The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming: Ayip | The Beat Asia
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The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming: Singer-Songwriter Ayip

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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 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!


A person’s interest is usually shaped by their environment. Whether it’s our family or friends, we’re bound to be curious of the things that people around us love. We try them ourselves and we get hooked, understanding completely why they were so passionate about it. While it’s something that we’re proud of doing, insecurities will soon enough sink in to the point that we’re scared of taking the next step. Still, you’ll never know until you try. Maybe all we needed was a push to tell ourselves that it’s worth doing, not only for ourselves but for the people who will be touched by them.

For this week’s up-and-coming artist, The Beat Asia had the chance to interview Antipolo-based singer and songwriter Pia Gamboa, also known as Ayip, to talk about how she discovered music and how she’s making songs that the LGBTQ+ community can relate to.

Hi Ayip! Can you tell us how you got into music?

I grew up in a musically inclined family. My uncles were in a band and so as my brothers, and my oldest sister can sing pretty well! I grew up surrounded by creative people whether it may be to create new music or by dancing to it.

What's the story behind your artist name?

It was when I was trying to create an artist/DJ name back in high school. I wanted to have a name that would suit basically me and my story from past to present. I remembered when I was younger, up until now actually, [how] I would always have a hard time reading and writing my name because I always mix up all the letters in my head as I was reading or writing [them], and then it hit me. Why not mix up my nickname "Pia"? Then there it was, I just added a "Y" for a little more accent to the name "Ayip."

Ayip black and white profile

How was creating your first song like? Any stories/challenges about it you would like to share?

I started creating songs ever since I was a little kid, since I learned to play the guitar. I think I was five or seven [years old]? I would make songs about my mom's work, about how my siblings would always tease me, etc. I continued it but never released an actual song before.

Then I met JC Torio. As I was writing my first-ever song that would be published, I was shy, excited, and scared all at the same time. I was shy because I had no confidence when it comes to my singing voice. I hated the sound of my voice when I listen to it (laughs). I remembered asking JC to just sing my whole song and I would just work as a songwriter, but he encouraged me to sing, helped and taught me how to sing actually (laughs). I was excited because I got to share my artwork/song to a lot of people, and scared because it was my first time sharing my work. I was a little scared of the criticism that I might get.

Where do you get inspiration when making music?

I get my inspiration through my own emotions or experiences most of the time, but sometimes I get references from my friends' or from other people's stories since I really want to provide music not just for me to relate to, but also for people to have a song that can express their emotions or feelings that they cannot say or speak about.

As well as me being able to promote music for "women who lov[e] women." I grew up not relating to love songs that much since men aren't really my first choice in preferences when it comes to relationships (laughs). Now, I get to create songs for my kind of people — the LGBTQ+ Community — and more songs that they can relate to and use as a dedication for their special someone. 😉

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

The love and support of not just my friends and family, but from other people too. Seeing them love my music because they can relate [and] understand the hidden messages of my songs and seeing them appreciating my work is just a huge heartwarming feeling.

Also, as I said earlier, me being able to create songs for the LGBTQ+ community is what I enjoy the most because I am able to use this platform to open up minds to the gay community.

What do you consider is your biggest achievement since you started making music?

Being able to write songs and share these songs with a lot of people is already an achievement [for me]. But being able to perform live at Z-Hostel is one of the biggest achievements for me that I will never forget. Seeing people smile and relate to my songs and being able to perform alongside amazing artists is really the best. I did not just get to share my music, but I got the chance to share other artists' music too which is one of the things I really want to do: to support and promote local/Filipino music.

What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to pursue music?

It’s a tough road, but you are tougher. It’s full of ups and downs but consider it as a ride in an amusement park, meaning enjoy every second of it even if it’s scary. Lastly, never compare yourself to other people/artists. Comparison is the thief of joy so remember your purpose. Do what you gotta do and keep your head up high but feet on the ground.

If you could collaborate with or open a show for a specific artist (local or international), who would it be and why?

For local artists, I want to work with Denise Julia and Jess Connelly! And internationally, I would love to sing and write with Kehlani, SZA, Bruno Mars, and QUEEN RIHANNA! They are one of my inspirations to my type of songs. 

Can you tell us about "Ikaw" and how it came to be? How was it collaborating with Illest Morena?

It's actually a funny story. I was originally writing it for a friend since she was going through a breakup and as I was writing, I ended up in the same situation (laughs). I went out for a drink and the next day I had a huge hangover and swore not to drink again.

As I was taking this video of myself, I accidentally created the line “Ikaw lang ang gustong malasahan, di ang beer na kasing pait ng ala ala” (All I wanted to taste was you, not the beer that’s as bitter as these memories). Then after recording the first verse and chorus of the song, I felt that the beat and lyrics would perfectly fit Illest Morena's vibe/style. She's an amazing writer and I experienced working with her before on our first collab song “$ip.”

Illest Morena is one of the most amazing artists that I have collaborated with. She is very quick with words/lyrics and very creative as well. She's also very very nice and funny, which made it easier for me to work and have fun working with her! She is a very talented artist and an amazing person as well.

What's next for Ayip? Any future projects or gigs you're participating in soon?

As of now, we are planning to create another event BUT it’s not yet official. It's more of on the talking stage as of now, although I am very open to projects, gigs, and collaborations. All I can say is that starting 2023, Ayip will be more focused and more active when it comes to music, and really invest in working her dreams to the top. With that being said, I already have more songs lined up for January, February, and March! And [I’m] currently writing more sexy and vibey songs so stay tuned! 🥰


This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To know more about Ayip, follow her on Instagram and stream her music on YouTube and Spotify.

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