Funk Band flu On Their 'Infectious' Tunes, Collabs, & More
Manila/ Vibe/ Artists

The Beat Asia's Up-and-Coming Artist: Filipino Funk Band flu

Funk Band flu On Their Infectious Tunes Collabs More

The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming is a series where we feature rising talented artists from the Philippines, giving them a platform to share what they’re passionate about and to promote the music they (and us too!) would love for the world to hear. Do you want or know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at [email protected] or slide through our DMs on Facebook or Instagram!

We meet people at different times, in different places, and in different situations. Some just pass through our lives, but some stick around. And when they do, magic happens!

Randall, Dits, and Johnrae were college batchmates, all with a dream to finish university on a high note. What they didn’t know was that their hopeful college thesis group would grow into something special. Then they met their vocalist, Deus, and from then on, the Filipino funk band flu was born.

Despite their chill, laid-back attitude, the four-piece band boasts an “infectious” sound that will get their listeners moving, jamming, and grooving.

A few months after the release of their latest single, in collaboration with Thai indie-pop singer Numcha, The Beat Asia had the chance to speak with flu. In an interview, the band talked about their fateful beginnings and how “I’ll Be Mine” came to be, among other things. Find out why their music is “guaranteed contagious!"

Can you share with our readers a brief introduction about the band?

We started as a college thesis project. This meant the end of our university days and the start of our lives in the outside world. We enjoyed writing and recording our songs, so we decided to keep it running, and luckily, people seemed to enjoy our sound and style.

Where did the band name, "flu," come from?

The band puts a lot of focus on the rhythmic details in our music. We’re particular about those things. We want our sound to move as a unit because we believe groove is the most contagious thing in music. That’s what people dance to. So, that’s where “flu” came from: contagious.

How did the four of you get into music and come together to form a band?

The three of us (Randall, Dits, and Johnrae) met at the university. We were all music production students. We actually played together in other bands before. We were batchmates, so we all took our thesis together. We were familiar with each other's music already, so it was easy for us to group up for our thesis.

So, we already had bass, drums, and guitar. We just needed a vocalist. And that’s when Deus came in. He studied at the same university, so we met through mutual friends. He’d often watch live shows as well, so he wasn’t a complete stranger.

Let's talk about your latest release, "I'll Be Mine." What was the story behind the track and how was it working with Numcha?

The demo of this song was actually written during the first year of the pandemic. At that time, because nobody really knew where the world was headed, the demo was forgotten and archived. When we got back together, we wanted to work on new songs, so we started listening to past demos, and this song stood out. It wasn’t even intended as a flu song because, lyrically, it was written from a woman’s perspective, which got us to think, “Why not have a female singer on this track?”

Luckily, Numcha (who we have been listening to recently) was also performing at LUCFest in Taiwan, where we also played last year. We couldn’t catch her performance, but thankfully, we were able to meet her at the afterparty, where we got the courage (thanks to the alcohol) to ask her if she wanted to collaborate with us on the song. She said she was down to do it. We were worried none of us would even remember the agreement the next day, but as you can see, we all did!

Honestly, we wish we could’ve worked together face-to-face. Everything was done online. It was smooth and efficient, but music and collaborations aren’t about being efficient. It’s about mixing everyone’s interpretation and sound into a song. It’s about exploring ideas that you often wouldn’t choose to do, but we’re all happy with the song in the end. It was our first time collaborating, so we were nervous, but she was really kind and patient with the whole process. So that was really nice.

What do you guys enjoy about performing and being musicians?

We get to do what we are passionate about. Just thinking of working something from a small melody to a fully-fledged song is one of the best feelings.

If there's one thing you'd like your music to be known for, what would it be and why?

We’d like our music to be colorful enough to paint a picture or scenario where the listeners can really dive deep into the mix of our music’s emotions and their own.

Any dream collaborations the band would love to do?

Kirinji and Benny Sings.

What's next for flu? Any gigs, shows, or new music we should look forward to from you soon?

We’ve been more of a studio band for the past half year. It really is a different kind of excitement when we’re in the studio making new sounds, but you know it also brings us back to our roots since that’s how we started as well.

We’ve been locked up in the studio, so expect new music to be released! (Album out soon 👀).

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Stay tuned for flu’s upcoming album by following them on Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or stream their music on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube.

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