What do you do when you have your very first concert in your home country? For Filipino-Australian musician RINI, a lot.
You’ve probably come across a busker at least once who is either singing, dancing, or showcasing whatever talent they have on the street. And sure, they might be another face you pass by, but they also might be the next big thing. Just take a look at what’s happening with RINI. The Filipino-Australian used to busk on the streets of Melbourne as a young musician hoping to get his music career started.
Now, his songs are on people’s playlists all over the world, and he’s currently getting his travel miles on his current world tour, which includes a stop at his hometown of Manila on July 19 at Samsung Hall. It’s a full-circle moment when you consider that RINI was born and raised in Manila and is now coming home for his very first concert in the country as a rising R&B star. Ahead of his trip to Manila, we got a chance to chat with the singer-songwriter where he let us in about his hometown return, the tour life, and more. Read on below for what he had to say.
How are you feeling the fact that you get to hold a concert in your homeland for the very first time?
I’m definitely feeling a little bit nervous. It’s all mixed emotions. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to see all the Filipino fans. I’ve been looking forward to performing in my hometown so it’s full excitement right now.
And considering that it’s your homecoming concert, can we expect changes to the setlist.
I’m definitely planning on doing something special for the Philippines, exclusively for the Philippines. I’m not gonna let the secret out for now but there’s something for my Filipino fans because it’s gonna be my first time.
Will your family be there to watch you?
Yes, actually. My grandparents, uncles, and aunties are going to be there and my cousins as well. So glad to be reunited as well.
Aside from the concert, are there other things you want to do while you’re in the Philippines?
I definitely want to go eat some, like a bunch of street food and also do some shopping and link up with Filipino artists as well.
Speaking of Filipino food, do you have a favorite dish?
Yes, I’m a big fan of like, nilaga. I know it’s cliché but Adobo, the one my mom cooks, I just smash it. So going back home is going to be an amazing experience.
What goes through your mind whenever you hit the stage?
It’s definitely a lot of mental preparation. For me, the feeling of being nervous will never go away. I see it in a positive way. If you’re not nervous, then that means you don’t care enough. I make sure that I do my warm ups, we fully rehearse, everything’s ready to go down to like the outfit and everything on stage. It’s gotta be a show.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
I actually do a couple of push-ups and drink a little bit of whiskey with some honey and hot water. And, we always pray before we go on stage for the safety of everybody and to have fun and have a great show.
Fans often like to debate where the best place is to be in a concert. As an artist, where do you think is the best place to stay in a show?
Personally, I think the best place to be is in the middle. If you’re too close, then sometimes the stage is way too high. And if you’re too close when the speakers are on the sides, you don’t really get to experience the full atmosphere of the sound. Being in the back is like too far away. In the middle, you can see the artists, you can see the whole band, you can see the stage, and you can hear the music properly.
Going on a world tour is not easy, with the highs and lows of going from the concert stage to the hotel room. How do you handle that kind of energy and prevent yourself from being burnt out?
Being on tour, you want to party and experience stuff but also, you have to travel early the next day for another show. So it’s more of like a mental preparation. I make sure I know what’s going to happen There’s always going to be a limit for me and knowing when to stop like, ‘Oh, I gotta go back to my hotel and rest.’
What’s the most fun part of being on a world tour?
You get to make memories with the people that you’re traveling with and you really get to know them, and they become more of a family to you. And obviously, I love seeing and talking to the fans, hearing their stories. That’s kind of like an energy boost. Also discovering new places, exploring and trying out new foods, learning more about different cultures, and meeting new people making new friends.
If you’re younger self who was busking on the street in Melbourne could see you now, what do you think he would say?
I think he would definitely be proud and honestly a little speechless. I don’t think he would have thought that it would get this far.
And if you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him?
I would tell him to just keep doing your thing. Believe in yourself and keep the people close to you that care about you and genuinely want to help you and see you succeed. In the industry, there’s a lot of distractions and a lot of people that come to your life to take. I would just encourage him to just believe more in yourself because that’s something that I needed to work on back then.
Finally, how should your Filipino fans prepare for your Manila show?
There’s one song that I would love for them to prepare for, which is Strawberry Blossoms because like it’s in Manila. And the song talks about being the thriller from Manila. So we prepared something special for that part. And, like, I just want them to bring their energy and the Filipino hype so we can have fun and jump around, but also maybe bring some tissues because you might cry a little bit. And don’t forget to bring some water because everybody needs to stay hydrated.
RINI’s concert in Manila is presented by Live Nation PH. Get your tickets now to his show at Samsung Hall on July 19 here.