Celebrate Filipino Heritage Month With Our First-Ever ‘Jasmine Presents’ Artist Showcase

Artists of Asian descent are not just thriving globally, they’re making a massive impact on the overall musical landscape. So in 2017, we launched Jasmine, a genreless flagship playlist that highlights Asian and Pacific Islander music communities around the world. Fans turn to Jasmine to discover artists from the United States, East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia like Raveena, keshi, Higher Brothers, Anik Khan, Saweetie, and CHUNG HA

This Filipino Heritage Month, we’re leveraging Jasmine in a whole new way to celebrate the cultural heritage of artists and listeners emerging from the Philippines by hosting Jasmine Presents: Filipino Heritage Month, presented by Spotify Stages. This is our first-ever Jasmine artist showcase, and October 20-27, eight artists of Filipino descent—Mndsgn with No_4mat; Ez Mil with MBNel; Lyn Lapid with Ashley Mehta; RINI; and P-Lo—will be headlining shows at the legendary New York City venue SOB’s. The showcase is open to the public, and fans who want to attend can purchase tickets for each individual show by following the links below.

Jasmine Presents:

Filipino Heritage Month

October 20: RINI

October 23: Ez Mil w/ MBNel

October 24: Lyn Lapid w/ Ashley Mehta

October 26: P-Lo

October 27: Mndsgn w/ No_4mat 

“We are thrilled to celebrate Filipino Heritage Month this year through the first Jasmine showcase,” said Ronny Ho, Spotify Head of Dance and Electronic Development. “October is a special month to celebrate one of the first groups of Asian immigrants to immigrate to the United States. The vibrant and diverse Filipino community is highlighted in the breadth of our playlist and this year’s showcase, with talents in hip-hop, pop, electronic, and more.”

Ahead of the showcase, For the Record spoke with some of the featured artists to learn more about what makes Filipino culture unique and how their heritage has shaped them as artists and people.

How is your Filipino heritage reflected in your music?

EZ MIL: I can say that I’m very proud of my Filipino heritage and it’s evident with my songs I sing in the languages of the Philippines, like “Panalo.” I also try to incorporate Filipino sounds and tribal instruments in my music.

No_4mat: I try to make my music as organically as possible, so inevitably my life experiences as a Filipino have shaped my taste and creative inspiration. I have a few tracks, like “Manilla” and “Sisig,” that more directly reference trips back home and feelings I get from eating my favorite foods, like sisig. But beyond those, I think a lot of the sounds and melodies I’m drawn to are pulled from my childhood and Filipino culture. 

Ashley Mehta: Growing up in a Filipino household, I was always surrounded by music. Karaoke was always nonstop at family parties, and the love we all have for singing would always shine through. When I write music today I try to capture that same energy that feels very community. I like creating feel-good music that you can use as a sense of release!

Can you share some of your biggest Filipino influences growing up?

Lyn Lapid: Filipino singers such as Jessica Sanchez and 4TH IMPACT were huge inspirations for me. I’d watch them audition on international talent shows with my mom, and that inspired me to start singing for fun. Alex Wassabi and Roi from Wassabi Productions inspired me to start making my own videos and posting them online even if I thought nobody would be watching.  

Mndsgn: Growing up, I remember my parents renting a lot of Filipino movies from a nearby family-owned Filipino bakery. I wish I could remember some of the titles, but a lot of those films were really dark and dramatic, and some of them kind of freaked me out. In retrospect, I feel like watching those movies immediately brought me close to a deeper sense of the unknown. And ironically, the unknown is now something that I constantly search for in music.

Ashley Mehta: My biggest Filipino influences music-wise definitely include P-Lo, Jeremy Passion, and H.E.R. They all have an incredible energy that I take influence from! Aside from music, I would say Manny Pacquiao. Growing up we’d always watch Pacquiao fights and come together rooting for our culture. The representation really showed me how important it is to embrace who we are. 

Are there any Filipino artists that you’re excited about right now?

MBNel: Ez Mil, ParisPlayedYou, JoeMari, and Yatta Bandz, just to name a few.

Mndsgn: Nathan Bajar is a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn that I’ve been a fan of for quite some time now. His songwriting is always so fresh and tasteful. There’s something in his music that really retains an honesty to his roots. The LA band Xinxin has also been resonating with me lately. The lead vocalist, Janize Ablaza, is Pinay, and the way she floats on each song is effortless. No skips on their records!

If there was one aspect of Filipino culture you could share with the entire world, what would it be?

Mndsgn: One of the most essential aspects in Filipino culture is the communion through food.  We love eating and we know everyone else does too. It’s such a centerpiece in our heritage and it’s probably our favorite way to gather and connect.

MBNel: Having respect for elders and taking family serious. I didn’t really realize or appreciate the value of that until I got older.

Ez Mil: I would say hospitality, and specifically, our ability to make people feel welcome or feel “at home” regardless of their background or nationality. I believe the world could benefit from fostering a culture of inclusivity and warmth. It promotes the idea of being interconnected and it celebrates diversity.

Lyn Lapid: If there’s one aspect of Filipino culture I’d share with the world, it’d be the incredible music that so many Filipino artists make. When I visited the Philippines earlier this year, I was blessed to meet the insanely talented dia maté and Elise Huang, a couple of local Filipino artists who make music on a whole other level.

No_4mat: If there was one aspect I’d share, it would be the hospitality via food and our open-arms mentality. We want everyone to eat and have a seat at the same table, which is the attitude I try to bring to my own life.

Don’t forget to grab your tickets for the Jasmine Presents showcase here. And to get hyped for the showcase, you can discover the diverse sounds of the Asian diaspora on Jasmine