GRAMMYs: How 88rising's New Label Is Pushing Filipino Music

The following is an excerpt from the GRAMMYs. Read the full article here.

In July 2020, 88rising partnered with Globe Telecom, the Philippines' biggest telecommunications company, to create PARADISE RISING, a label focused on highlighting Filipino artists and culture. The imprint's inaugural mixtape, semilucent, released last month (July 31), spotlights the rising artists putting the island country on the music map, including Jason Dhakal, Leila Alcasid, Massiah, Fern., and Kiana V. Collectively, semilucent embodies the individual artists' Filipino heritage and culture. caught up with 88rising founder Sean Miyashiro and Filipino artists Kiana V and Leila Alcasid to talk about how PARADISE RISING is spotlighting the blossoming music scene in the Philippines, the rising influence of Asian artists in R&B and hip-hop, and the ongoing journey toward "true Asian representation in pop culture."

The label's debut EP, semilucent, highlights the broad diversity of Filipino artists and styles. Is there something about the Philippines, in particular, that led you to explore the artists and music from there?

Miyashiro: The Philippines has such a vibrant music culture, and there are so many young talented artists who are emerging. We want to amplify this on a global scale. 

What parts of your Filipino culture and heritage do you bring into your music, lyrics and songwriting?

Kiana V: I'd say being a Filipino, we're very passionate people, and you hear that in our music; [whether it's] songs that are lively, our ballads or in our folk music, the vulnerability stands out. That's something I definitely bring into my music. 

Leila Alcasid: I always pay attention to my process; Filipinos always want to give every part of themselves. The way that this translates in music is that we're very vulnerable. If you look at the music that we listen to, it's really all to do with digging deep and having music that relates to the human condition ... I guess I'm trying to be as vulnerable as possible, trying to open myself up.