pleasure of having them perform at our Big Bold Brave Awards party,so trust us when we say that they’ll deliver a truly satisfying music experience.
The contemporary R&B music scene in the Philippines is a goldmine of undiscovered talents. One of them is DENȲ, a self-taught singer-songwriter whose smooth and soulful beats will satisfy your musical cravings. As part of the WAYBETTR collective, a group of promising young artists, DENȲ’s music revolves around love and affection. She created her breakout hit “Gusto With Ya” from scratch during the pandemic, and it has been getting bodies slowly grooving ever since, with over seven million streams to date.
DENȲ’s willingness to collaborate with other R&B and hip-hop artists shines through in her latest single, Alam Ko Na, featuring the talents of Just Hush and Third Flo’. Inspired by the K-pop superstars BTS, whom she describes as her “first catalysts,” DENȲ has already crafted eight soul-satisfying singles so far including Still Miss You (her collab with Cean Jr.), Like Me, and Mahiyain. To experience a musical journey that will stir your soul and leave you feeling complete, DENȲ is your top priority.
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