There are no upcoming gigs for The Diegos.
Over the years, music snobs have always relegated the DJ to a somewhat secondary role to the performing musician because the former doesn’t really play his (or her) own music; he only hits the “play” button. But what if the DJ in question was an actual musician? Such is the case of the fast-rising DJ duo The Diegos, whose members have been active in the Filipino rock scene for over a decade. Diego Mapa has sung, played guitar, twiddled with synths, or any combination thereof with Pedicab, Tarsius, Monsterbot, Cambio, and others, while Diego Castillo has achieved nationwide prominence as the founding guitarist of Sandwich, one of the country’s most enduring, prolific, and hardworking bands.
Then again, DJing gave both Diegos the chance to play music that was different from the genres their respective bands dabbled in, and more importantly, let people hear songs that they both personally loved – songs that, in most cases, they’ve enjoyed all their lives. Since they couldn’t play these songs with their bands, spinning them at parties became the next best thing. Both started DJing individually in 2005, and soon the pair would find themselves booked together at the same events, so they decided to bill themselves as “The Diegos,” partly to save character space for posters, SMS blasts, and announcements. Inspired by David and Stephen Dewaele of 2manydjs fame (who also perform and record as the more traditional alt-rock band Soulwax), both Diegos began to mix and sequence their diverse tastes and sensibilities into cohesive, enjoyable sets that appeal to all kinds of partygoers and yes, even music snobs. On a typical night, a set by The Diegos includes a bit of everything that anyone can dance to – electronica, punk, post-punk, new wave, indie rock, hip-hop, funk, dub, and even some classic disco and Motown sounds thrown into the mix.
The Diegos have spun everywhere, from intimate clubs to large venues, from rock shows to corporate shindigs. Individually and as a duo, they’ve even done DJ sets out of town and outside the country, wherever their bands have toured – Boracay, Davao, Cebu, and even Hong Kong and New York City. And everywhere they spin, they make converts. It’s not uncommon to see a few inquisitive people approach the pair at the DJ booth to ask what song is currently playing. They’ve never had a hype man; besides, they never needed one. The Diegos are perfectly contented to let their music do the talking, and witness how positively it’s received by the audience. As Diego C says, “I love the idea that you can make a group of people either dance or react favorably just by stringing together songs that you feel they would enjoy.”