Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Maximillian, and more to headline BYE2020

Philippine record labels and musicians of all stripes are standing up for solidarity with the biggest concert event of 2020.

With the utmost goal of bringing together the Filipino people through music and inspiring them to help cope better in the face of adversity, BYE2020 is a powerful statement that not only recognizes the small but impactful triumphs of the music community despite a very challenging year, but also honors the collective efforts of everyone in holding each other up during the pandemic.

28 artists are set to join the movement with virtual performances designed to make the experience as immersive and enjoyable as possible.

The lineup includes some of the biggest acts here and abroad, including Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Matthaios, The Itchyworms, Leanne & Naara, Maximillian (DK), Peach Tree Rascals (US), Tate Mcrae (CA), Glaiza de Castro, Kean Cipriano, Lala Vizon, Zack Tabudlo, Keiko Necessario, Fern., Elha Nympha, Autotelic, Sud, Miguel Odron, VVS Collective, Ace Banzuelo, Paolo Sandejas, Earl Generao, FANA, TALA, J-Nine and Dia Mate.

In a statement by the team behind the virtual show, BYE2020 is committed to mounting the first-of-its-kind year-ender party to usher in a brighter, better new year and turn this unprecedented moment in history into a collective call to seek a way out of darkness through unity, hope, and music.

“What BYE2020 delivers is a way for every Filipino to look back at all of the challenges we have faced, and enter 2021 a bit more hopeful,” the organizers explained. “Fortunately for us technology has allowed us to re-imagine what we can do for music entertainment and live events. And we are bringing to bear every learning, every talent, and every skill we have gained this 2020 and applying it to our event BYE2020.”

Aside from top-notch entertainment and much-awaited surprises, BYE2020 is set to recognize some of the most notable feats in the online space in order to shine a light on the more positive side of 2020. Through the Best of the Year Awards, digital platforms such as Facebook, Spotify and TikTok, and other notable partners will be part of a special segment dedicated to awarding the finest local creators for their record-breaking achievements in digital content and entertainment.

The six-hour continuous virtual event will be streamed live on multiple platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and more on December 31, 2020, from 7pm onwards. It will also air on Sky Cable (Ch 955 HD and 155 SD).

For exclusive concert privileges such as access to zoom pits, backstage content with the artists, and limited-edition merch, visit ticket2me.net to get tickets.

BYE2020 is brought to you by Pepsi, Tinder, and Its More Fun in the Philippines, and is presented by MCA Music, Sony Music Philippines, Warner Music Philippines, O/C Records, Star Music, Universal Records, and Midas Records.

The virtual showcase is also co-presented by Official Beer Partner, Heineken; Official Streaming Partners, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok; Official Music Partner, Spotify; Official Cable Partner, Sky Cable; in partnership with Viber; and Media Partners, CNN Philippines, InqPop, Manila Concert Scene, We The Pvblic, UDoU PH, Wonder, Rank Magazine, Adobo Magazine, Starmometer, and Rakista.

The Itchyworms brings festive cheer with “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko”

The Itchyworms keeps the holiday cheer going with the simultaneous release of two Christmas songs “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko.” In honoring the time-tested tradition of writing Yuletide-themed originals that are meant to bring people closer to home in feeling and essence, the pop-rock quartet is keen on uplifting our spirits during the pandemic.  

Drummer and lead vocalist Jazz Nicolas points out the important of Christmas songs in a very crucial time like this. “We need to be reminded of the joy and hope and the spirit of giving. It’s the time of year when the world falls in love, so it’s important to listen to Christmas songs all year round.” 

Kelvin Yu, the band’s bassist, echoes Nicolas’ sentiments. According to him, Christmas songs are those anchors in our lives that we can always expect to be there for us no matter what the situation is. “There will always be Christmas songs: during good times, it further uplifts us; and during not so good times, it can provide us with that warm hug that everyone needs come December,” Yu shares.

Have A Merry Christmas: A Modern Holiday Standard

According to lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jugs Jugueta, “Have A Merry Christmas” is inspired by a meme featuring Jose Mari Chan, inarguably one of the most popular holiday tunesmiths ever. “When the Jose Mari Chan meme first came out, it was funny,” says Jugueta. “But then, people just do it every year and it becomes not as funny anymore. Anyway, one time I posted a challenge to my Facebook friends: instead of posting about Jose Mari Chan, why don’t you write your own Christmas song? ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ is an attempt to do so.”

Intricately arranged with Beatlesque pop harmonies, swoony string arrangements, and catchy, sing-along moments, “Have A Merry Christmas” fills the air with comforting message of joy and positivity. In describing the musical process behind the Christmas bop, Chino Singson, The Itchyworms’ guitarist, envisions a lush template in mind: “The melodies are definitely Britpop, and our classic shuffle a la Akin Ka Na Lang and Chocophotoland completes the aesthetic vibe.”

Written by Jugs Jugueta, “Have A Merry Christmas” is a “smorgasbord of Christmas tropes or cliches all rolled into one song.” Nicolas adds, “When you mix them all together, you get a song that pretty much says, Merry Christmas!”

Maligayang Pasko: A jazzy, tropical-infused jingle

Helmed and produced by Jazz Nicolas, “Maligayang Pasko” takes you back to the ‘70s and early ‘80s era: a laid-back, groovy tune that winks toward Manila Sound and city pop. It’s a nostalgic Hallmark anthem whose groove, to quote Nicolas, “is partly based on a latin or bossa nova beat, mixed with funky guitars.” 

The multi-instrumentalist member of The Itchyworms also add a little bit of camp experimentation in the mix in an attempt to highlight the band’s sense of musical adventurousness. Nicolas recalls, “I was very excited to use a combination of a vocoder, which is sort of a voice synthesizer and a text-to-speech type program to sing the chorus harmonies with us. I programmed three tracks of text-to-speech saying ‘mah lee guy young pass koh’ and tuned each them to sing in harmony.”

This organized chaos resulted into a Christmas song dipped in Tropicália and jazzy elements, and serves as an exploration into an unfamiliar sonic territory.

Both “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko” exude the timelessness of holiday songs, and its significance in bringing festive cheer to everyone, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. As Kelvin Yu puts it, “I feel that Christmas should still be celebrated this year, especially with the important people in your lives. This year has been tough on everyone, and has made us all appreciate our loved ones, and we can keep them close and celebrate life with them every day, and not only on Christmas.”

The Itchyworms’ “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko” are now available on all streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

The Itchyworms to launch quarantine-themed album with a virtual event

The Itchyworms will be hosting a virtual album launch to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated fifth album, Waiting For The End To Start

A few hours before the 9-track album drops on digital platforms worldwide, the acclaimed pop-rock outfit is set to debut the songs for the very first time through an online listening and live commentary party, which will be streamed live via The Itchyworms’ official Facebook page on August 17, (Monday), from 7:30 pm onwards. 

Expect a night of fun and entertainment as The Itchyworms perform select cuts from their upcoming release, and promise music listeners to deliver a riveting music experience like no other. 

About the album

The Itchyworms’ upcoming studio album, Waiting For The End To Start was conceptualized and recorded with the members of the band confined in their respective homes during the nationwide lockdown. 

Thematically, the songs are written as a reflection of their individual and collective experiences during the quarantine period. It also inhabits a more adventurous and relentless approach in terms of production and songwriting, which produced captivating end results that music fans will surely love.

As Chino Singson, the band’s lead guitarist and back-up vocalist, shares in a statement, “Like any collection of music, it is a record of its time: A snapshot of the artist’s reaction to his or her circumstances. But it’s a concept album in that our aim was to create art in the midst of a pandemic, to capture our emotions in the music we record, even with the limited recording gear we have at home. So you’ll hear amp buzz and imperfect vocals, but for me that’s part of the spirit of true rock.”

The Itchyworms’ “Waiting For The End To Start” virtual album launch is presented by Sony Music Philippines, GNN Entertainment, and Linya-Linya.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release