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EXCLUSIVE: Late Francis M. continues to influence, inspire rising bands



The music of Francis Magalona remains alive in the hearts of many Filipinos as rising bands Hey Xiao, Keen, and Blind Stereo Moon show.

FRANCIS MAGALONA (Photo from Pia Magalona’s Instagram account)

FRANCIS MAGALONA (Photo from Pia Magalona’s Instagram account)

The three recently paid tribute to the Master Rapper by doing a cover of his songs in a special live performance hosted by Manila Bulletin Life.

Hey Xiao is composed of Xiao Santiago-Inacay, vocalist and lyricist, Echo Singson and Richmond San Juan on guitars, drummer JP Cruz, bassist Paolo Legaspi.

HEY XIAO (Photos by JM Abcede/Manila Bulletin)

HEY XIAO (Photos by JM Abcede/Manila Bulletin)

In an interview, Xiao said she considers Francis M. one of the greatest artists the local scene has ever had. She has every album he had ever released, even those only available on cassette tape format.

“If he’s alive now, I would come up to him and say thank you,” she said. “His name, his talent resonates with anything original. I remember the time I used to sing and dance to his ‘Mga Kababayan’ song.”

Paolo likes it that Francis M. was able to unite the rock and hip-hop communities.



Keen is composed of Maica Mesa, Bjarne Mansalay, Kenneth Ignacio, Dann Dalida, and Aldrich Tapispisan. The lineup of Blind Stereo Moon has Julie Samonte, Moy Aniag, John Suarez, Gershon Vivas, and Dave Cruz.

Maica and Julie consider Francis “more than a rapper.”

“He also thinks of music visually. He has well-rounded talent, and the genre of his music is wide-ranging. He writes song in Filipino and English. Most importantly, you hear the sincerity in his songs,” Julie said.

Who are they?
Xiao, who started out as an acoustic solo artist, is the wife of Silent Sanctuary cellist Anjo Inacay. Later, Paolo became part of the same band.



On writing songs, Xiao explained they don’t go for trends. Rather, they aim to create something that captures hearts, like their first song “Iniwan” already on Spotify.

Keen has been in the industry less than two years. The alternative rock band from Bulacan recently released the song “Let It All Out,” with touches of metal, punk, and emo.

Blind Stereo Moon is back from hiatus. Julie described their sound “experimental.” Their influences are John Mayer, Bamboo, and Barbie’s Cradle, to name a few.

“We’re pop (musicians), but like the moon, we have two sides,” she said.

They have a newly-released song, “Little Green Dot,” which refers to the green button on Facebook.

Keen and Blind Stereo Moon are signed with Darkus Music, owned by brothers JM and Ace del Mundo of band Orange and Lemons.

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