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MUSIC EXPORT 101: Filipino Artists Go International



22 Tango Music Group, in partnership with White Brick Creative Studio, the British Council in the Philippines, and Sonik Philippines hosted "Sonik Sessions: Music Export 101," a boutique conference and artist showcase bringing international music experts last August, 18, 2023. Filipino artists and creators talked about music and how we can bring Filipino talents to the forefront of the global market. The event was held at Making Space in Cebu City, the first Sonik event outside Metro Manila.

In this 2nd installment of "Sonik Sessions," Filipino creators learned how artists and the music industry can benefit from increased recognition, access to new markets, revenue streams, and cultural exchange. The conference dove deep into 'music export': the process of promoting and distributing music to foreign markets, showcasing and marketing artists to audiences outside their home country. The theme was inspired by Filipino music mavens and the organisers' personal experiences as British Council delegates to the recently concluded Great Escape Music Festival in Brighton, England.


"Sonik Sessions: Music Export 101" is led by the talented singer-songwriter and founder of 22 Tango Music Group, Cattski Espina, alongside musician-entrepreneur and founder of Homonym, Mike Constantino. Upon their return after the Great Escape delegation, Cattski and Mike organised the event in hopes of sharing their experiences and knowledge with Filipino artist communities.


"I came home re-energized by what I saw and the people I met. After not being able to attend live conferences due to the pandemic, it reminded us that we can do so much more with the EU, especially the UK. We are excited to finally take Sonik outside of Manila and are raring to share what we've learned [in the Great Escape] through Sonik Sessions in Cebu," Mike shares.


Cattski adds, "I’m on a mission to learn more about Music Export to pivot my vision towards learning from other cultures and eventually becoming an ambassador in bringing Filipino music to the UK and the world. I am thrilled to have Sonik Session as an opportunity to kick off our work in music export and bring more Filipino artists to the global stage."


The British Council's Head of Arts, Mich Dulce, elaborates on how the organisation advocates collaborative growth and art between the UK and the Philippines. "There is so much talent and potential in the Philippines that deserves to be shared with the entire world. We look forward to the exciting future of Filipino artists as we continue to work together and share what the UK has to offer and vice versa," she says.


Sonik Sessions served as a venue for experienced and up-and-coming musicians, artists, and creators to share their different inspirations and innovations. The event featured four global and notable artists in their field, sharing industry trends and global practices: Fil-Brit publicist, consultant and international music marketeer from EMPIRE Cat Lazarra elaborated on what music export is. Another Fil-Brit—singer and producer RJ Belo of State is Flow London shared his experiences and dreams of bridging UK Asian artists with other cultures. Founder of SRM Booking and Services and co-founder of AXEAN Music Showcase Festival Satria Ramadhan shared how to grow music and fanbase in foreign markets. FOCUS Wales' co-founder and music programmer Andy Jones talked about applying and participating in music festivals and conferences. Finally, Primavera Pro's head of partnerships and programming Camila Anino discussed how government support fuels the exploration of Filipino music.

The event concluded with a singer-songwriter with these musical storytellers: IANO, CRISZZIA, GL, PAULA PAGALAN, and NOMER plus an artist showcase featuring some of the best Cebu-based artists: TREV, DOM GUYOT, JULIA Q, JERICHO STREEGAN, KUBRA COMMANDER, and Indonesia's LOGIC LOST.


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