Musicians for Musicians

Khalel Czarine L. Tanalgo |

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A local music artist is the beating heart of every big city and small town. Every single musician in the world comes from a local music scene. Everyone starts somewhere, and that “somewhere” for a lot of artists means playing in their hometown’s old little venue with an audience of a few dozen people. Nobody just started out playing to thousands of people in big, renowned international clubs and arenas. Nobody. All the musicians we listen to were once local artists, members of a small niche community. They are often a community of a small group of people supporting each other by attending each other’s live gigs, sharing social media likes, and emotional support. Because the truth of the matter is, when you are on the small scale, not many people outside your friends and family would support you. 

So, remember that friend of yours who records music in their basement? They could be the next Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran! Who knows? But without our support, it might soon fade away. We won’t let this happen, would we? 

Our local music artists work hard to make music that does not only mean something to them, but something that brings the community together. This is exactly the vision of a community of new, young, emerging local artists in Iloilo, the Iloilo Champions of Music or ICX who put their one foot forward in changing the Philippine music landscape, one melody at a time. ICX is a network of artists who saw the potential in local music. 

So what, right? Why do they matter? Why should you give the time of day to musicians you’ve never heard of just because they live close to you? Why should we go out and give our support to local music artists like ICX? Joshua Tenorio, a rapper, singer, song-writer of Iloilo Champions of Music tells us why.

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ICX gives never-ending opportunities to emerging artists.

The music industry has been hit hard by Coronavirus with live performance revenue as the biggest casualty. But it wasn't just concert halls that had been shuttered, it was the bars and venues that would normally be having local music artists over. Lucky for our Ilonggo musicians, ICX came in the most impeccable timing. In response to the immediate pressures, they have developed actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by seeking ways to provide these artists with a platform, either booking them with gigs or inviting them to a mall busking.

ICX puts emphasis on collaboration and cross-promotion with other local music artists.

Some artists are better at working together to create a scene than others. ICX expands networks, makes contacts, and books multi-bills shows. With their mission to care for the local scene, they started collaborating and cross-promoting with other artists. After all, there’s no way you can build a scene all by yourself, anyway. Eventually, you will require the help and cooperation of others to boost the status of your music scene.

ICX is a form of self-expression.

Instead of turning suppressed emotions inward and letting them fester, ICX has inspired local music artists to turn their talent out into the world and share it with others. You don’t need a reason to. Just go grab that empty notebook and scribble your thoughts, pick up that guitar and make melodies, sing like you’re in stardom. But even if you have moments where you have nothing to pour, Joshua reminds us that even if you can’t write songs at the moment, you can still express yourself, by listening to other artists’ songs. After all, it’s also a way of supporting the people who wrote those feelings for you. 

We don’t realize it yet, but Iloilo does need communities like ICX and emerging local music artists to keep the local music scene interesting, compelling and alive for everyone in the area. Not only that, local music artists surely contribute to create a genuine sense of community. After all, it’s well known that music brings people together, no matter the background, age, gender or social group.

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So, the next weekend night you have nothing to do, check what’s happening on Facebook and go hit that ‘going’ button in a local live streaming event. Why not give a like to the artists’ social media pages, write them a nice comment or leave a coin in their tip jar? Explore those tiny, less-known or recently emerged bands in your city or town and see who’s playing. Who knows? You might find your new favourite song that speaks to you at a different level. 

Don’t think of supporting the local music scene as an act of charity. It isn’t. It’s a long-term enrichment experience. You never know, one day you might be able to tell your friends you know “that cool artist from your hometown” or the local bands you’ve seen in a filthy basement, might one day take the big step and that will be also thanks to people like you! 

To know more about Iloilo Champions of Music, watch the episode here or click play-here via Spotify. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to Stories in Studios for more stories.

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Khalel Czarine Tanalgo

A female student leader with an insatiable love for stories in all its shapes and forms. Her abundance of experience and exposure to public speaking and editorial writing, gained her an eye for detail, content, and command of syntax and grammar. She currently pursues excellence with Sowenscale by helping the company find its way through the noise with her words.