In case you missed it, we were in the Philippines over the weekend for the 2nd instalment of MTV Asia’s MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 (#MTVMusicEvo). It was a 1-night only live event that saw the likes of some of the world’s most popular artistes as well local Pinoy talents coming together to unite their fans with “Can’t Stop Movin!” music.

Amongst the musicians that captivated their fans with explosive performances on 24th June (Friday) were iconic international pop band and prolific hit-maker OneRepublic, L.A.-grown electric dance trio Far East Movement, American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, K-Pop idol girl group Apink (에이핑크), Philippine’s power pop superstar father-and-son duo Gary V feat. Gab Valenciano, and Pinoy sweethearts #JaDine aka James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

OneRepublic performs at MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 on 24 Jun Pic 5 (Credit-MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling)
Source: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling

This year’s #MTVMusicEvo also gave us the opportunity to discover as well as rediscover the talents in the lineup and get to know them a little bit better during the day-long press conferences (hosted by your favourite MTV VJs Alan Wong, Hanli Hoefer, Yassi Pressman, and Andre Paras) that were held prior to the show.


Here are some highlights from both the #MTVMusicEvo event as well as the press conferences:

1. Bebe Rexha is a blessed little “bumble bee”

American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, who is best known for being featured in electronic dance music group CashCash’s highest charting song, “Take Me Home”, revealed that her real name is actually Bleta Rexha. She took on the nickname “Bebe” because her first name, Bleta, means “bumble bee” in Albanian (she’s of Albanian descent). Also, Rexha is not pronounced as “Reks-ha” but “Rejha”, with the “j” in “Rejha” pronounced the same way as you would pronounce the “j” in “jet”. When asked how she feels about being one of the rare few pop artistes in the world who writes and performs her own music, Bebe said, “I think that there are a lot of undiscovered talent out there and I think it’s about bringing them to light. I’m super blessed to be able to write and sing my songs, and write for other people.” adding that as a teenager, she used to sit in her parents’ house and write songs for hours and hours.

2. Rain, rain, go away..

Source: Hype Malaysia

..or not, because the #MTVMusicEvo crowd in Manila sure knew how to work it despite the rain. The rain wasn’t constant, it came and went in drizzles, with the heaviest downpour coming down hard on the crowd right before Far East Movement’s set. But we reckon that it worked against Mother Nature’s favour because more and more people kept filing in, eventually filling up the venue and bringing the total of attendees to a whopping 26,000 headcount! And by the time Far East Movement came on, the crowd had swelled and the party was off the hook. Them Pinoys, they sure how to rock. So umbrellas up and ponchos on, because a little rain can’t stop, don’t stop nobody 😉


3. First dibs! Far East Movement officially announces their new album

Ever-evolving without skipping a beat, American hip hop-EDM group Far East Movement rocked up to Manila, Philippines to put on a mind-blowing show. The group hasn’t put out a new album since “Dirty Bass” in 2012, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been working hard at perfecting their live shows, managing the artistes under their own label, and yes..pulling long hours in the studio making new music! During the press conference, Kev Nish, James “Prohgress” Roh”, and DJ Virman revealed that there is, in fact, an album in the works. In fact, right after #MTVMusicEvo, the group flew to Korea to finish off their album. You heard it here first!

4. “Listening to new music is like trying out new food” – OneRepublic

Source: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling
Source: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling

The trick to staying relevant in the music scene is to have no fear (or rather, embrace every fear) and constantly be up for trying new things, no matter how uncomfortable you are with the idea. When asked about how their musical influences have changed from the day that they first started out until now, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic revealed that they never stop listening to various genres of music, no matter how strange or different they are. “We constantly listen to new music, new artistes, new inspirations, and we also look back to old inspirations, but new is always the most exciting thing, so we look out for new every time,” Ryan explained. He likened it to trying out different types of food because “you’d never know, you might actually like them, but you won’t know it unless if you actually tried them”.

5. “Can’t Stop Movin!” dance-off & dance cam moments

Apink performs at MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 on 24 Jun Pic 5 (Credit-MTV Asia&Kris Rocha)
Source: MTV Asia & Kris Rocha

Contrary to popular belief, #MTVMusicEvo is not all about performances from the artistes alone. At certain points throughout the night, the members of the audience were invited to “perform” alongside MTV VJs Alan Wong, Hanli Hoefer, Yassi Pressman, and Andre Paras in dance-offs. True to its “Can’t Stop Movin!” theme this year, the annual concert did not only feature the best of international pop artistes grooving with the crowd, it also turned the cameras on some attendees via the live dance cam and the feed was projected on giant screens next to the massive stage. We loved it! What a way to get people moving, keep the energy levels up, and make the fans feel special.

6. Meet our new #relationshipgoals, #JaDine

Pinoy pop darlings James Reid and Nadine Lustre have been “shipped” by their fans in the Philippines long before they were a real-life couple. James and Nadine first worked together in 2013 when she starred in his music video, “Alam Niya Ba”. Celebrities in their own right, they revealed their romantic relationship at the “JaDine in Love” concert on 20th February 2016, and became Asia’s power couple, paving the way for people to call them “Team Real”. It’s clear that they are very much “JaDine in Love” considering the very public displays of affection. Heck, James even fielded questions about their relationship during the press conference. It’s settled then! #JaDine is our new #relationshipgoals.

7. Gary & Gab will make you wish that your fambam was as cool

Gary V Feat. Gab Valenciano perform at MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 on 24 Jun Pic 5(Credit-MTV Asia&Kris Rocha)
MTV Asia & Kris Rocha

Don’t let their humble father and son title fool you! Power duo Gary Valenciano aka Mr. Pure Energy (father) and Gab Valenciano (son) blew our minds when they took the stage that night to show off their sick dance moves and Gary’s vocal chops. Their set, which included various traditional and modern percussion instruments, was a high energy show that changed everything we thought we knew about Filipino artistes, and father and son tandems. In fact, during the press conference, both Gary and Gab spoke deeply about their individual passions, how they inspire each other, and encouraged talents to keep creating and collaborating (instead of competing). Well, it’s safe to say that their #MTVMusicEvo father-and-son collaborative efforts were truly a one-of-a-kind type of cool, and we’re envious.


8. Apink lifts the curtain on their comeback plans

Sugar, spice, and everything nice Apink (에이핑크) charmed the socks off their Pinoy “Pink Pandas” (as Apink’s fans are lovingly called) with their first ever performance in the country. As expected, the girls were greeted with pink banners and screams from the moment they set foot on the #MTVMusicEvo stage, and we don’t blame the fans. Their concept, coupled with their adorable smiles and cute dance moves, was enough to captivate even the non-fans! In speaking about their future plans, Apink revealed that they’re actually in the midst of working as fast as they can on a comeback album. “We will be releasing our next album first before having our concert in Korea. You guys have to wait a little bit more because we prepared a lot of new songs for the album,” Chorong said. “We’re doing our best to finish the album as soon as possible for the fans. You are going to love the songs and we’re doing a lot for the title song,” Eunji added.

“MTV Music Evolution: Manila Asia Special” premieres on MTV on Tuesday, 19th July at 7pm (TH/WIB), 8pm (PH/SG), and 9pm (MY).

Repeat airings of MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 are on:

  • Tuesday, 19th July at 11pm (TH/WIB)
  • Wednesday, 20th July at 12am (PH/SG), 1am (MY)
  • Thursday, 21st July at 10:30am (TH/WIB), 11:30am (PH/SG) and 12:30pm (MY)
  • Saturday, 23rd July at 1:30pm (TH/WIB), 2:30pm (PH/SG) and 3.:0pm (MY)
  • Sunday, 24th July at 7pm (TH/WIB), 8pm (PH/SG) and 9pm (MY)
  • Monday, 25th July at 1pm (TH/WIB), 2pm (PH/SG) and 3pm (MY)

For more information, hit up MTV Asia’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.