by: Andrea Jo O. Coladilla
Forty Thirty is a musical collective of Elbi-based young artists aiming to produce new songs and genres that could be referred to as Elbi’s pride while making a name in the Filipino music industry— aspiring to become an inspiration and instrument in encouraging individuals in creating their own music.
“Don’t let breakthroughs define you,” said Dann Palmes as he empowers aspiring musicians. He also added that breakthroughs shouldn’t define every artists’ value rather the process and hardship one has put into producing music.
As starting musicians, the Forty Thirty musical collective begins to make their way in the music industry.
The group of artists are based in Los Baños or often called by the locals as “Elbi”. They aim to produce collective and unique sounds of the local community. They may not describe Elbi much in their song lyrics, however, as genres of music evolve, they aim to produce music that can remind everyone of their home.
Filipino artists or musicians struggle to make a name in the Filipino music industry. It takes a lot of process from composing lyrics, making music, marketing and selling their music to the people. Some aspiring artists have to go through auditions to gain opportunities in the hope of being discovered by recording labels.
However, the Forty Thirty musical collective strives to make a name for themselves while also representing Elbi. The name, Forty Thirty, even came from the postal code (4030) of Elbi as they want to represent their home as they make music. Their passion for music has brought them all together to produce this collective.
They recently started making music this year, January 30, 2021.
Forty Thirty has eight (8) members namely: Julian Sierra (DJ Sierra), Rapper & Producer; Dann Palmes (Vince Slater), Singer & Songwriter; Rovick Victoria (Rvck), Producer & Sound Engineer; Kyler Sunio (Kyler), Rapper & Songwriter; Lucylle Tan (Lucylle), Singer & Songwriter; Martin Bautista (Jose), Singer & Producer; Ezekiel Bautista (Yehzra), Rapper & Songwriter; and Jetro Decena (Jet), Singer & Songwriter.
It was during the early quarantine season when Dann Palmes posted originally composed music on Facebook. After several views and reactions the post has gained, Rovick Victoria, a producer and sound engineer, messaged Dann if they can make a music collaboration. After that, they’ve invited friends who are also passionate about music and they decided to make this collective.
Currently, Forty Thirty has produced three (3) songs that are leaning over the R&B genre as they deem it a solid vibe these days. However, they are also planning to produce music in different genres soon.
Their songs are inspired by their past experiences, good scenarios they dream of, movies they have watched, and their Elbi life.
“Los-Baños has a diverse culture and we wanted to make music out of it. We wanted our songs to be recognized as Elbi’s own,” Sierra, a rapper and producer of Forty Thirty, said.
Just like any artist, Forty Thirty members also experience challenges in producing music. Some of them struggle with artist block while others are having difficulties managing their time due to other priorities like work and academics, as half of them are still in college.
The pandemic has also limited their dissemination of songs unlike during face-to-face setup wherein they could find gigs easily. But with perseverance and goals in life, they plan to create more quality songs by upgrading their equipment and putting up their own studio soon.
Forty Thirty already consider themselves as professionals since they are already earning a little through their music. They have also established their own music marketing strategy as they aspire to keep up with big record labels. They have made this collective for Elbi-based people to make and share their locally-made songs.
Tan also mentioned that the music industry in the Philippines has been unfair as most of the rising singers have connections and are rich enough to have their way in. Unlike for them who are really starting from scratch. However, she emphasized that that doesn’t mean they’ll give up on music. They described themselves as ambitious, passionate, and determined in making a name for themselves and for Los-Baños through making music.
“Hindi naman kailangan may breakthrough ka para masabi mong artist ka. Basta ang importante is nashe-share mo yung craft mo sa mga tao. Kahit limang listeners lang ‘yan per month, malaking bagay [na] ‘yon. Kasi if you continue o maging consistent ka, eventually it will grow din naman. And makikita din naman ng mga tao yung hard work na nilalaan mo sa craft mo,” Tan added.
[You don’t need breakthroughs to be considered an artist. What matters is that you share your craft with the people. Even having five listeners per month is already a big thing. Because if you continue or be consistent, eventually it will grow. And people would see the hard work you’ve put in your craft.]
Forty Thirty also gives opportunities for aspiring artists or musicians. They believe that there are still a lot of artists out there in Los Baños. They encourage individuals to step up and to not be ashamed to create music.