June Marieezy: Deep Manila

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source: June Marieezy

When an artiste said that her show at Urbanscapes was going to be something weird and magical, you knew you’ve got to pay more attention. And so we did. We braved the depths of YouTube and Facebook and came up with our hearts racing, and our collective minds blown. In a way, June Marieezy reminds us a little bit of our very own Yuna, albeit a more contemporary persona that handles the electronic world more adroitly, even down to her backstory, which involves her making the move from the States to Manila and back again with more fervour than before.

‘Fly’ was our first virtual encounter with the performer – and it just so happened that she’d just released the official music video for the tune, a psychedelic piece of visual art that blends June’s character with that of the scenic beaches and forests of the Philippines which perfectly encapsulated the laidback vibe of the tune. The chilled-out tones coupled with June’s lazy flow and rhymes brought us there with her, even for just those few minutes. “I wrote ‘Fly’ when I was in the States away from the motherland,” informs June, “After spending five years there, I guess I wrote it to heal myself from being away from those energies and truths I fell in love with. I documented those truths into the aural form of ‘Fly’ and then blessedly came back to the spot I most powerfully felt those truths and shot a music video there with my friends. It was timeless. There wasn’t really a plan except to just be there to capture while experiencing the magic of the place with loved ones.”

What brought her towards exploring the slow, calculated form of music that she’s beginning to gain recognition for isn’t something you’d expect; “The fact that the city made me feel certain things that made me want to chill out and feel good and sane from the loud noises outside my window in Manila.” We’re eternally grateful for Manila’s horrendous traffic – at least something beautiful came out from it in the form of June’s delicate numbers.

In an unorthodox manner, June Marieezy’s music is exemplary of what we see in Manila – a gargantuan monolith of a city, complex, yet with simple beauties to luxuriate in and relish when you take a step back and lap up the bigger picture. Of course, she isn’t alone in this. She’s got a little help from her friends. “One of my now closest friends and genius producer Justin De Guzman of Deeper Manila is responsible for catering the groovy hip hop beats that support ‘June Marieezy’, adding more life to the beats by laying my thoughts and melodies on it brought me to a place of retreat,” she tells us of the sound that has become part and parcel of the Marieezy musical DNA – unfortunately, that’s changing soon, “… we are both slowly evolving onto different musical paths and will be doing our musical projects separately after a few more releases.” She concedes that “people might be a little disappointed” by that fact, after all, that’s the June Marieezy they are used to. “But the same force that told me to stay true with the grooves now tells me to continue evolving toward my progressing interests.”

Still, with what she’s got to start with and the current milieu of downtempo beat-based pop music, this girl is undoubtedly going places – whoever she works with for her future releases, and especially with her attitude and determination, notwithstanding her soulful voice. It’s in her blood after all, with her father being an adept sound engineer-cum-musician, and it’s in his garage that June got her start, singing along with him when his playing woke her up in the morning. We can’t think of a better alarm clock than a musical paternal influence that has carried her through till today.


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