Collab Country

Malasimbo plays host once again to collaborations of the musical kind

“This is what I came here to do,” intimates American DJ, music producer, keyboardist, and beat boxer Taylor McFerrin mid-set as he reveals his pursuit to continue collaborating with artists. Minutes before his co-love announcement, McFerrin calls onstage the Jedi master beat boxer Tom Thum as well as several others to join him in the classic art of pure, spontaneous jamming.

Taylor McFerrin - Malasimbo Festival 2015

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Included in the list of jammers is Noli Aurillo (dare we say it, who bears an unmistakable resemblance to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s child—if they ever had one) who delivered a masterful performance of movie scores and classic rock with the guitar. Three songs in, the country’s famous guitarist welcomes Megan Aguilar to join him; to which a game-faced Aguilar admits, “I don’t really think I’m dressed for the part…but it’s Malasimbo!” and then proceeds to sing The Police’s Roxanne and Oh! Darling by The Beatles.

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June Marieezy also famously collaborates with Frenchman FKJ who reveals to the audience of their meeting only two hours before they came onset. “We have a song together but I only met her today,” says FKJ—testament yet again of the collective spirit at Malasimbo mountain to create and collaborate.

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“You have to love the vibe they have going on here,” muses Tom Thum as he poses for a portrait. “Yesterday I just rented a bike and rode up some mountains—it was beautiful.” Beyond infectious energy, intoxicating lights, and old-fashioned merriment, Malasimbo draws vagabonds and creative natives in for a weekend (or two) that promises a brief escape from the daily grind. “Malasimbo is known for its particular vibe and people from all over the world attend it. So the more you work on the story of the festival, the more you think of the audience’s and participants’ experience, the more it would survive,” declares Katrina Razon (that’s DJ Katsu, to all ye music critters) of the homegrown festival’s sustainability. While festivals all over rely on a star-studded lineup to draw crowds in, Malasimbo (despite its stellar stage list) has built a loyal list of Malasimboys and girls who book tickets no matter who’s set to take the stage. “Highlight the experience and not just the lineup,” reiterates Razon, “as the most important part is the audience.”

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Futher proof of life: currently on its fifth year, Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival continues to enchant and bewitch a crowd accustomed to the usual city concerts. Three nights spent under the stars and seated on a natural amphitheatre will inevitably have that effect—that, and it also has this way of strangely bringing out the bohemian in you. Barefoot contessas in the making? We’re definitely in.

More Photos at Malasimbo Festival 2015 Photo Gallery

Writtern by Meg Manzano
Photos by Carla Barretto


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