Monthly Archives

July 2020



The launched of Island Records Philippines, a new domestic label division dedicated to helping the best musical talent from the Philippines to achieve local success, whilst reaching new audiences worldwide. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the illustrious history of Island Records, which was founded 61 years ago in Jamaica by Chris Blackwell and has helped shape and influence global artist and music culture for more than six decades. Opening its first international division within Asia, Island Records Philippines will honour the historic legacy of the label, by celebrating the rich diversity of music produced throughout the country, which itself is an island nation, made up of 7641 individual islands.

Island Records Philippines also launches with a flagship roster that includes some of the most popular and respected Filipino talent including; Juan Karlos; Over October and LalaVinzon, alongside new label signings Zack Tabudlo; Fern and One Click Straight. The announcement was made yesterday via a virtual live-streaming press conference from Manila by Enzo Valdez, MD, Universal Music Philippines.

In making the announcement, Valdez said, “We are excited to launch Island Records here in the Philippines and to build our own family of local artists, that can further extend the huge legacy of Island within the region and beyond. In the coming years, we will look to establish Island as a home to some of the most impactful and important artists from the Philippines, whilst introducing them to new audiences around the world through UMG’s unrivalled global network of companies around the world.”

Calvin Wong, CEO, Universal Music Southeast Asia & Senior Vice President, Asia Universal Music said, “In keeping with the traditions and values of the historic Island label, we are looking forward to creating a respected home for great artistry and talent from the Philippines.”

The press conference featured performances from the label’s roster of artists, alongside video messages of welcome and support from across the global Island Records family including: Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell, DarcusBeese, President, Island Records U.S., Louis Bloom, President, Island Records U.K. and artists including; PUBLIC; Skip Marley; Johnny Orlando; Olivier O’Brien;Keshi; Jack Ross and Banners.

“I’m so proud to hear that Island Records has started in the Philippines. One Love.”Chris Blackwell, Founder, Island Records.

“A message to all the new artists in the Philippines. We are here, we are your family and we look forward to working with you.”– DarcusBeese, President & CEO, Island Records U.S.

“Island Records is rightly regarded as one of the most iconic record labels in the world since it was founded by Chris Blackwell just over 60 years ago. Through its many incredible and inspirational artists, Island has helped shift and shape culture around the globe. We are absolutely delighted that Island will have its own outpost in the Philippines, and we are sure we will share in this legacy and forge a bright and successful future. Welcome to the Island Family.”Louis Bloom, President, Island Records U.K.

Universal Music Philippines has led the local music market for more than a decade and is currently home to an array of leading Filipino talent including; Darren Espanto & Autotellic. UMG recently announced the arrival of Def Jam Philippines, a new regional label dedicated to developing and nurturing the best in hip-hop talent and culture within the country, with its first signing the hotly tipped VVS Collective. The launch of Island Records Philippines will further strengthen its position as the natural home for the best in domestic music talent for many years to come.

The first release on Island Records Philippines is “BLESS Ü”, the new single from Juan Karlos which is released on July 24, followed by “Nangangamba” by Zack Tabudlo which follows on July 31.




Juan Karlos latest single, “BLESS Ü” encourages hope and strength amid the pandemic

This July 24, 2020 (Friday), the OPM hit-making band Juan Karlos (stylized juankarlos) channels their inner strength with their newest single, “BLESS Ü,” out on all digital and streaming worldwide via Island Records Philippines. The pop-R&B track delves into our collective toughness of spirit during these challenging times and hopes to ease some of our worries and fears. The band pledged part of the revenue streams of “BLESS Ü” to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as hold a special online fundraising concert to support our countrymen and connect with fans virtually.

The song’s uplifting message was something juankarlos strives to bring forth to the public whenever we’re faced with adversity, but more so and critically, during a health crisis with seemingly no end in sight right now. “The song, or at least the idea of it, was already made prior to the lockdown. Basically, it was just on standby. But when the pandemic happened, all gigs were cancelled,” frontman JK Labajo shares. “We thought it’d be a good idea to record something different from the music people are already familiar with from us.” While the circumstances then and now are vastly different, their intentions remain the same: finding hope. “Just hold on tight / For in the end of every tunnel / baby there’s light,” he croons.

The songwriting and recording process for “BLESS Ü” had its fair share of unique, unprecedented challenges. Completing it during the lockdown meant adjusting to several limitations. “Not all of our members have their own home setup so [doing it separately] was just not feasible,” according to JK. “But when the lockdown was lifted, we were ableto record it properly.” The band welcomed the experience, knowing that ultimately, the song is bigger than their own. JK hopes for listeners to trust in our ability to overcome and that together, we’ll get through.

In just a few years that the band has been making music, they’re not one to shy away from shedding light on critical and necessary topics, often drawing from their own lived experience. “I’ve experienced depression and anxiety… and it’s really frustrating, the feeling of being down all the time,” JK describes. With “BLESS Ü,” they wanted to offer people going through the same mental health situation some comfort, to “help them feel somehow lighter,” he adds.

“BLESS Ü” also follows the release of the band’s debut album Diwa and the emotionally charged single” Sampaguita,” which emphasizes the hardships faced by OFWs. A lot has changed since the album’s release, but his fearless message on these topics remains embedded in his music.

Music has always been one of the most powerful forms of culture due to its ability to rally people’s spirits. Right now, what we need is a resounding feeling of hope and compassion more than ever. If you believe that this song has that very power, then honey, God BLESS Ü.

About Juan Karlos

Juan Karlos is a Filipino band and six-time Platinum awardee signed under MCA Music composed of JK Labajo on vocals and guitar, Jeriko Aguilar on guitar, Louise Bayas on bass, and GianHipolito on drums. Formed in 2018, the eponymous band went under several personnel changes and ultimately released their smash hit, “Buwan” in the same year. Frontman JK Labajo shared that his solo music career is currently inactive. Hailing from Cebu, he first gained recognition as a finalist on The Voice Kids Philippines and went on to pursue a career in music and acting. Following the release of his albums under MCA Music, JK (2015) and JKL (2017), he realized that he has to stop settling and commit to what he really wants: to write, produce, and perform his own songs the way he hears it in his head and heart and be part of a band. Juan Karlos aims to “dream big or go home” and to make a mark in OPM and globally. “I want to be able to make a change, a difference,” he said. I want to show people the importance and beauty of music. I’m in music for the art, to earn in order to fund my daily needs and dreams, and for recognition so I can have reach and to be heard.”




The acclaimed singer-songwriter based in Singapore, Jean Tan will be releasing her new single “Oak Cherry Wine” on July 24 (Friday) via Leeway and various digital and streaming platforms worldwide. “Oak Cherry Wine” is inspired by recent events in her life: her personal health struggles with kidney disease and the man who married her despite the uncertainty of a lifetime together.

Perhaps it’s why it feels so powerful despite the simple instrumentation of keys and a couple of guitars. Everything is felt so keenly from the moment Jean whispers 1, 2, 3, 4  in your ear at the start to the soaring, dulcet tones of the chorus: I love you / and it’s funny how / I’ll need you and breathe you / Be with you every moment now…

“Oak Cherry Wine” is Jean’s third and final single before the anticipated 5-song EP is released in fall 2020, produced and arranged by Singaporean R&B artist and multi-instrumentalist Dru Chen. Her music is a blend of folk, indie, and vocal jazz.

Definitely not just another love song, though familiar themes of courtship and romance feature like they do in the previous singles, this is perhaps Jean’s most personal release to date. This is an ode to love, but a deeper kind – one that grows better with age, holds steady in both the valley and mountain moments. It is a lettred’amour to the lover who decides to stay for better and worse, richer and poorer, in sickness and in health.

Even in the simplicity of the arrangement, the listener is taken on a journey as the melodies of the two guitars dance around each other like two binary stars. Seventh chords. A walking, no, skipping bass line. An unexpected twinkling of the electric piano right at the end to bring it all home.

The song offers endless contrasts and complexity in so few elements that it’s hard not to be intrigued. It is sentimental, but fierce. Sweet but not saccharine. A glass of oak cherry wine, tilted to the lips – bittersweet, familiar, true.

Lyrics of Oak Cherry Wine


My oak cherry wine

My mortal and divine

Bright strokes of colour

Brush past my cheeks in your night


Sweet as honey, rich as gold

Innocent as songs of old

The romance of you

Familiar and true

The charm in your whispers

Just makes me say I


Love you, I love you

I love you, and it’s funny how

I’ll need you, breathe you

Be with you every moment now

My heart’s yours for a lifetime

Yours for the good times

Yours through the blue times

Oh how I’m lovin’ you


Oh sweet cherry wine

Taste of oak in your vine

The romance of you

Familiar and true

The charm in your whispers

The charm in your whispers

Just makes me say I

[Repeat chorus]


How I’m lovin’ you

Baby how I’m lovin’ you


Single Credits

Music and words by Jean Tan

Produced and mixed by Dru Chen

Guitar, Keyboards, and Organ by Dru Chen

Additional Guitar by Leo Goh

Mastered by Cameron Henry

Artwork by Lee Wen Ling

© 2020 Leeway.


Follow Jean Tan on Social Media:;;;;







With the new McDo Party Box You Can Now Celebrate Parties At Home

There’s no reason to skip the important events like birthdays while we need to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can still celebrate with an exciting party to remember – even right in the comforts of your home! Party planning is now easier than ever with the accessible, hassle-free, and convenient way of setting up a celebration whenever and wherever with the all-in-one McDo Party Box.

The McDo Party Box now available for as low as Php 1,699. With a complete food and party amenities for the whole family to enjoy moments and milestones worth cherishing, plus it does not require advance ordering or pre-booking, so you can easily get your party essentials in a snap via the McDelivery App, website, Drive-thru, Take-out and Pick-up!

In addition to McDonald’s favorites feast on, the McDo Party Box is the party planner’s ultimate starter pack because it also comes with exciting amenities such as party hats, activity tray mats, assorted mystery classic Happy Meal toys, balloons, and a limited edition McDo pillow as a special treat especially for the celebrant!

With McDo Party Box bundle for every kind of celebration there are up to four (4) bundles to choose from –  two (2) sets are good for five (5) pax available at PHP 1,699, and the other two (2) sets are good for ten (10) pax priced at PHP 2,999. You can indulge in some of the well-loved favorites by taking your pick between the McSpaghetti bundle, or the Chicken McNuggets bundle, both of which also comes with the original Chicken McDo, BFF Fries, and Regular Coke.

Don’t miss out, and experience fun-filled celebrations made easy with the McDo Party Box that’s now available in select stores nationwide. You can simply order via Drive Thru, Take Out, or McDelivery (, App, Chatbot, or by calling the hotline 8888-6236 (for NCR), without the need to do any advance ordering or pre-booking.

For more information, visit the link For updates, follow McDonald’s Philippines’ official Facebook at, Twitter at, Instagram at, and Viber Community group at McDo PH.



DJ Khaled released two singles “Popstar” and “Greece”

DJ Khaled

To everyone’s surprise, DJ Khaled the GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum artist, music industry visionary, innovative influencer, mogul, and mega-producer has released not one, but two new singles with Canadian music superstar Drake.

Popstar Art

The massive singles “POPSTAR” and “GREECE” set the stage for his for his twelfth full-length album and one of the most anticipated hip-hop events of 2020, Khaled—coming very soon. Using his given name, it marks his most personal and powerful body of work yet. He makes a statement with both of these blockbuster anthems. Over lavish production and a cinematic beat, “POPSTAR” reflects on each titan’s place in the game as modern-day superstars responsible for a successive string of hit records. Meanwhile, “GREECE” nods to the finer pleasures in life with its rich bounce and luxurious rhymes. These songs continue one of the most legendary collaborative brotherhoods in hip-hop history between Khaled and Drake.


The two-punch release serves as their first team-up in three years, following the success of 2011’s “I’m on One,” 2013’s “No New Friends,” 2016’s “For Free” and 2017’s “To The Max.” DJ Khaled notably kicked off 2020 by winning a GRAMMY® Award in the category of Best Rap/Sung Performance for the gold-selling “Higher” [feat. NipseyHussle& John Legend], paving the way for a massive year.

Since launching his career two decades ago, DJ Khaled has sold 18 million singles and 5 million albums and generated 3 billion-plus streams. His discography encompasses eight gold singles, five platinum singles, and two double-platinum singles. He landed back-to-back #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 with the gold-selling Major Key in 2016 and platinum-certified GRAMMY® Award-nominated Grateful in 2017. The latter boasted the sextuple-platinum Billboard Hot 100 #1 “I’m The One” (feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, & Lil Wayne) and quadruple-platinum “Wild Thoughts” (feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller).

DJ Khaled’s“POPSTAR” and “GREECE” (Feat. Drake) are now available on all digital platforms worldwide via We The Best/Epic Records.






Honor XVAN with posthumous debut EP

Album Art by @jonniewalking

Singapore’s top electronic producers and artists have come together to honor XVAN’s music by completing and releasing his work in a posthumous self-titled debut EP released via indie label Umami Records. Now you can listen to ‘XVAN’ EP everywhere at this link:

In 2018, XVAN’s debut single “What’s It?” caught the attention of international superstar producers Martin Garrix and Madison Mars who featured the song on their artist playlists. He went on to win a remix competition organized by MTV Asia and a coveted spot on Evanturetime’s debut EP with his smooth rendition of the song ‘Sober’.

Shortly after, XVAN passed away from cancer and left behind some unfinished demos. To honor XVAN’s artistic legacy, his peers in the music industry got together to rework the material and release it officially.

The self-titled album features contributions from musician-friends from the electronic, indie and pop music scenes as top-billed by DJ/producer MYRNE whom XVAN had cited as one of his biggest inspirations. “One person I would really like to work on something with would be MYRNE himself, but I believe I still have a very long way to go before that happens”, said XVAN in response to an interview question about potential collaborations in 2018.

‘all in (my head),’ the lead single of the EP, was co-produced by Evanturetime and features singer-songwriterKarena Yeo. Evanturetime shares, “XVAN is a young and amazingly talented producer and I had the joy of witnessing him remix a track of mine. He has his own sound that is mature and uniquely identifiable to be his and his alone. I am honored to be a part of his posthumous EP and I hope that we’ve done our best to reflect his love and spirit for music.”

Track List

  1. Spiral
  2. Sunlight by XVAN, Foxela, Brittle Bear and Karena Yeo
  3. No Past No future by XVAN and KNIGHTNDAE
  4. all in (my head) by Evanturetime and Karena Yeo

About XVAN

XVAN is the alias of Singapore electronic producer Ivan Tan. A play on the letters of his name, Ivan replaced the letter “I” with “X” to remind himself that whenever he is creating music, it is not for himself, but for others. In 2018, XVAN’s debut single “What’s It?” caught the attention of international superstar producers Martin Garrix and Madison Mars who featured the song on their artist playlists. He went on to win a remix competition organised by MTV Asia and a coveted spot on Evanturetime’s debut EP with his smooth rendition of the song ‘Sober’. Shortly after, XVAN passed on due to cancer and left behind some unfinished demos. In 2020, some of Singapore’s top electronic producers and artists: Evanturetime, MYRNE, Foxela, Brittle Bear, KNIGHTNDAE and Karena Yeo; came together to honour XVAN and his music by completing and releasing his work in a posthumous self-titled debut EP.




the vowels they orbit explores emotional intricacies on debut EP

Filipino indie pop-rock outfit the vowels they orbit has finally released their highly anticipated EP, angunangikot  and also now available on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

With songs that find strength in vulnerability, the band’s major label debut expounds on the complexities of young love from the perspective of someone who has gone through several missteps and recoveries in life.

On a thematic standpoint, the lyrics shine a light on certain issues that people tend to avoid in regular conversations: the melancholic “Pasa” recalls a harrowing story of abuse; the light-hearted ditty “Selos” struggles to conceal jealousy no matter how hard the person tries; and then there’s “Kiliti,” a song about finding that perfect someone in an imperfect situation.The 5-track release offers home to fragile beings caught in the throes of love, hoping that they’ll learn from their previous mistakes and come out as better individuals after.

According to the band, intention.“all tracks were written in the context of love, but like every other song out there, they all go beyond the intention ” Patch Javier adds, “the latest EP tackles what most relationship journeys look like during [their] firsts.”

Angunangikot, is written, arranged and performed by the vowels they orbit, except for “Selos,” which was penned by Darwin Hernandez—the hitmaker behind chart-topping singles “Torete” and “Sandalan.” The album is produced by Rye Sarmiento, the guitarist of 6cyclemind and Banda Ni Kleggy.

About The Band

Signed to Sony Music Philippines, the vowels they orbit makes captivating pop-rock anthems laced with discernible hooks and strong melodic instincts. This is evident on their debut single “Selos,” which peaked at No. 2 on Spotify Philippines’ Viral 50 charts and No. 1 on Love Radio 90.7 Top 10. The band, composed of Nikka Melchor (Vocals), Jeremy Sayas (Drums), Hannah Dela Cruz (Keyboard), Gene Santiago (Guitars) and Patch Javier (Bass), is managed by SoupstarMusic—the home to several established and promising music acts such as 6cyclemind, Teeth, Imago, Sandwich, Pedicab, Moonstar88, Ultra Combo, Gracenote, Banda ni Kleggy, Better Days, the vowels they orbit, and Kurei.






“NakikinigKa Ba Sa Akin” the music video

Ben&Ben, award- winning Filipino portrays family drama and explores the complicated dynamics of a fictional family in the music video of “NakikinigKa Ba Sa Akin.” And is now out on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

Revolving around a realistic depiction of a family on the verge of dysfunction, the narrative hits home with each member learning how to listen to each other, and speak their minds. It also examines the flawed but beautiful relationships that we nurture within the family, and the decisions we make in extraordinary circumstances.

Helmed by “Pagtingin” music video director Jorel Lising, the intimate piece features ensemble acting performances by Agot Isidro, Bart Guingona, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Kelvin Miranda.

Lising’s compelling take on Ben&Ben’s massive hit has earned praises from various publications in the country. Renuel Fallore of MYX shares that the “cinematic music video couldn’t have come at a better time,” and reflects on its importance in today’s socio-political landscape. Bandwagon Asia, in its coverage of the song’s official tease a few months ago, took notice of the song’s evocative lyrics, which remind“people that COVID-19 remains to be the common enemy in this difficult time,” and therefore needs critical attentionand vigilance.

As of July 14, Tuesday, the “NakikinigKa Ba Sa Akin” music video is currently trending on YouTube with more than 300,000 views in four days.  On Spotify alone, Ben&Ben’s latest single has reached more than a million streams in its second week, making it one of the biggest releases of the month so far.








Culinary Heritage in “Stories for a Better Normal” Series

The one who will discuss the importance of preserving local food and culinary heritage through sustainable diet for the ninth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic on “Culinary Heritage,” will be the House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with culinary experts and culinary heritage advocates. This episode will air on Thursday, 16 July 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at and

Joining Legarda are Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Ms. Louella Eslao-Alix, culinary heritage author; Ms. Luth Camiña from CamiñaBalayngaBato in Iloilo; Datu Shariff Pendatun III, chef and author of “On The Cuisine of Muslim Mindanao”; Ms. Amy Besa, restaurateur and author; and Mr. Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to teach citizens to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient. And this upcoming episode will underscore how the preservation of local food and culinary heritage promotes agrobiodiversity, a key adaptation strategy in mitigating the impact of climate change on food security. It aims to help map and revitalize the country’s local food and culinary heritage.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.




Food, Health and Wellness


During this challenging time we need to be healthy not only for our body but also healthy food for our hair. Good news, the country’s leading natural hair loss solution, NOVUHAIR®, supports the nation in highlighting the importance of a healthy and balanced nutrition amidst the ongoing health crisis.

NOVUHAIR® partnered with Chefy Wifey’s Kitchen and cooked up something, literally. Consistent with the brand’s advocacy, the “Food for the Hair” mini-program shall offer four (4) video demo episodes on how to prepare practical, nutritious and easy-to-do meals at home, focusing on ingredients that support healthy hair and prevent hair loss.

The initial episode features VIP Nutrition Coach Michelle Co-Huertas’ Chicken Afritada with Boiled Egg, a Filipino staple recipe loaded with nutrients and vitamins essential in achieving the best hair growth goal.

Chefy Wifey’s Kitchen prepared with TLC 100 packs and donated them to the hospital medical staff of the Philippine General Hospital in the city of Manila.

Try this healthy bite recipe and make happy faces at home.

Discover more at