Filipino musicians have finally burst through the consciousness of the international music scene. A few of the best Western artists working right now have even started collaborating with the talented acts who were born and raised in this country. One of these homegrown artists is No Rome.

Manila City’s No Rome started releasing his “shoegaze R&B” tracks on SoundCloud. Last year he caught the attention of Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth who included one of No Rome’s songs into his ‘Secret Songs” playlist. Australian singer Troye Sivan even called himself a “big No Rome fan” after listening to his chillwave track “Seventeen”.

In 2018, No Rome got signed to the British label Dirty Hit where the rock band The 1975 is also a part of. By August, the Filipino producer released the track “Narcissist’, featuring vocals and production credits from labelmates Matt Healy and George Daniel of The 1975. The track “Narcissist” talks about a fading romance in the age of social media.

Meanwhile, Armi Millare of the indie synthpop band Up Dharma Down/UDD, went to Norway and collaborated with D’Sound, the Norwegian pop/jazz band responsible for the 1998 hit “Tattooed On My Mind”. Millare was in the Scandinavian country for her debut concert where she would share the stage with D’Sound. The artists teamed together to make the single “Lykkelig”, which means happy in Norwegian, a song that Millare hopes will remind people to call on their friends.

Lykkelig”’s melody was first conceived by D’Sound during a jam session, but when Armi Millare began singing along to the song in gibberish, drummer Kim Ofstad suggested she write the words in. “Lykkelig” is written in Tagalog and Millare says it is intended for Filipinos across the globe. With this song, Millare intends to get non-Filipino speakers to learn Tagalog.