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The Itchyworms released two new singles, Armageddon Blues and The Silence under Sony Music

While live shows on a temporary standstill amidst of the Coronavirus outbreak, the global music landscape currently at odds with challenges that come with the complete shift to a digital realm, a lot of artists are making records that represent the specificity of the times. 

Never mind the logistical restrictions on the music-making process: What’s important is that they’re channeling their personal experiences during forced and self-imposed quarantine through songs that function like the pep talk the world needs right now—most of the time, comforting and hopeful, but sometimes a complete validation of our collective rage, loneliness, and frustration inside.  

Now returning with two new singles that capture the universal sentiments of grappling with an invisible peril, The Itchyworms drops back to back releases under Sony Music Philippines—their first under a major label since 2008’s Self-Titled.

Two new singles
“Armageddon Blues” and “The Silence” are two new songs inspired by the band’s response to the ongoing social, mental, and emotional crisis that people from around the globe are facing in the midst of a pandemic.

“Armageddon Blues,” in particular, is an update of an old demo recorded by Jazz Nicolas (lead vocals, drums, piano, keyboards, keytar) and Chino Singson (lead guitarist and backing vocals). With crunching guitar riffs, Beatlesque pop melodies, and raw but in-your-face production, the latest track from the band exhibits both ends of the emotional spectrum, as filtered through the lens of happy-sappy music geeks. As Chino recalls. “I remember it being a fun song to record. If you listen to the lyrics, you'll see it's very tongue-in-cheek, but very heartfelt.”

Written in 2005, the song was supposed to be included on the quartet’s critically acclaimed album, Noontime Show and the follow-up record, Self-Titled, but The Itchyworms felt that it was thematically different and completely ahead of its time. “Time jump to more than 15 years later, I was the only one who had a copy of the demo,” Jugs Jugueta (co-lead vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion, keyboards) narrates. “Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) happened, and I sent them the demo of ‘Armageddon Blues,’ telling The Itchyworms to release the song, because it captures the somewhat end-of-the-world vibe of our present situation. A couple of weeks into the ECQ, we realized that we’re in this for the long haul, and that we had to do something creative. We decided to write and record a few songs inspired by our experiences during COVID-19.”

The songwriting sessions birthed another single, which already made its rounds on Facebook a week earlier. Following the official release of “Armageddon Blues” on all streaming and digital platforms worldwide a day late, “The Silence” was written by Jugs Jugueta and Jazz Nicolas, and recorded and produced by The Itchyworms entirely during the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed over Metro Manila due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s what we think everyone is going through right now. Nobody could’ve foreseen 2020 to be like this,” Jugs shares the underlying theme behind the song. Musically, it’s a mish-mash of influences that put Depeche Mode, Radiohead, The Beatles, and The Walking Dead in a blender: The production seethes with soaring builds and nuanced sonic details, but ends abruptly in faded noise—as if the transmission is suddenly lost in the background, its silence “killing us” infinitely and metaphorically.

A “Quarantine” Album

Both songs are part of their upcoming album, Waiting For The End To Start, which was conceptualized and recorded while the members of The Itchyworms were confined in their homes, connected digitally by their resounding “shared” experiences. “Expect it to be unpolished and imperfect,” Jazz describes the new album. “Maybe a little lo-fi. It’s not necessarily all about COVID-19, but this is the result of what we feel during this time. So there’s restlessness, loneliness, boredom, delirium, fear, uncertainty, and all that jazz.”

Chino puts into perspective the concept behind the 8-track release, which will most likely drop sometime in July 2020. “Like any collection of music, it is a record of its time: A snapshot of the artist's reaction to his or her circumstances. But it's a concept album in that our aim was to create art in the midst of a pandemic, to capture our emotions in the music we record, even with the limited recording gear we have at home. So you'll hear amp buzz and imperfect vocals, but for me that's part of the spirit of true rock.”

Reunion with Sony Music PH

Waiting For The End To Start is their second album to be released under Sony Music Philippines. After their groundbreaking major label opus, Self-Titled, which made an impact in the local music scene at the tail end of 2008, the band was forced to go indie after the label’s short-lived hiatus handling domestic releases.

Speaking of their reignited ties with the international record label, Jugs tells in a statement: “Aside from the fact that we felt a sense of familiarity with Roslyn Pineda of Sony Music PH, as we’ve known her since our college days, we believed that Sony, being an International record company, could help us reach a wider audience. We want to reach new and foreign audiences, because our music is universal and capable of touching several hearts here and abroad.”

Chino adds, “I feel that Sony is a good place to be for an artist. Their team is small but they work hard and have their artists' interests at heart.”

Armageddon Blues” is now out on various digital and streaming platforms worldwide. Watch out for the official release of “The Silence” tomorrow midnight, May 22, 2020.

WebTVAsia, YouTube announced One Love Asia, a live concert in support of UNICEF on May 27

WebTVAsia and YouTube announced “ONE LOVE ASIA”, a star-studded concert in support of UNICEF, featuring a stellar lineup of celebrities, artists, public figures and YouTube creators across Asia, to be live streamed exclusively on One Love Asia's official YouTube channel on May 27, 2020.

Starting at 8:00pm HKT, this four-hour live stream feature biggest stars from Asia including UNICEF Regional Ambassador for East Asia and Pacific, Choi Siwon, Exile Akira, Karen Mok, Apink Jung Eun-Ji, Namewee, G.E.M., Chi Pu, Sam Tsui, Ranz & Niana, Davika Hoorne, Jack Neo, Morissette, Boy William, Ice Paris, Pearwah, Christian Bautista, Baim Wong, Raditya Dika, Ismail Izzani, Quang Dang, DatG & DuUyen, Erik, Inul Daratista, Celine Tam, Priscilla Abby and HaoRen along with over 50 leading artists, public figures, celebrities and YouTube creators. All donations from the live stream on One Love Asia will go to UNICEF Asia in an effort to prevent the pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for vulnerable children.

CEO of WebTVAsia Fred Chong said this is one of the biggest initiatives from the Asian entertainment community to show our support for UNICEF through a one cohesive message of Love and Unity.  We cannot thank all the participants enough for contributing to this special concert.

Gautam Anand, Managing Director, YouTube APAC said: “We’re excited to be supporting WebTVAsia and UNICEF to bring this very special concert to YouTube audiences across APAC and globally. ONE LOVE ASIA encapsulates our commitment to championing talent and giving them a platform to share their creativity and make a positive impact in the world.”

UNICEF’s Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific, Karin Hulshof said, “UNICEF is thrilled to be part of the “ONE LOVE ASIA” concert! Together we will create greater awareness of UNICEF’s work for children and families so they will be able to recover, rebound and reimagine a stronger future.” 

With many countries slowly opening up, “ONE LOVE ASIA” hopes to spread positivity in countries on the path to recovery, while igniting a sense of unity and love across Asia. 

WebTVAsia CEO Fred Chong said Asian countries and its people have been severely impacted by the pandemic, so the overwhelming response from the artistes and YouTube to support this UNICEF Asia donation drive makes this project truly special.

The “ONE LOVE ASIA” concert is part of UNICEF’s #Reimagine global campaign to task the global community to #Reimagine a better world for children post COVID-19.

The live stream will be available through, where the donation can be made through YouTube ‘Donate Now’ button that directly pays to UNICEF’s account during the live stream and will continue to be available for 30 days after the concert.*

For more information, please visit

*YouTube Giving is available to users in over 40 countries. Check your country’s availability here.

A1's Mark Read released new song, Where Were You (When the World Stopped) featuring some Filipino fans on its music video

Your next Quarantune is here! 

Mark Read of A1 has released a new single called Where Were You (When the World Stopped)last May 15, Friday and its exactly what we need to hear right now.

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A lot of artists have found inspiration during this isolation, creating new songs about love, hope, and timely messages. Mark Reads newest coronavirus-inspired song spreads the message on how to stay safe in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. He also highlighted special events gone through from nationwide applaud for frontliners to 100-year old Captain Tom who raised fund in UK. The human spirit and will are incredible, stronger now than ever before,he said.

In his power-ballad, Mark has shared how everyones grappling with isolation. Theres no denying with Marks concern for his fans, from his initiative of auctioning his pre-loved items for the victims of Taal last February, and now, included some of his Filipino fans for his project of sharing short clips of togetherness at home or holding a sign of Where Were You.

As for the creation of music, Mark shares that the story behind "Where Were You (When the World Stopped)" was really quite organic and spontaneous, and that he wasn't planning on releasing a new song.

Like most people I was in lockdown, working from home, connecting with friends and family, when one day a lifelong school friend of mine, Jonathan Rusca, who I haven't seen for years got in touch with me to share some lyrics that he'd written, which is great, but he's a graphic designer, never written a lyric or song in his life and was inspired by the coronavirus pandemic to put pen to paper for the first time. He asked me if I would like to put a melody to them, well, I put an hour aside one day to take a look and I was so inspired by the simplicity and honesty of his lyrics, that within 5-10 minutes the whole melody came to me and I couldn't wait to play him what I'd come up with,he shared.

When asked how he was doing during this quarantine period, he said that took this time as an opportunity to work on a lot of new projects and collaborations. Hes been working non-stop from writing and producing songs, collaborating with other artists at home, including lots of A1 live at home videos, working on a new YouTube show, but most importantly, looking after his parents.

In just over 24 hours since it was uploaded, Where Were You (When the World Stopped) has already entered the iTunes Top 20 in Norway, and received tons of adoration from fans around the world. The song, without a doubt has resonated with lots of people during these uncertain times.

Mark also added that A1 are working on a new album, so thats something to look forward to.



Marks message to his fans:

I've been so touched and inspired by our amazing fans during this time, thank you to everyone who's been reaching out and supporting the band over the years.

For the music video of Where Were You, I invited fans to send in videos of them and their families during the lockdown and I was amazed by the response, I can't wait for everyone to see the video, they're part of the inspiration behind this song, so it was only fitting that they should be a part of the music video too.

Stay safe and hope to see you again soon.  


The coronavirus pandemic has made an unprecedented impact not only in the economy but in our lives as well. Millions of our front liners are battling to save lives out there, while some are asked to stay at home to contain and limit the spread of the virus. However, we cant lose hope, especially now. There might be uncertainties ahead of us, but one of the great things that have happened so far was it fueled creative juices from our artists and songwriters to either create songs about hope, love, and inspirations during this isolation.

Thank you for sharing your music, Mark Read!

Smart Music Live Online Sessions teams up with Bayanihan Musikahan to bring Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Ryan Cayabyab to live online stage

Smart Communications stages Season 2 of Bayanihan Musikahan to continue to rally support for those affected by COVID-19 while uplifting the spirits of Filipinos staying safe at home. In partnership with Smart Music Live (SML) Online Sessions, the online concert series increases its vigor as the most visible Filipino citizen action platform at this time.


Season 2 brings revved-up musical specials bannered by stars. The SML Online Sessions widens the reach of what promises to be a memorable night with . Asia’s Songbird herself, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. She performs with her husband, the popular singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid on Bayanihan Musikahan’s Facebook on Friday, May 15, to be streamed over Smart’s official Facebook page.

Following the call from project lead and National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, the husband-and-wife tandem of Ogie and Regine immediately devoted time, effort, and talent to prepare for this livestream concert. Like the other 100+ musical artists who have participated, they do so gratis, and with the same big heart for their fellow Filipinos.  

The singer and the songwriter —who helped raise Php 5 Million for this particular show—are offering talent to assist urban poor communities find and sustain their own talent for survival.

Exceptional team story

“Mr. C,” as Cayabyab is fondly called, emphasizes that Ogie and Regine now becomes part of an exceptional story. “The most exceptional story for me is that of working with this team in Bayanihan Musikahan.” 

“I haven’t met a team of people as highly motivated, intelligent and industrious as this team who have brought their respective expertise to the table and raised more than 70M pesos to help alleviate the plight of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters living in Metro-Manila and outlying provinces.”

Mr. C refers to the more than 300 Filipinos working invisibly to produce Bayanihan Musikahan and to also take care that the donated funds are immediately translated into food packs are delivered to the urban poor. These hundreds of volunteers include community organizers who are themselves urban poor, who belong to the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (SNPP) and its allied people’s organizations.

A substantial number of enablers of the “end-to-end” project are those with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), which has taken up more than the work of fund management for which it is well known in social development circles. PBSP has taken up the multiple challenges of transportation, linking up with vegetable and rice farmers, and organizing logistics.


The worst and best times for musicians

For the music industry, the chance to virtually hold hands with civil society and with the most vulnerable Filipinos takes place at a time of vulnerability for the artists as well. Cayabyab who will also be seen in a Huntahan Musikahan program on the same day as the Ogie-Regine concert, describes the unusual situation:

“It is the worst time, and the best time for musicians, creative artists and composers. The worst time, because there are no jobs available, no live performances, no gigs, no regular work that are needed for recordings, for live TV or taped TV shows, etc.” But he also says that :  “it is the best time – because then, we can practice more, have more time perfecting our craft because there are not many distractions, and no traffic that eats up a person’s work hours”.

“It is also the time when much creativity is happening, to address the various situations we are faced with. We are circumventing or re-thinking how to use our talents to entertain. When at first it was only to express ourselves, we are now thinking of ways to monetize our performances online. We will get through this, and we will be better musicians, performers and creative thinkers and artists,” he explained,” he explains.

There’s also a certain kind of intimacy that online concerts provide,  Mr. C continues “We are actually closer to our audience. Anyone can interact with us when we are online. Re online concerts – we have discovered that there is still no app that can approximate real time jam. So until this is realized, we can only produce live music videos from home using the technology available. But so far – ANYONE can do online concerts with just their device (phone, tablet, laptop) plus an array of acoustic or electronic instruments or solo voice.”

Mr. C says that adjustments had to be done by both performer and audience. “We prepare much the same way as we have always done prior to any performance. Being professionals, we know how to rev up for a performance.”

“The only distinct difference between live and virtual performance is the hollow feeling one gets after performing a piece. Performers feed off the energy given by spontaneous reactions from the audience, like applause and standing ovations, or catcalls and jeers. Without these reactions, a performer would have to make TREMENDOUS adjustments to his/her psyche – I know we will get through this, but we will have to grapple with that strange phase first. Hearts, likes and wows emoticons can help but the performers see these only when they stop to read interactive windows. Both performers and audience will have to adjust.”

In this sense, the adjustments that had to be made on the ground by the relief distribution volunteers during a time of great personal danger, have been enormous—and yet, from all indications, successful. PBSP and SNPP have used new technology to be efficient and highly-energetic.


Grateful for connectivity

The National Artist for Music hence emphasizes the pivotal role of connectivity during these uncertain times. “Connectivity is the big star now. Online connectivity is our fastest way to communicate and to learn what we need to do in a pandemic such as this. Online connectivity is also our center of entertainment in this period of extended quarantine. Everything is there. As in everything – from varied shows, all the way to food delivery. Chat groups and community billboards and marketplaces have sprung to address our needs as an individual, family or community. There is no other medium now that can equal what online connectivity can do.”

He added, “We even attend mass online – and we can choose to attend our parish priest’s mass, or choose to attend the Pope’s! Now, more than ever, we get to see national leaders and medical practitioners of various countries doing what they can to alleviate their people’s plight with unique solutions that other countries can adopt. Caution must be observed though – because there is also so much trash and fake news that abound. But that is for the individual to discern.”

Continuing what SML Online Sessions began last April, this new round of live online sessions remains a way to bring together the generous spirit of the Filipino and give everyone hope as the nation presses on in its endeavors to eradicate COVID-19 and heal as one.

Easily make a donation here. To watch some of your favorite artists live from your home on May 20, watch the Bayanihan Musikahan on Smart’s Facebook page.

SLAPSHOCK drops new song about hope amid COVID-19 crisis, Sana Pag Gising

In the face of uncertainty and panic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, heavy metal band Slapshock delivers a hopeful message to all front line workers and fans in isolation in the new song “Sana Pag Gising.”

Slapshock vocalist Jamir Garcia says, “The song started nung mga nakikita ko yung frontliners na hindi man lang nila mayakap ang mga anak nila so, yung song ay nasa perspective ng isang frontliner at tungkol sa hirap at dasal nila-- na sana pag gising tapos na ‘to lahat.”

Slapshock is known for the band’s heavy music and angsty lyrics but during these difficult times, the band created a brand new song that they felt resonated now in the hope of turning the word ‘fear’ into positive. Jamir said, “Mahirap mag-rock out  dahil nangingibabaw yung emotions and burden to know na maraming nahihirapan at nagdadasal.”

After taking inspirations from our modern-day heroes -- medical workers, policemen, and volunteers -- Jamir wrote the song and passed it to his bandmates while they are all in their respective quarantines. “I think that’s what makes it good with Slapshock, we don’t have to be conscious about being heavy. We just want to deliver what our emotions dictate and give hope for everybody na sana matapos na to,” Jamir adds.  

Jamir together with Lee Nadela (bass guitar), Lean Ansing (guitar), Jerry Basco (guitar) and Chi  Evora (drums) took advantage of digital technology and collaborated separately in their respective studios/homes-- sending audio and video files back and forth until “Sana Pag Gising” came into reality. 

The band has been around for 23 years and  we didn’t want this situation to hinder us from working hard, being creative and getting the message out there—sana pag gising bumalik sa dati ang lahat.“  

Watch Slapshock’s new song “Sana Pag Gising” is available on their digital platforms:



Instagram TV:  @slapshock_official

Jeremy Zucker on looking forward to collab with The 1975, Honne, and LANY

A lot of Jeremy Zucker fans were delighted to have joined the release of his latest debut album, ‘love is not dying’ in an Album Listening Party, on May 2, Saturday, 9:30 AM (PHT). He played the 13-tracks to his Filipino fans on an online gathering via Zoom made possible by MCA Music.

Amazingly, all the 13 tracks from his album were all written, recorded, and produced by himself in his Brooklyn studio. During a group media interview, he mentioned that ‘love is not dying’ is an intensely personal body of work, and that of his favorites from the album is ‘julia’.

Some of his fans’ favorite include “not ur friend,” “always, i’ll care” and “somebody loves u.” He says, “I have always historically written songs as a way of expressing things to the people around me because I haven’t always been able to express myself in words. I always stand by what gives me meaning in the music. I hope people will listen to music and feel like they’re not alone.”

Since a lot was also asking if a collaboration with LANY, The 1975, and Honne is happening soon, he said although there are still no plans, he’s excited to work with these three amazing bands soon.

Another exciting part of the interview was when Jeremy cited to also collaborate with BTS one day. He thinks it would awesome to work with them and meet them in person. Surprisingly, Jeremy is also listening to BTS and shared that “Boy With Luv” ft. Halsey is one of his favorites.

When these trying times are over, Jeremy wishes to see everyone and meet all his loving Filipino fans.

Singer, songwriter, producer Jeremy is one of the many music aficionados whose music transcends all boundaries. If you’re into songs about love, self-love, struggles, and human feelings, then this guy is a must-hear right now. He’s subtle yet knows how to put on a mood and vibe not many artists can do.


love is not dying TRACK LIST:



“we’re fucked it’s fine”

“somebody loves u”



“good for her”

“not ur friend”

“full stop”


“hell or flying”

“always, i’ll care”

“brooks interlude”

“oh, mexico”