The Beat Manila’s Up-and-Coming Artist: Independent RnB Singer Bugs
April 18, 2023
The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming is a bi-weekly series where we feature rising talented artists from the Philippines, giving them a platform to share what they’re passionate about and 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!
While vocal prowess is a significant component of being a total performer, the ability to evoke emotions through music is a rare gift that not everyone has. Luis del Rosario, who goes by the stage name Bugs, is one notable artist who not only possesses a euphonious voice but also the power to strike a chord with his meticulously produced love songs.
Marrying tear-jerking words and lingering melodies, his pandemic-born debut track “ITMONDUB” amassed more than 6,000 streams even without any promotional push. His rhythmic song “Empty,” which talks about the complexities of heartbreak, has been widely played on reputable Philippine radio station, Monster RX93.1. But, his path to musical success doesn’t end there, as his single “Basslines,” dropped in mid-2022, is now included in the official playlist of H&M stores to provide shoppers with tunes to jam to as they browse through racks of clothes. To date, Bugs’ discography has garnered nearly 40,000 plays on Spotify, cementing his position as one of the rising local talents to watch out for this year.
In conversation with The Beat Manila, Filipino RnB singer-songwriter Bugs dives into the process of creating his latest single “BRENT,” the story behind his catchy monicker, and what his listeners can expect in his upcoming EP.
Hello, Bugs! Can you tell us how you got into music?
I first developed a liking for music way back in grade school when I started taking guitar lessons. I was amazed at how music is created and how wonderful it is to be heard by others. I fell in love with it during my high school years. We were tasked to create a Tagalog song for a Filipino subject and I was assigned to be the vocalist of the group. I really didn’t know at that time that I could sing. My friends only knew that I could play the guitar. When we presented our song, my classmates immediately mentioned my potential in singing. But I didn’t take it seriously back then. From time to time, I’d create original songs in my friend’s bathroom and post it on Facebook for fun hoping my friends would like it.
What's the story behind the name Bugs?
I got the name Bugs because I looked like Bugs Bunny from grade school to high school. I also created a Yahoo! messenger account named “del Bugario”. From then on, people know me as Bugs. There’s nothing really exciting about the name. I just kept it since I think it’s unique and one-of-a-kind.
How was creating your first song like?
When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in music, Kindred (composed of Fern., Nouvoul, Vinced, Dot.Jaime, Punzi, Cavill, and Slomo Says) adopted me and gave me a space to hone what I love doing. I first wrote “ITMONDUB” during the height of the pandemic and luckily, it bloomed into something great and surpassed more than 6,000 streams without any marketing. We made the song with uncertainty, not knowing the outcome, and simply put it out there with high hopes that some listeners might relate to it.
Where do you get inspiration in making music?
I honestly feel like it’s different from each artist. Personally, I get inspiration from the beat. I let the beat take me where it wants to take me. The beat often gives me the emotion it wants to imply and I start from there.
Can you share with us how your latest project "BRENT" came about?
Fern. and I were just playing around with beats and they stuck to me when I went home. I wrote it and the rest is history. “BRENT” exhibits a range of emotions, including regret, anger, resentment, and acceptance, all of which are rooted in the innermost mantle of roaring sentiments. It's a record that captures a unified bottled-up sensibility towards one strident disconnection, gradually presenting an unflappable recovering stance as the song progresses.
Who are the artists or singers you admire and why?
I look up to a lot of local and international artists. But if you ask me, I admire the artists who adopted me and made a huge impact on who I am today. They’re basically all of the Kindred team: Fern., Vinced, Dot.Jaime, Cavill, Punzi, Pikunin, Slomo Says, and Nouvoul. Special mention to Kakie, Baby Freeze, Tallbibi, Kenneth Amores, Massiah, Young Cocoa, and Papayasoak. They’re artists who made me realize that I’m doing something good and helped build my character into something even better.
What do you enjoy most about being a singer-songwriter? Any advice for someone who wants to pursue music?
I love doing music because it allows me to share something that’s real and genuine. Music helps me grow and I enjoy meeting new people and artists who are as genuine and as passionate. As for my advice: Always push through. Always create even if no one’s watching. Always believe in yourself. We miss the shots we don’t take so let’s always try. Surround yourself with positive energy and people who want to see you succeed.
What achievements are you most proud of since getting into the music industry?
I always take what others perceive as small wins as my big wins. Ever since I started, I’ve been featured on Purveyr, Monster RX93.1, H&M, and many more. I take it as a big win since I only dreamed of it before and now, I’m actually living it.
If given the opportunity to collaborate with or open a show for a specific artist, who would it be and why?
I would love to do a show or collaborate with local artists such as Kiyo and Waiian. There’s so much talent here in our country and it really needs to be highlighted.
What’s next for Bugs? What can your listeners look forward to?
I’m currently in the process of making an EP. I hope it resonates with the audience since we put so much time and effort into its creation. I can’t wait to share all the songs I’ve made this year.
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