Beyond Beats – Kobeast Takes Manila’s Nightlife by Storm
Meet Kobeast, the sonic virtuoso from Pandacan, Manila, who weaves musical magic in the heart of the nightlife. It is always interesting to get the perspectives of the younger generation occasionally. Because they represent the next wave.
In a captivating discussion, we engaged with Kobe/Kobeast, an up-and-coming artist hailing from Pandacan, Manila, to gain insight into his perspective on the current nightlife scene. Kobe’s presence is undeniably powerful, and as a young artist, his breadth of knowledge spans from event curation to understanding the music preferences of people, making it intriguing to explore the perspectives of the younger generation, as they embody the essence of the upcoming wave.
Hi! Hello, tell us about you.
Hey, I’m Jose Shaq Kobe N. Cabusora, but most folks call me ‘Kobeast.’ I’m a 20-year-old DJ and producer, and I’ve been rocking the nightlife scene in the neighborhoods of Pandacan, Manila, for about six years now. Funny thing is, I never thought being a DJ was even an option for me when I was into metal at first. But fate had its way, and during my high school freshman year, I ended up working for my dad’s sound system company, attending events with some kickass DJ performances, and that’s when my excitement ignited!
My musical influences are all over the place! I draw inspiration from local legends like John Sedano, Jet Boado, Marxx Monterola, and Mars Miranda, who’ve had a huge impact on my sound. But on a global scale, Kaskade is the one who sets the bar, the international industry standard.
Describe the electronic music community in Manila.
If you aspire to leave a lasting mark in Manila’s music scene, playing Top 40 and mainstream tracks is essential. The reality is that not everyone in Manila resonates with deep or underground music. Suppose you’re an artist with a unique identity, like Drum & Bass or Filthy Basslines. In that case, you must consider that such tracks may not be suitable for standard nightclubs or taverns. To truly express yourself, you’ll need to connect with the right group of people or a like-minded movement.
Manila undoubtedly boasts an immensely talented pool of electronic music producers and musicians. However, the local electronic scene still has room for further development. We can count ourselves fortunate for the existence of movements like Bass n’ Bacon, No Ego, and others, which genuinely aim to elevate the local electronic music landscape. Their mission involves educating audiences about various sounds, particularly bass music, beyond the typical festival-associated sounds.
Poblacion Makati plays a significant role in nurturing the local electronic culture in Manila. Unlike Qc and Bgc, the Poblacion scene and its attendees have a strong appreciation for electronic music that diverges from the mainstream. In those bars, patrons can enjoy House Night, Techno, or Trance, reflecting a diverse range of electronic genres.
How many events have you organized? Is the crowd differ from the regular nightlife in Metro Manila?
During my time with a Nightlife production from 2016 to 2018, I gained some experience, though that feels like a long time ago now. The events were centered around pool parties in and around the Rizal area. However, more recently, I took the initiative to organize my very first event, which I’ve named the “BASS NIGHT HOUSE PARTY.” Through this event, I aim to expose people to and deepen their understanding of Bass Music, drawing inspiration from the likes of No Ego and Bass N Bacon. My strong desire is to make a meaningful contribution to the electronic scene, and this event feels like the path to achieve that goal.
One noticeable difference lies in the crowd at bass music events, where you’ll often witness headbanging, occasional mosh pits, and energetic slams. This sets it apart from the typical nightlife scene, where people still party but with less hardcore intensity.
What type of experience do your events emphasize?
The aim of Bass Night is to genuinely educate people about the beauty of bass music. When we mention a house party, we truly mean an intimate gathering. It’s essential for us not to make it overly successful, if you catch my drift. However, we do intend to embrace certain imperfections, as it creates a more personal and authentic experience compared to the usual nightlife ambiance.
What sets Bass Night apart is our desire for DJs to play music that the audience will enjoy, even if they had no idea they wanted to hear it. Instead of merely catering to their expectations, we aim to surprise and delight them with new sounds. This unique approach is what defines Bass Night and distinguishes it from other events.
What are your remaining plans for the year? Will you concentrate on DJing, events, or music production?
The strategy involves exerting my full capacity while DJ-ing and working towards establishing “Kobeast” as my trademark name. Moreover, I am currently preparing for the release of my debut album, entirely consisting of Bass House and Tech House music. I’m aiming to have it ready by the end of the year, if possible.
As for events, you can expect to see me participating in an even larger and higher-quality bass night compared to the previous one. I’m determined to bring an electrifying lineup and create an unforgettable experience. Beyond events, my overarching goal as an artist is to contribute towards elevating the electronic music scene in Manila.
Make sure to follow Kobeast