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Mother Folker Cattski Espina Recommends the Top Musical Acts That Should Be on Your Playlists

As the Mother Folker behind 22 Tango Records and Room 11, Cattski Espina has been in the local music scene for years. Here are five local musical acts that she feels you should check out.

photography KYLA ESTOYA
hair and makeup KIAN VALENCIA

This story is taken from our archives. Originally published in Zee Digital Vol. 1

DT

Describe your music.
My music is pop with a touch of folk. How did you get into the music industry? It started with a showcase in democrazy—I forgot what year that was. I think that’s how 22 Tango got to hear my songs.

Who are your musical influences?
It’s a mix of different genres. First, I am heavily influenced by Amy Winehouse, Ashley Lilinoe. With all of the artists that influence me, I think it helps the versatility of the songs that I create, allowing me to make more stories to share with other people.

Most memorable song you’ve written?
During my first Cuppa Folk, I performed Woman for the very first time on stage. That song is very close to my heart, since it is a tribute to all the women who have helped me in my life and raised me up. It is sort of a thank you song for them, and I think out of all the songs that I have written, this is the most powerful to me. It talks about my life, and the foundations of my morals and personality.

Plans for 2018?
This year, I’m planning to write more songs. With all of the experiences last year gave me, I have so many stories to write this year. I want to put melody onto that, and share it to all the people who can relate to my stories.

Carlisle and Mary Anchit

CARLISLE

Describe your music.
I produce music in a lot of genres. My favorite genres are pop, hiphop, RnB, afro beats, and all that stuff.

How did you get into the music industry?
I’ve actually been playing the guitar since high school, but the first song that was recognized in the industry was Light Me Up. It was released in December 2016, but sort of got popular in January 2017 when Y101 played it. It was the first song I produced that was on the radio.

Who are your musical influences?
Linkin Park, the first band I fell in love with.

Most memorable song you’ve produced?
It would probably be Light Me Up, because that song launched my career and my sister’s career. Because of that
song, we got to places we’ve never been to, met a lot of great people, and worked with a lot of artists.

Plans for 2018?
I have a lot of songs lined up, both for myself and clients, but the one I am looking forward to is with a Nigerian artist. It is totally different from my old stuff. It’s something new, but feels really familiar.

MARY ANCHIT

Describe your music.
My music is folk and anti-folk. Basically, folk music and melodies tells stories. Antifolk also tells stories, but the melodies are kind of raw and experimental.

How did you get into the music industry?
I played at a songwriters night back in 2010, and Cattski found me.

Who are your musical influences?
Regina Spektor and Sara Bareilles

Most memorable song you’ve written?
I think my most memorable is Hero. Whenever I perform the song, I’ve heard people saying that they’re touched by it, and that it got them through something.

Plans for 2018?
I will be releasing a new album soon.

THINKING CHAIR

Describe your music.
Indie music. Soul. Revolutionary. Raw.

How did you get into the music industry?
We first started in church, and when we kind of took a break from that scene, we started a band. This lineup is actually new—we wanted to revive the original Thinking Chair, but some of them are already in Canada.

Who are your musical influences?
A lot. 1975, Coldplay, Private Island.

Most memorable song you’ve written?
Mirage, because every time we sing it, it’s different. We have so many renditions, and it’s fun to play.

Plans for 2018?
We plan to release an EP, add some new songs to our lineup. Hopefully also do a tour.

JRUSS

Describe your music.
My music is a storytelling kind of pop, or folk pop. I tried to avoid the orthodox
type of songs.

How did you get into the music industry?
I actually didn’t think I could go into the music industry. I only played piano before, but then because of college, I wanted to get more into that. Ever since then, I started singing a lot, and after a few years, I started with 22 Tango’s democrazy.

Who are your musical influences?
The first would be Florence and the Machine, and Of Monsters and Men, which is very indie rock and folk rock. I also like Ben Howard and Bastille.

Most memorable song you’ve written?
January of 2015, I wrote the song Happy New Me. I wrote it online for a national songwriting content on Facebook. There was actually no prize—just bragging rights. It’s about someone thinking they were able to move on from a relationship, but actually in the end, it’s just a desperate attempt to say that you moved on. A month later, I was tagged on Facebook that I won. I won a competition with no prize.

Plans for 2018?
Hopefully I can start recording and get an album released. Aside from that, get some real life experience and start writing more songs.

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