Ready for some Manila magic? Vocalist Kat Aggarado chats about the 'baby-making music'
Before her Filipino band's 10-nights-in-a-row debut performance, vocalist Kat Aggarado chats about the 'baby-making music' they’re famous for
In early 2000s, Manila, the capital city of The Philippines, witnessed the birth of a new generation of independent bands inspired by the Pinoy soul movement. Their songs featured a range of influences, from jazz to funk, Motown soul music and rock. These genres were collectively termed as the Pinoy soul. One of the earliest bands to play this music was Sino Sikat [Filipino: Who is Kat], launched by Kat Aggarado in 2004. "Since many musical influences led to the creation of our sound, we didn't know what to label it. We are Filipinos [Pinoy] and play music from our soul, so we decided to call it Pinoy soul. After us, many others began to play what we call 'baby making music'. It led to the birth of the movement," says Manila-based Aggarado, vocalist of the band that includes Niki Cabardo (keyboard), Tim Dadivas (drums), Bergan Nunez (bass) and Carlos Jesena (guitar).
Kat Aggarado (centre) with members of Sino Sikat
They have released two albums so far -- An Eponymous One (2007) and 2nd Album (2009) -- with tracks in English and Tagalog, the second language of most Filipinos. They will now perform their debut gig in the city for 10 nights. Aggarado chats about her inspirations, influences and why there's always a party in Manila.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
What set will you play in Mumbai?
Original jazz and blues, along with familiar classics that we have re-arranged. On New Year's eve, we'll play covers of Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin. I may also sing an Indian song.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
A voice teacher introduced me to Broadway songs. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were a big deal because I would win by singing their tracks at competitions. I also grew up on rock. At 16, I joined a professional band [Kindred Garden] that played R 'n' B, and rap. I also performed electronic and classic rock numbers with other bands. Then, I began listening to a lot of jazz and soul, and that gave birth to Sino Sikat.
What indigenous influences do you include in your songs?
It has been my dream to bring Filipino soul music to the international stage. It's why our albums feature tagalog songs, which are beautiful and sexy. In 2nd Album, I also created a song with a Middle Eastern sound since my father was Persian.
Has the EDM revolution undermined indie sounds in The Philippines?
There's a big community of EDM, and there's always a party. The indie band scene is also strong.
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