LUIS HARDER – “Ang Pag-ibig, Walang Kapintasan”
The current president of Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc., (DSAPI), Luis Harder wrote the song “Ang Pag-ibig, Walang Kapintasan,” in time for the 13th birthday of his daughter Adeline Lois who was born with Down syndrome. Harder’s latest song promises to embrace and showcase upcoming DSAPI activities as the National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month is celebrated in February.
Harder intends to continue producing music for noble causes. saying, “As president of DSAPI, I’d seen and talked with parents like me and (my wife) Sannie who have a child with Down syndrome. Alam ko ang sentiments nila at iisa lang ang pintig ng puso namin. My song also goes out to other children with special needs; if parents get to sing this song for their children, then my purpose is well-served.”
SOUND – “Maynila (Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Pipiliin)”
Picking up where their debut album titled BossaManila left off, the group Sound’s “Maynila” is another ode to the city’s vibrant spirit—unpredictable, chaotic, yet irresistibly magnetic. Inspired by the capital’s own urban cacophony, the track takes the listener through the city’s wild mood swings. But amidst the chaos, an enduring love shines through, capturing the essence of a metropolis that’s as vexing as it is enchanting.
SOUND are: Sach Castillo (vox, gtr), Malek Lopez (keyboards, piano, synth), Paolo Lim (drums), Chino Yuson (gtr), David Esteban (percussion). Chad Rialp (bass) and Erwin Fajardo (piano, synth).
IAN SNDRZ, ICE CREAM, AND PSVLM- “Flexin’”
This high-energy collaboration among three talented acts namely Ian Sndrz, Ice Cream, and singer/rapper Psvlm, blends Travis Scott’s vibes with the featured artists’ distinct fusion of rap and EDM that’s designed to ignite dance floors. Ian Sndrz crafts a pulsating backdrop of bass-heavy beats and catchy melodies, Ice Cream adds layers of intricate electronic elements , creating an immersive sonic experience and rapper Psvlm, delivers sharp and charismatic verses while riding the track’s dynamic rhythm.
With its hard-hitting beats, infectious hooks, and compelling lyrics, the track captures the essence of confidence and self-assurance, making it the perfect anthem for those who are unapologetically owning their style and presence.
MONOPOLICE – “ A Fine Day For A Swim”
Monopolice, an alternative rock project founded by Filipino singer-songwriter and producer Miguel Lim, is Melt Records’ Best new artist of 2023. What started as an experimental solo project of Lim and bandmate Lucente progressed into a full-fledged band, formed during the first rehearsal. Drawing heavily from influences in1990s and 2000s rock, art-rock, and shoegaze. Monopolice went above and beyond any expectations.
In addition to releasing their first two singles (with Perfume also featuring a music video the band produced themselves), the band has prolifically made the rounds of Cebu’s live music circuit, performing several shows to delighted crowds throughout the year, including a headlining show to launch the single, Perfume. In 2024, the band is set to release their debut album.
MBNEL – “8 TO INFINITY”
A second-generation Filipino-American artist with nearly 40 music videos on YouTube and over one million views, Mbnel has only broadened his reach with late 2023’s “8 To Infinity” album which Nel’s melodies, musicality, and vulnerability. Songs like “Tear Drops” and “Restart” show MBNel’s star power.
Nel’s gruff voice sounds rich and dynamic on “8 to Infinity,” and it is all by design. MBNel turns the “8” on its side to show that anything is possible, as he lives out that message and sets out to prove that opportunities for those who dream big are truly infinite. “I’ve been experiencing different things, and I’m telling a different story musically. I feel that I’m going to a new place creatively,” Nel admits. He is visiting the Philippines for the first time in 2024 to also mark his first time to visit as a professional artist, along with other planned stops in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
UJU – “THE SUN IS IN OUR EYES”
Garnering critical nods in 2022 with initial singles, “Promises” and “We Should’ve Walked But We Ran,”, the Dumaguete duo UJU deliberately set the stage for what would turn out to be a highly anticipated sophomore album. The Sun is in our Eyes. The album is described as nothing short of a masterpiece. Sadly, it was the band’s swan song prior to calling a hiatus.
The titular 6-minute track, “The Sun is in our Eyes,” is chock full of UJU’s signature lo-fi, reverb-drenched vibes and, as with the rest of the album, bittersweet themes that the duo has come to be known for — of friendships and love, and their inevitable dissolution as people move on to “greener pastures”, a story arch so easily relatable to those who call a university town like Dumaguete City home.