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Celebrating New Music the Island Way: A Party for Juan Karlos’ Drop 1

Island Records Philippines began life in the middle of a pandemic, and for the first time, it held a party in a gig venue on a Sunday night, on April 10, 2022, where Juan Karlos’ fellow artists and music fans got together at last for a memorable night. The reason for the celebration was Juan Karlos’ Drop 1, the new EP that dropped at the end of March on major digital platforms. Stream it HERE!

Photo by Kim Nunez

The night began with an astounding performance by JMara, who was joined by a live band and by his fellow Morobeats members. The Def Jam Philippines artist showed off his poetic prowess and smooth vocal stylings, accompanied by talented musicians who helped him weave his music together.

Photo by Kim Nunez

One Click Straight played next, and the energy and melodic prowess were in full force that night. One of their members told us that the music they played that evening reflected a new trajectory in their journey, which relied less on a particular uniform genre or style than on weaving together the various musical interests of their members.

It reminded us of what Juan Karlos told us when we asked him about what Drop 1 sounded like: “I don’t listen to a song and write something inspired by that song. I don’t have a specific artist that heavily influences the tracks. It’s more of a subconscious compilation of things that I listen to on a daily basis.”

Photo by Kim Nunez

Over October has been one of those bands on our radar for the longest time since their earliest days playing venues like the late, lamented Route 196. Over the years, their songwriting and performance style has been the secret to their musical endurance, and their setlist that night reflected that. Songs that evoked memories of the pre-pandemic years were there alongside songs of more recent vintage.

Photo by Kim Nunez

Before Juan Karlos played, we finally got the chance to see CHNDTR live. They impressed all of us with their musical talent, infectious energy, and a knack for catchy pop-punk that got everyone on their feet.

That night, we got to meet their first producer, Monty Macalino of the band Mayonnaise. He told us that, when he first met them, he wondered why no label would sign them, so he took them in. Now that they are part of the MCA/Universal Music Group, their music finds a new home and a new set of listeners.

Photo by Kim Nunez

Finally, Juan Karlos took the stage to play his music live, especially his songs from Drop 1, and his supporters and friends were not disappointed. He told us before the single dropped that his music spoke differently to different listeners.

Photo by Kim Nunez

As everyone responded in their own enthusiastic way to the music, we could sense an energetic exchange between him and the crowd in the room. This is what the live music experience is really like for everyone who’s part of it, and that is why people love being in the room where it happens.

Photo by Kim Nunez

As the Diegos prepared to spin their vinyl records to wrap up a long evening. Juan Karlos made his way out of the room shortly after his set ended. When we introduced ourselves, he told us that there would be a lot in store for us to write about. We are excited to hear what he’s up to next, and if that Sunday night was any indication, there would be more to celebrate in the time to come.


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