A bunch of Baguio students decided to have some fun and release a song. Surprisingly, it became a hit.
The group, made up of co-lead vocalists Raphaell Rida and Gian Bernardino, guitarists CJ and Gab Fernandez, bassist Sevii Severino, and keyboardist Xen Gareza, now named Cup Of Joe, has since signed up with Viva Records.
So, back to the story.
Why did they release that song?
Gian explained it all began when they were in Grade 12. They were just a cover band back then. But as a farewell to their Senior High School days, they decided to write a song and put it out on a digital music platform.
“Ni-release namin sa Spotify for fun. Parang may memory lang kami nung mag-graduate kami ng Senior High… (But) For some reason nakaabot po siya ng algorithm ng Metro Manila. Ta’s nakapag-chart,” Gian shared.
And, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Since then, Cup Of Joe has been attracting fans from all over the archipelago.
They noted how they’re not the run-of-the-mill pop band. They’ve got a real talent for creating catchy tunes with lyrics that hit home.
They mine a range of styles, from mellow acoustic pop to retro, and even some ballads that show off their alternative pop side. They’ve dabbled in a bit of retro-wave and neo-folk too.
According to them, they make a conscious effort to make each track different from their previous ones. But at the same time, you can still tell it’s a Cup Of Joe song.
They call it “experimental.” This approach isn’t just in their music but also in how they present themselves. They’ve got a unique style that challenges traditional gender norms.
“We came up with a brand of styling na gender-bending,” Gian emphasized.
Raphaell added that they focus on celebrating individuality.
“Wala po sa amin yung same. Like how we dress, how we express ourselves,” he explained. “Just be yourself and enjoy it.”
Gian pointed out that they intentionally want to steer clear of the “clean cut” image that’s often associated with boy bands.
“We want to show our individuality, and at the same time, connect through our music,” he said, speaking about their mission.
These singers from Baguio, aged 20 to 22, hail from different parts of Northern Luzon – Pangasinan, Isabela, and Abra. And here’s the interesting bit: they’re all studying diverse subjects like Electronics Engineering, Computer Science, Accountancy, Dentistry, and Medical Technology.
Now, about their name. As it turns out, it was an impromptu choice. But over time, “Cup Of Joe” took on a deeper meaning.
“Kasi po yung Cup of Joe slang siya ng kape. Parang ini-incorporate namin siya sa sound namin, sa vibe namin. Na every time they listen to our music is parang umiinom sila ng kape na nakaka-relax. Parang chill lang,” Gian shared. “Which is bumagay din kung nasaan kami, sa Baguio. Parang naging art din siya ng branding namin kasi when you say coffee, iba’t-ibang timpla din siya. So every release, we get to serve different blends ng music. Di kami nag-stick sa isang type ng song.”
In their songs, they cover a wide range of feelings. They have touching moments that connect with your heart, and uplifting experiences that might even be a source of release. They express all of this with words that feel familiar and choruses that stick in your head.
In 2022, Cup Of Joe dropped two singles that endeared them even more to their growing fan base. “Mananatili” and “Estranghero” showed a more mature sound and style, drawing inspiration from the pop hits of the 80’s and 90’s.
And it worked wonders for them. They even sold out a two-day show at the Viva Cafe in Cubao, Quezon City recently. Their very first “Patutunguhan” gig, which is also the title of their debut EP, was a hit thanks to their devoted Joewahs (their fandom).
Among their tracks are “Sinderella,” “Nag-iisang Muli,” “Alas Dose,” “Sagada,” “Hayaan,” “Bukod Tangi,” and “Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Pipiliin Ko,” among others.
They also had a collaboration with Janine Teñoso via “Tingin.”
Get ready for the upcoming sensation!
— Stephanie Bernardino
Credit belongs to: www.mb.com.ph