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Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | INDIE

Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2001
Band Folk Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"F*Ck It!: The Ambitions Of Cattski Espina"

Cattleya Vanessa Espina, dubbed as plain Cattski by many, who gained prominence for her contribution in Cebu’s music scene since the 90s, does not gossip about her bygone years. The latter is an allegory stressed from a recent event that happened two days after her album launch. She narrates, “I no longer have a gall bladder, good riddance. I’m hustling!” Apparently, people can live throughout their lives without storing bile in them.

But I desire something more than the obvious character. During the virtual interview, I dug up pieces of her memories. There is something about a person’s past that keep her feet firm on the ground. So here’s to spontaneity and honest questions. I begin.

I read that Sun-Star article, and I know there’s more to it than “I used to be a DJ in NU107 Cebu”. Ah, that.

How did “Cattski” all start? Tell me about high school. Was it co-ed? (Laughs) Let’s not talk about the past!

Not about the past, actually. But did it start as a childhood dream? Music is in the family. My uncle earned a doctorate degree in Music and Arts in NYC. Two aunts are pianists: one in Chicago and the other in San Diego. My dad was a trained tenor in Manila under a maestro from the Repertory. Songwriting I got from my uncle as he wrote the first cantata in the Philippines.

Evidently, Cattski has intimidating roots. She played the piano most of her childhood as a prerequisite but did not pursue piano playing since it felt like an intense job. Having done the whole deal (e.g. recitals and school plays), she decided to forget about it after learning the guitar.

Who introduced you the guitar? No one. I remember sneaking in my dad’s den to learn the chords. During my teens, the great switch was because of The Cranberries. Easy chords! Easy chord books!

Did you see yourself as a solo artist then? Or, were you more comfortable with the idea of having people around to share music with? Oh, I wanted to be in a band. That was how it all started, I believe. I loved Nirvana, Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Fleetwood Mac—

Ah, yes: the 90’s music virus. Uhuh! You got it right!

The 90s were once dominated by girl angst. Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Fiona Apple, and 4 Non Blondes were present in every teenager’s Walkman. And still more of it continued to influence Cattski’s psyche, which made me wonder exactly when it flourished. After all, only a few become more than one hit wonders.

So, what point in time would you consider the climax of your career? Uh. I don’t have a career in Music, Pika. If you consider it as a “career,” then I’m doing it all wrong.

Lisora nimo interview-hon, Cattski oi. Ha-ha! I’ll make it simple…

Most artists I’ve come across within the past years see Cattski as a woman who knows and gets what she wants, what few Cebuanos mistake for intimidating and bitchy. Jad Bantug, who co-produced Cattski’s 0:00:00 album, stressed that it is both her gift and curse. Johanna Michelle Lim, a freelance graphic artist whom Cattski also collaborated with, weighs in, “From her work ethic to her ability to put talent to good use, Cattski is one of those clients with high oral and visual sensibility. People like her do not spoon-feed. At the risk of being kitschy, I think she just has tremendous faith in people and in the creative spirit in general. She gives so much leeway. And when she sees something that she wants, she picks it up directly and follows through. That’s where her assertiveness, not bitchiness, sets in.”

On the other hand, Cattski appears to have more surprises.

I have a career in Advertising, which I’m trying to hone, improve, and build; but with music? Nah, it is who I am. There is no sense in making a career out of it. If it was a career, then I would love to go to Manila and do covers in my album, and then have my face changed somewhat closer to Angelina Jolie’s! Hahaha!

So that is your definition of a career. I was actually referring to a lifetime progress of work. =)

She celebrated 10 years’ worth of contribution to Cebu’s music at The Outpost in 2010. Friends of Cattski call her pursuits a body of work: how music is also a vocation or a body of effort, rather than from passion alone. She is also, after all, a businesswoman. Her background in advertising helps sell her music, precisely why she’s so successful at it. Even before launching her album, she produced two singles with Jude Gitamandoc, multi-awarded songwriter, two with Lorenzo “Insoy” Ninal of Missing Filemon, one with Ian Zafra, Music Sector Chair of Creative Cebu, and The Wonggoy’s whom she manages.

At that time, was 0:00:00 already in your system: its schemes, climaxes, and conclusion? Nope. The project wasn’t in my head yet. But the songs started to form already. And I did feel like I was starting again, because I knew after the tenth year, I’d be doing things differently. So I did.

Sounds like a personal album. Was it a portfolio of sorts or a gentle narrative through the years? All of my works are personal. I can’t write fiction to save my life for shit. I faced fears with this album. I took myself out of the box. Then, I realized there is no box. There shouldn’t be any.

What is this box you are talking about? They are old habits, old ways, and old approaches in my creative processes.

Though my mind wanders: what is this metaphorical box? I have seen artists, musicians, and the literati all go through this series of setbacks in all of their works all through their lives. But I see this box as the training ground. It is this worldly sense of struggling that keeps everything real. Maybe it is this mastering the right amount of microbes that keeps every person in a third-world country fitter than he believes. Maybe, this very idea of keeping the shabbiness in, let’s say, street food that keeps a street vendor’s business stronger. It is which what makes pungko-pungko and tuslob-buwa tremendously delicious. However, Cattski believes that things should be let go in order to move on. It is the collaborating with people that fed her creative processes. Is there more to ginabot and puso? Apparently, there is.

I trusted myself fully in this album, which I can say is truly mine even if I had help. Jad Bantug gets everything right away. He is my musical mirror in this album. We have worked numerous times before, so we had chemistry. 0:00:00 is our “it.”

The tracks are sharp and crisp. Did Jad capture everything that you wanted and needed? The thing was he mixed all of the tracks really well. However, I sent them to L.A. for mastering. My entire album was done by Dave Donnelly, who mastered albums by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182, Aerosmith, and more. Jad’s mixes were all enhanced, and we were very happy with it. Mixing and mastering are two different disciplines.

How long did it take to finish the album? Two years for every step, except for marketing. Our process was one song at a time. We finish recording one song, then mix. Mastering was only eight days. There were no revisions. We were just as happy at how things went.

My, oh, my, Dave Donnelly! So you made all the lyrics? You did not collaborate with anyone? Nope. There’s one in production: Small Things with Jay Young. Jad and I needed a break from each other’s creative inputs, so there appeared Jay. I directed everything, and all were pre-planned. I would mouth-trumpet what I heard in my head, and he’d apply it.

You have eleven songs here. Can you name the most personal? “Monsters” and “Rock n’ Roll” came out to be the hardest to produce. I can’t remember exactly why.

It’s the song that made me think of Melanie C’s “Never Be the Same Again”; the crispness of the electronic effects were very meticulous. What I had in mind was specific, but it was very hard to bring to life. We had trouble with the tempo, and the song initially came out as 8 minutes! It took us a month to finish Monsters.

Personally knowing how excruciating it is to go through the whole process of song making, a six-minute single is a lifetime. Not to mention, it can be very expensive for most. If not, then it takes so much time and energy. Composing music has multiple turbines of mastery and money involved.

I made sure I couldn’t be played on the radio, Pika.

But your album is available to everyone, so you just threatened every DJ in the city? Hahaha! No.

Why and what is this making sure that you won’t be played on the radio? What is your connotation about radio, knowing that you have been in the music scene for the longest time? I don’t want to be part of that anymore. Do you hear the music they play on the radio these days? I would rather be in people’s MP3 players, and played whenever they like.

So are you trying to connect with everyone in the contemporary definition of, maybe, this new world radio? My songs are beyond five minutes because I am telling them a story. As I am, I wouldn’t be able to tell a story in three minutes. And on the radio, storytelling barely has room.

Let’s talk about post production. Why Johanna Michelle Lim? I witnessed how she worked prior to my album project. I was producing the music side whereas she did the aesthetic part. She was impressive.

An artist’s cover album does tell a lot. How did you envision your album cover? And of all the colors, why yellow? To imply a happier, digital feel. The album is a complex mix. And the words on the cover imply, as Johanna phrases it, the poet in me –Char.

Did you plan to work with these people; or did everything take place at the right time with the right people at the right place? Everything fell into place. I asked them, and they said yes. So yay!

Was launching the album at 2012 a subtle metaphorical time limit of the controversial “End of Days”? It is how digital counters usually begin. I am always exposed to these zeroes while making music. And yes, I planned it for 2012. And I’m brewing another project in my head, so let’s see.

Last question: why did you agree to do this interview? Aren’t you worried I might write you out of context? I cannot control how people perceive me or my work. And I doubt that you would, although you’re almost always brutal. I agree to all interviews. I like interviews, regardless of who writes it, and where it’s published. You know I know stuff, and I have bodies of work to prove it. I love what I do, and I like telling people about it.

If one pursues a career in music in the Philippines, everyone expects one to eat shit beforehand. Cebuanos are hard to please. A renowned radio jock and mentor once stressed in my face that Cebu can be the New York of all cities. If you can’t make it here, then surely you can’t make it anywhere. But Cattski knows what she wants, a rare quality in most Cebuano artists. Maybe there is no box. And maybe there shouldn’t be any. It is, I must say, all in our heads. And the very thing that makes Cattski successful is not to actually linger in the past, but regard it as crucial guidelines in your permanent Post-it notes. Let go, so to speak. And if not, then compensate harmlessly however one could for the better. Because for Cattski, it is to work with the right people and to always see their abilities as everyone’s upper hand.

Smile, and mean it this time.

Download Cattski’s newest album 0:00:00 free at here. For more details, email her at
Jad Bantug is a sound engineer and owner of 1032 Studios. Check out his newly-built website at
Johanna Michelle Lim is a freelance graphic artist and a prominent creative writer in Cebu. You can find her here. For more details, email her at
Photo Credits to Angel Kangleon, Archie Uy and Clarence Mongado - Alphecca Perpetua,

"Cattski Espina: The Catt as a Mouse"

In a fluctuating local music scene where colorful bursts have unpredictable shelf lives, Cattski does not tread lightly. For more than 10 years now she has been involved in the local scene in the relatively bustling city of Cebu, Philippines. Like many musicians, her inclinations towards the art form began very early on as a kid. But this has blossomed into six albums and an independent record label, 22Tango Records, with a number of local acts under its wing. That’s quite a lot in a not-too-big city still teeming with a mix of urban and rural influences. Add to that the fact that she caught the last few waves of traditional music marketing, and was there when the ground shifted – now, everyone’s running towards the online arena, but the music scene here in general is still in a confused state: what do we do with the online market, and what strategies do we take? Cattski Espina is keen on catching up and eventually, getting ahead.

“Yes, my name is Cattski…To be accurate, (I’m a) musician/entrepreneur.” Cattski says. “To be honest, I don’t know. LOL,” Cattski adds after a quick pause during an online interview while she’s cleaning her guitar at home. To our minds here at SpringRank it isn’t necessarily a bad thing – that could mean she’s curious and open to evolutions in her craft and her business.

The Catt as a Mouse

“I’m still learning. You know my latest album is my lab mouse for this. I’m seeing a lot of good things and challenging things and with further exploration, I’m gonna get “it” – the “it” that’s applicable to me and the other artists,” she says of her entrepreneurial explorations for her own music, and the other artists under her label.

Her latest album, 00:00:00, was a purely-online release done in the middle of 2012, worth a couple of years of hard work, a few bruises and some heartaches. Released without a definite price attached to it, people can choose to download her music at any cost — from free, to whatever fee audiences see fit. Many have done it, but results depend on the type of crowd; and Cattski is carefully observing how it’s working for her here. On the flip side, this enabled her to bring her music to audiences within the country as well outside, reaching a relatively small but very devoted market since the release.

Currently, she relies heavily on various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and music-sharing sites like iTunes, and having them work together as a promotional / marketing system. Eighty percent of her whole strategy is online based, while the rest still taps into traditional means. Logically, traditional marketing still works in a country with an Internet usage of just 30% according to the 2011 Yahoo-Nielsen Net Index Study.

“I’m inspired by Seth Godin’s ‘personal’ strategy: Your 10 friends have 10 friends and so on…We still do CDs somehow and sell through gigs.” She adds, with hope placed in her music and those of the people she believes in, “We’ll get by.”

Why is getting by so difficult in this part of town? There are many facets to this, and here’s one: based on what research has been done on Internet usage in the Philippines, 70% still get their entertainment offline. It’s easy for anyone to get drowned out by the noise of mainstream showbiz, unless one joins the constant diaspora towards the capital, leaving other cities to wait for their next local big bang — only to see that new group of up-and-coming artists leave again. And it’s not necessarily something local musicians are resentful of: at the same time that everyone understands it’s just economics dictating opportunities, people are also trying their best to keep their towns alive, at least in the cultural sense. She knows this, as she wasn’t a stranger to this diaspora either.

“Content is King”

Hanging out with Cattski once, we were told of how she almost became the character of the classic tale of the choked musician: how she and her then-band (which was named after her) were instructed by some music industry honchos from further up north to write songs inclined towards a particular taste, and to sound like another band already making it big in the airwaves. And so, in the blink of an eye, said honchos lost the band Cattski, who dropped the opportunity to sign with a label and came running home, refusing to evolve according to someone else’s dictates.

Of course, not all music producers and managers mainstream or otherwise would whip their talents to a shape of their liking. But evil lurks everywhere, regardless of which noisy or quiet city you’re from.

Knowing what worked for her and fashioning her own sandbox, however, has enabled her to grow into the artist that she has become; thus, 22Tango is run in a similar fashion – she works with what the artists have, and who they are.

“Quality content and sincerity and consistency in voice,” she says of what sets her apart. “They’re not communicating; they are blabbing,” she says of a few others. In her music marketing strategy, “content is (still) king” so the online marketing adage goes.

Gems in Hidden Places

Sometimes, the best finds come in the most unexpected places. For instance, in YouTube alone, a portion of the viewer population frequent a spot they call YouTube Narnia where lesser known acts with the awesomest music are found. People who go there aren’t as many as those who click on cat videos or Lady Gaga, true. But this is exactly one of the places Cattski wants to take her products to – her music, and that of the talents under her label. 22Tango is a very young company, but one that knows its goals.

Cattski: I target everyone who would rather listen to their mp3 players and not the radio and I think there’s a lot of them out there.

SpringRank: Give-them-something-to-take-home kinda deal

Cattski: You bet. And something to listen to when they feel like it; something to come home to. The oh-let’s-listen-to-cattski for-a-change kind of deal.

One of their milestones is currently being the only Cebu-based Indie label (at least to our and Cattski’s knowledge), and one who has a publishing company for a partner – ICO Publishing, owned and run by Ian Zafra, guitarist for locally well-known band Sheila and the Insects.

Cattski admits they’re right smack in the middle of the learning curve right now and it is quite difficult considering the silence in the city. The last few years has witnessed the shutting down of some media outfits that gave local acts a voice on the airwaves and on print: rock radio station NU107 signed off for good in 2010, as well as Cebu-based Bite Magazine, and very recently, Cebu music den The Outpost shut its doors for reasons its loyal following have respectfully not dug into. This hasn’t stopped Cattski from creating experiences; in fact, it’s all the more a motivation for her to stay online.

“I think it is possible because with the internet geography is irrelevant. We just need to create and discover new ways. If we don’t get to enjoy the fruits of this because nothing happens overnight then so be it. What’s important is that people follow through. So that’s why when we get old and tired and grey, the younger ones, they have to keep going.”
- Chai,

"Cattski 0:00:00 (Zero) Album Review"

Cattski Espina, better known as “Cattski,” has just unleashed her latest release 0:00:00 (Zero) into the world. A musical threat of sorts, Cattski is a multi-talented woman who not only writes her own songs, but plays guitar, piano, harmonica and even the mouth-trumpet to round it all out. Bringing each piece to life in the recording studio, Cattski brings a truly unique musical experience to the table. In the two years that it took to create the record, Espina made sure that each piece was perfectly crafted, and as she describes, “the process of letting the unpleasant transform into the pleasant.”

Opening the album is the title track, “Zero,” which brings in a slight reminder of musicians such as Imogen Heap, is a stunning introduction into the record, as Cattski talk-sings over the track. Haunting background vocals fill the space, creating a piece that you will not soon forget. “New,” changes things up a bit, as Cattski takes on a whole new form. A sound that is not only on a more pop music level, but very accessible blending vibrant acoustic guitars and dreamy vocals. Somehow the elements of the two songs waltz nicely into each other.

“Light,” provides a haunting element to the record as Cattski's voice resembles a young Stevie Nicks at times. The piece is filled with a gorgeous piano alongside of Epsina's perfect and peaceful voice. The listener will certainly be able to feel every emotion that goes into this piece, as it evokes such feelings. “Breathe,” offers a lovely light feeling to the record, as Cattski croons better than Norah Jones. The twangy guitar mixed with soft drumming, is beautiful as Cattski is accompanied by a female backing vocalist. The stunning track is surely a show stopper that will have you playing it over and over again. Trust me.

Up next is the upbeat “Hello Tears,” that is not only uplifting but lyrically inspiring, with a bit of quirkiness on the side. Cattski really has it all to say the least. Track after track she is able to deliver, which proves to be beyond impressive. “Monsters,” takes thing back down a notch for a while, setting a whole new tone to the record. A slight steel drum sound is played, as Cattski brings out a neo-soul vocalization into the song. This is certainly a nice surprise on the record, as it shows the musical range and ability that she has to offer. There are no one trick ponies here thats for sure!

“Small Things,” is a haunting and gorgeous song that is musically brilliant. Taking slight elements of the first track, this seems to be where all of the puzzle pieces come together as Cattski blends a little bit of everything. “I don't want to be angry at the small things,” echoes from Cattski's voice, leaving a prominent memory behind.

“Bohemia,” comes into the picture with a lovely soul-meets-hippie-folk vibe. The fun track will have you snapping your fingers and tapping your feet, as it will leave you wanting more. The stripped down song, gets taken right into the next piece titled “Muse.” With a haunting piano and a soulful voice, Espina really brings out her heart and soul and she wears it on her sleeve.

“Sea Hue,” shows even a more folk element in Cattski, as well as a tad bit of Alt-Country as you will be able to hear a slight slide guitar in the background. “Rock n' Roll,” closes out the album with intriguing double vocals, that take the song and album to a whole new level.

Cattski is truly an artist that has staying power. With one listen of this gorgeous and unforgettable record, 0:00:00 (Zero), you will be wondering where she has been your entire life; and with that, crave more of what this brilliant musician has to offer.

0:00:00 (Zero)
5 Out of 5 Stars
- Melissa Nastasi

"Cattski 0:00:00 Album Review"

Cattski is a Philippines-based singer, songwriter, and producer that experiments with electronica, folk, indie, experimental, and acoustic pop elements on her latest release, 0:00:00 (Zero). The music is spacey, dance-friendly, and progressive with musical instruments spanning the gamut from keyboards, guitars, harmonicas, to kazoos. Cattski dispels current pop idioms and creates a visionary musical experience that is refreshing and accessible.

“Small Things” opens with a few electronic burbles and a reverberating atmospheric ambiance with percussion ticks and swishy cymbals. Cattski’s voice is reminiscent of Avril Lavigne, but the music is not rock, punk, or grunge. Instead, the pulsating dance elements and electronic trickles of eerie sound are backed by a trip-hop or trance beat. The song is clearly focused with some electric guitar fades throughout in the vein of Garbage. The echoing vocals at the end of the song merge into a skittish electronic medley that sounds like computer gadgetry. At any rate, the music is enthralling and addictive.

“Bohemia” begins with a few static-driven radio snippets that merge into a soft, acoustic tune with Cattski’s vocals leading the charge. The percussion is light and reminiscent of a somewhat trip-hop or down-tempo beat. The vocals are louder than the percussion. A xylophone-type sound interrupts the beat, as distant flapper-like tune snippets overlap the sound throughout. The instrumentation is rather playful without too much variation. However, the vocals tend to overshadow most of the instrumentation.

“Monsters” opens with an island rhythm pop beat with piano and drum-kit percussion. The chorus incorporates fuzzy electric guitars and a big pop sound with lush vocals and a steady, electronic beat. The next chorus adds a fast-paced, electronic beat amidst the full guitar sounds and gentle piano. A mix of electronic noises, sirens, and percussion join in with the guitars and piano for the latter half of the song. In short, “Monsters” is a luscious pop song with loud sounds and a catchy chorus.

“New” begins with a fast dance beat with increasing sound that turns into a gentler acoustic guitar and vocal track. Cattski’s vocals float along effortlessly with drum-kit percussion and guitars. The guitars are fairly energetic for the chorus, but not in a hard rock way. The airy pop presence of the guitars makes the song a Top 40 hit without sacrificing anything. The electronic wizardry comes into play at the end of the song, as the outro contains an acoustic guitar and Cattski’s vocals.

“Sea Hue” begins with a light harmonica line with acoustic guitar and Cattski’s vocals. The harmonica waxes and wanes, but the acoustic guitar remains constant. The electric guitar and drum-kit percussion begins mid-song. The music is largely pop with a hint of folk and alternative. Still, the music is lighter than other tracks, but that does not diminish its intensity.

“Zero” opens with electronic noise and robotic voices with a barrage of metallic nuances and spacey elements. The atmospheric renderings and futuristic voicings reflect an artistic edge that incorporates electronic twinkles, fuzzy vocals, and computerized concoctions. The vocals are largely spoken word and reflect a poetic presence surrounding the album’s meaning. This is more of an introduction than a song.

Cattski’s new album is an edgy, pop-infused, electronic journey that is mature and inventive. Cattski’s vocals may resemble Avril Lavigne, but the music possesses an electronic folk and pop vein that is highly-infectious and memorable. The only qualm may be the noticeably louder vocals on a few tracks, as on “Bohemia.” Nevertheless, there is plenty of interesting melodies, instrumental arrangements, electronic adornments, and vocal choruses that make the album soar much higher than its title implies.

Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
- Matthew Forss

"It ain’t over ‘til the Cat lady sings"

MANILA, Philippines - It’s a numbers game: the 9-lives analogy is apt for independent singer-songwriter Cattski Espina, who has certainly embodied longevity in the indie music scene — where musicians come and go.

This time, though, she goes back to zero as she puts forth her 4th studio album, “Zero” or “0:00:00” (like a digital music player’s marker of a new musical journey).

A self-described “do-it-yourself” musician, Cattski has been performing since the late '90s, when she started doing the rounds of bars and restaurants in Cebu. Over the course of her musical career, she has produced 3 studio albums with her eponymously named former band; a collaboration album; and an album of previously released singles.

This time, however, Cattski goes back to basics as she rediscovers the art of making music on her own, without the potentially divergent creative input of her peers and bandmates.

“I start from zero, from scratch and all that. I’m using the digital counter as my metaphor here which is really consistent with the sound that I’m putting to life in this record," Cattski shares with RAPPLER. "The music is built using the complex mix of real musical instruments and digital audio technology.”

Cattski calls this musical medley “digifolk” for its folk and electronica notes.

Going solo brings about a lot of creative freedom for Cattski. “I made 3 albums with my band. It was fun, but also limiting at one point," she shares. "A band functions as a unit and as a team. As a team member, one has to consider the other team members’ creative contribution."

She continues, "And because these are different people with different musical backgrounds — not to mention different levels in musicality — the result would sometimes be a ‘confused’ sound."

In "Zero," Cattski says she called all the shots. "It allowed me to be consistent in every aspect, and to fully tell the story of the songs, not just through the words and melody but with every little detail," she says. It is only with "Zero" that Cattski had absolute control as producer.

The album is as much a personal evolution as it is a musical one, where Cattski sheds off her “angry girl” persona and lends her resonant vocals to something else, something more.

“The songs in my previous albums showed a lot of questioning, self-doubt and some rebellious attitude…So, yes, I’ve changed — maybe even grown up a little," she says thoughtfully. "My music has evolved significantly.”

Hers is an evolution Cattski says every Filipino artist goes through; they all face the challenge of being stuck between a rock and a hard place at some point.

Her music today is one that has served as a catharsis of sorts; it has evolved into the acceptance of things that affront adulthood. It’s a sound that inspires listening by intention and perhaps with reflection, as only music from an independent artist can elicit. It’s music that expresses and engages, that probes towards a sense of finding purpose.

Cattski takes her listeners through the process of making the album online, having published a mini-documentary series on her website. Her album took a year to compose and another year to record. Then it stayed for month in California for mastering, in the hands of sound engineer Dave Donelly.

As Cattski would say, the moment you believe everything is finished, that is just the beginning.

Cattski’s album “0:00:00” is available in her website, - Andrea Lugue,


Still working on that hot first release.



Im CATTSKI. Im a Filipina musician, Singer/Songwriter and Record Producer based in Cebu City, Philippines. The guitar is my main instrument but I also play the piano. Ultimately, I believe my only real instrument is my voice my actual singing voice and my writing voice as well a two in one kind of thing.

When I play live, its usually with a 3-piece band, but the music also works with just a duo partner. I also play alone - stripped naked of all additional guitars, synthesizers and effects - which is a completely different story, but its still something I love to do.

Recently, theres a computer in my live performances. I call it the fourth guy. This was after I finished my 4th LP and I had this burning desire to bring the entirety of the music to life. I felt the sound has reached a subtle complexity and I thought it was just necessary to include the musics effects, atmospherics and additional sounds, not to mention, the additional backing vocal arrangement during live performances.

My musical brain is a child of the nineties but I am fascinated with the exquisite sound that I discovered in the new millennium. The music of Massive Attack, Imogen Heap, Guy Sigsworth and American modern folk bands Bon Iver, Harper Blynn and The Weepies, to me, are all inspiring, probably because they all sounded different from the music that molded me. Ive chosen to let go of Alanis Morisette, The Cranberries and Kurt Cobain to make way to those who were once influenced by them too, but yet are experimenting and exploring. For some reason, it drove me to do the same and, to my surprise, I actually liked what I have created. Making music is really just the input-output process what you take in dictates what you put out. And with todays amazing and accessible audio technology, the delicious possibility of new, fresh and different music was easily within my reach.

My country, the Philippines, is an over-populated third world country. Though majority of the population are educated, were still backward when it comes to music appreciation. Our industry standards in music do not inspire creativity since it insists to remain safe and redundant with formulaic approaches. The result is that almost every song, though different artists, sounds the same making our radios really boring with the lack of variation in their playlists.

Naturally, this affects the peoples listening curve too. And when you do something different because you want to be creative, majority of the people automatically believe you suck simply because you dont sound like everybody else.

And here I am working to defy that.

I know and understand that I cant change the status quo but I refuse to be a part of it. So Im comfortably making my own path, dancing to the beat of my own drums, building my audience, whilst making music on my own terms.

Thanks to new media and modern communication, I was able to carve out a unique niche and a loyal cult following. And for as long as the music burns inside me, the music will keep coming, because the thought of a new pair of ears to discover my music simply thrills me.

That is my story.

Band Members