Get to know the solo projects of Steve Badiola, Jim Bacarro, Roberto Seña, Peaceful Gemini, and more

Get to know the solo projects of Steve Badiola, Jim Bacarro, Roberto Seña, Peaceful Gemini, and more

It isn't easy being a creative.

When your favorite acts announce a solo project, don't go around panicking and setting the world on fire. Do the complete opposite. By showing your love and support, these artists get the chance to grow creatively outside the bands they got their start in. And who knows? This different side you'll see might be the thing you need in your life right now.

Check out these awesome solo projects by some of your favorite Filipino artists below.


Steve Badiola of Typecast

Tell us about your solo project. 

I just released my new solo single called "Home" a few months ago and now available on all streaming platforms. I'm now working on a solo album and hopefully, I can release as soon as possible.

Also working on a "Home" remix EP with some of my close artist friends like Squid9, Diego Mapa, Daren Lim, Arlo Misa, and more. Now that's something to watch out for!

How is this project different from Typecast?

It's very different from my band's music. Kind of like a breath of fresh air. Compared to the typecast sound, its way softer with electronic elements. Most people don't know that I'm also a fan of electronic music. So sometimes I tend to go all-out EDM on some of my solo songs i write! hahaha!

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My solo material leans toward a more indie-folk, ambient, a touch of neofolk vibe. So that's also something interesting to look forward to. 

Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project.

I've been doing solo stuff even before the band started. Like most songwriters, I have tons of material especially when I was young. I'd record my songs on cassette for fun. Sadly, I don't know where those tapes are anymore. 

One factor is sometimes I write songs that are too light for Typecast so I decided to keep those songs for a solo release. 


Jim Bacarro of Cheats

Happy Dad

Tell us about your solo project. 

Happy Dad just released two singles "Berries" and "At Night She Pumps" on all streaming platforms. The music video made by Rob Cham was released a day after Father's Day. I finished the tracks at home and had them mixed and mastered at Black Campo Sound. It's cool cause they offer discord sessions to mix the tracks with them.

I'm still a "band guy" at the end of the day and that's why I reached out to friends like Rayms and Diego for these two tracks.  I have three more songs lined up and I'm currently working with Manny and Kyle of Cheats on some of those tracks. 

How is this project different from Cheats?

Whenever I hang out with my two sons, I'm usually playing the acoustic guitar; just jamming. I usually continue the songs if I elicit any reaction from them. I just felt the songs were different from Cheats and I wanted to bring them to life. There's a lot of things I wanna say about fatherhood, marriage and domestic life that I felt I could write freely about with happy dad. 

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Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project.

I honestly thought I'd just have these songs stored away somewhere. But when the lockdown happened, I needed a project to give me some form of sanity. 


Andrew Panopio of She's Only Sixteen

The Relax

Tell us about your solo project. 

The Relax is a music project I've been fiddling around with for almost six years. It's a little underwhelming on paper since all you'll see is my latest single, "Hey I", on all streaming platforms and a few rough jams on my Soundcloud. Personally, I love this scattered aesthetic.

My Soundcloud in particular serves as a reminder to me of the beauty in raw creation. This is a practice that I kept at all these years. I have demos on my phone that date back to three years ago. I listen to them and I still believe in them. So why not pull them apart? Why not attach them to new hooks? When I found myself visiting these demos and toying with different iterations for them, slowly, I knew this was something I had to work on and show the world.

How is this project different from She's Only Sixteen?

The Relax is different from my work with She's Only Sixteen and from other acts really just because of how personal the process is. That's a vague answer, I know. But I honestly can't let myself dig too deep into what sets me apart. I have this conversation with my band a lot and we've concluded that everything is derivative hahaha.

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So without the pressure of making something remarkable, I look at my solo project as a practice – a practice in creativity, restraint, and commitment. As I started building my EP, my first formal release as The Relax, I gained some self-confidence that in this long process of building and rebuilding melodies, I'm making something pure. I don't want to pre-empt it but if I could sell it without singing it, my music sticks to a catchy groove, inspired by my love for dancing with friends. While at the same time, it's heavily doused in the rawness of rock which I've kept to heart so much.


Peaceful Gemini of Assembly Generals

Tell us about your solo project. 

My latest release is a single entitled 'Warrior Princess' partnered with some visuals. Soon to release a lyric video as well.

The woman that's being described in the song lives a life led by intuition. She has heightened senses which allows her to move through her experiences powerfully in tune, yet easeful.

She is the embodiment of grace, a true queen who recognizes that her life is ruled by the one true Source; designed by the Divine Architect to flow with the natural movement of the Universe. She honors her roots in Mother Earth, that's why she sees beauty wherever she goes.

In turn, her aura becomes beautiful and magnetizing as well. She takes her time with herself in order to embody her authentic being, flaws, and all. She understands that there is space for duality in this world; that there is a purpose for the two polarities existing - to become in harmony.

She knows that those polarities exist within her too. To be with her, one must acknowledge that she will not be easy to get. One must put in work and prove their loyalty. One must treat her like the goddess that she truly is. This song speaks to all women who embody that divine feminine energy within. 

Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project. 

I built on the song over the years and would practice it until I got the flow right. It first started with the verses then the hook. When I performed the whole song and the energy just felt right I knew it was time to record. We finally added the outro on the spot during the recording.

My process is that I have to experience the song and live it out, when I feel that it fully resonates with me, that becomes my a-ha moment... and those moments just relive itself again and again throughout the course of time as I continue to find deeper layers of resonance with the message of the song.


Iggy San Pablo of Rusty Machines

thenils

Tell us about your solo project. Share with us your latest (or debut) release.

My solo project is called thenils (pronounced as "the nils") which is also my Tumblr account name, haha! I would post covers, poems, and drafts of original songs on that Tumblr account so when I finally decided to do "serious" solo stuff, it was just a natural decision for me to use thenils. There's actually a Canadian band called The Nils which is why I decided to disregard the space between the two words and always type it in small letters. 

I have released two songs on various streaming sites: 'Pull' and 'Empathy'. 'Pull' is actually an old song that I released on Soundcloud last 2015. It's about a waning relationship but the couple tries to overcome their struggles kasi in the end baka ok naman din lahat. Alam nila kalaban ang oras kaya need din ng effort from both sides para maayos kasi kung hindi, yari. 

'Empathy' is the newest song I wrote as inspired by ignorant celebrities and influencers. Around the time that I was writing it, I was just so frustrated to see people online with such influence be blinded by their privilege to the point that all they promote is toxic positivity.

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How is this project different from your band, other musical identities?

I think it's more intimate and introspective. When I write with Rusty Machines I also have to consider what my bandmates feel and think so I always consult with them just to double-check if we're all on the same page in terms of what we want to say in a particular song.

When it's for my own project, I can say that the thoughts and feelings I write into the songs are more unfiltered and vulnerable. It's actually more difficult since I don't have anyone to consult with except my own demons. Just kidding hahaha!

Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project.

My a-ha moment happened in high school. We had this project for music class and then I wrote a song called 'A Fake.' Its first draft is on my Tumblr page (the version we submitted for class). I also posted a copy of it on my Soundcloud should you wish to listen to it, hahaha!

But anyway, our music prof approached me personally a day after submission and commended my writing. Napaka-mundane moment lang niya, pero na-inspire ako i-pursue yung thenils stuff ko because of that one specific experience. 


Roberto Seña of She's Only Sixteen

Lazy McGuire

Tell us about your solo project. 

Lazy McGuire was a concept I thought about two years ago. I wanted to make a sound called 'sleaze pop'? (I have a demo out on SoundCloud on its first iteration) Not that the music or themes were sleazy (and nor do I condone that kind of behavior), I was just trying to imagine pop music written and created in a crude, lazy, dreamy sort of way.

Looking back maybe sleaze wasn't the word I should have used, haha. Cut to 2020, I've had more time to finish some solo stuff. I'm categorizing Lazy McGuire as a mix of '70s/'80s, pop, electronica, and a small dash of everything else I listen to. I can't say that I draw influence from one particular artist or style but I want this to be a representation of other styles of music that I can't always sprinkle on stuff I do with She's Only Sixteen

My first official single is called 'Apologetic Dancer.' It's an '80s inspired tune with a mix of dance and soul to it. It's also very somber. I can't really describe it. All of this was written, performed, recorded, and produced at home by me. I had Ninno Rodriguez of Sunny Side Studios mix and master it as well. He also shared a little bit of his production knowledge in it too. 

How is this project different from your band and other musical identities?

Well, there is a lot less focus on the guitars that's for sure. I've been practicing piano a lot and God knows how much of a frustrated keyboard player I am. I have always had this fascination with synthesizers and electronic music. My musical goals for this are the same as She's Only Sixteen but with a lot more room for experimentation. My future releases will also feature collaborations with different artists. 

Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project.

I guess the quarantine helped me put myself in a creative bubble at home. I could have done this years ago but of course, my focus shifts every few seconds. I'm glad that I found the momentum to focus on this project.

On the other hand, I have other projects under a different hat coming in the future. I have always DJ'ed under the name St. Vincent & The Grenadines but most people don't know that even that was started as a solo electronic project as well. So you'll be hearing that side soon as well. 


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Slick Breezy

Tell us about your solo project. 

Slick Breezy is a solo project I started a few months ago. It was really tough when COVID-19 hit and Slick Breezy became my escape. Slick Breezy is to me what a tub of ice cream may be to some people. Haha. I don't and can't really categorize the music for Slick Breezy. I think for now it's some sort of hybrid cheesy indie/psychedelic pop. But who knows. The sky is the limit! One day Slick Breezy might be a rap project. Haha.

I have released a number of self-produced music videos on my official YouTube channel. My debut EP entitled, Semi Gold Hits? is available on all streaming platforms.

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How is this project different from your bands?

Slick Breezy is different in a way because it has no rules. It's a creative space where I can make anything I want, however, and whenever.  No pressure from anyone even from myself. Musically, there's a lot of material on Slick Breezy music that I haven't done or experimented with before. Using house materials and out of tune guitars is something fresh. Haha, There's a lot of cheesy lines and sarcasm on the songs as well. Something refreshing for me as a songwriter.

Tell us about that a-ha moment when you realized you had to pursue this solo project.

I remember it clearly. It was after I made the music video for the song, 'For Keeps'. I found it so hilarious that I just had to make an EP. That one video inspired a whole new set of new cheesy songs and MV ideas.