One of the reasons I have been introducing snippets from the music scene of the Philippines is to show that there has been a quiet revolution brewing in the music industry over many years now. I’ve learnt that things don’t operate in the same way as the music scene I grew up with back in my own country and things are a little prone to over commercialization drowned out in what seems to be all too important sponsorship deals and many talents sell their souls to the industry for fame.

It’s also fair to say that there is a whole crop of working bands that choose to not go down that road and stick to doing what they love whether it makes them famous or not. I think it’s fair to say that Kjwan fits into that bracket.

I’m sure they would embrace a little public adoration naturally but I don’t get the impression that fame is what they are exclusively seeking; they just seem to me to be having a good time.

I get a special buzz in introducing these guys from Kjwan for a slightly silly reason, I know them. They are great lads and I’m sure they won’t mind me saying very ordinary lads at that.

In my usual lazy amateur journalistic way, I will allow the existing online material to educate you further about this band that are not exactly what I would call rising stars. They have been around awhile and their efforts are being taken notice of even outside of the Philippines.


I’ve never seen them playing a big gig personally. I’ve watched them playing small bars and to audiences of a few hundred at best. Don’t let that have you thinking they are not known or popular. That’s the way it is for a working band that are just enjoying themselves in the Philippines and all the more credit to them for that.

They soldier on and these lads love each other’s company, know each other well and that comes across to me strongly when I’ve watched them play. The consequence of that is they are a tight, non-pretentious, talented and unique band whose music I genuinely enjoy.

Just a personal view here from me when I say that I see a lot of decent bands and some excellent levels of musicianship. My comment though is often the same when I watch these working bands as I go around. I tend to end up saying that most of these bands are good, some a little better than good but always I end up further commenting that they are good but nothing special.

I doubt very much any world beaters are going to take the world by storm from the Philippines. Originality is still in short supply all too often. It’s not always important whether you have something new to offer or not. Kjwan just plays. For me, that’s what music is about.

I’ve never listened to one of their cd’s. I’ve listened to them through the usual online sources of YouTube but above all I’ve watched them play live many times and never failed to enjoy watching their set.

Enough said so let me introduce to you Kjwan.


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Filed under Culture, Manila, Philippine Music, Uncategorized

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