ENCORE FEATURE: Titomo
May 8, 2019 Kae Luna
Striving to create their own distinct sound, Titomo gives us a new take on social issues and current situations in the country through good music. Let’s get to know the band even more!
To bring light to existing issues that we fail or refuse to notice– this is Titomo’s heartbeat. Titomo is a band from the south which has been active since 2016. In the span of two years, the band has graced us with music that’s a fusion of neo-soul, blues, spoken-word, hip-hop, and rock ‘n roll! Look what we found out through an exclusive interview!
Titomo is everyone’s Tito
Hailing from Cavite, the band has been exposed to the provincial slang or “punto” that the Southerners have. In Cavite, people would always refer to uncles as Tito mo plus his name (as in “Tito mo Arnel” instead of just “Tito Arnel”). This is where the band based their name off of, and I think that’s what gives the band its familiar air. We think it’s pretty cool that the band pays notice to their heritage and are unapologetic about their roots. After all, it is part of what makes Titomo.
Titomo was formed in 2016, but eventually, the original band members took off to pursue their own personal endeavours. We might think that this is the saddest to happen to any band when members choose to let go of the passion and the music for the demands of life. But no, Martin and Vetsin never stopped dreaming for the band. They kept the band active until they found the other members to complete Titomo. What’s beautiful about it is that there are two people who never gave up on the band and believed that it still had a future, and that’s why still have Titomo today.
Getting up close and personal!
Titomo is formed by 6 people, and we’re not letting you off without getting to know them better individually!
To start off, Martin Sese is the band’s vocalist. He stands as the frontman for the band, but we can’t say the same about him when it comes to drinking sessions! In an exclusive interview, he shared that he’s actually always the “first casualty” and that he has a pretty low alcohol tolerance. He’ll probably be drinking with his friends and a few hours in, he’d be seen face down, catching up with his Zs. He likes pooping, too!
Kent Canonicato plays bass for the band, but it’s not the only thing he can play! If you like playing Mobile Legends, Vetsin is a guy you can play with! He loves playing ML. Not only that, but he has a hand in electronics. We think it comes in handy with all the equipment they use as a band.
Jai Mahilum plays the rhythm guitar for Titomo. Apparently, he also sets the rhythm for the band’s every trip! May it be a drinking or a jamming session, Jai is always the mastermind behind it. Nothing gets done if it’s not Jai who invites them to do it!
Josh Hiyas, on the other hand, is the lead guitarist of the band. When he’s not plucking his guitar strings, you’d see him skating or acting in short films. Not many of us knew this, but although he’s pretty talkative, he tends to get sentimental towards his bandmates when the alcohol gets to him. Only then can he express how he loves his bandmates so much that he cries. How adorable!
Miguel Perez plays the drums, but that’s not his only talent. The band shared that Miguel is actually a do-it-everything man, and he sure does everything well. He is a good father and a workaholic man. He always has to go home to his wife, but he never fails to join the band’s trips and gigs. All the members of the band have day jobs, but they revere how Miguel can deal with it all and still be the last man standing.
The band’s percussionist, Melvin Loya, was selected because nobody else can bring the same music he brings to the band’s music. Melvin is really timid in real life, but with enough booze, he starts speaking up! Martin shared that he’s the real “Tito” in the pack. Don’t ask us his age, though!
On social issues…
Titomo derives its inspiration from recent events and social issues that most artists would shy away from. When you’re an artist, oftentimes the goal in creating would be to entertain. But this band isn’t about that. They opted to shed light on issues that they think are relevant, understanding the risks of making some uncomfortable in pursuit of countrywide awareness. This is what makes Titomo unique. They have a message to deliver, and if that has to be through music and the arts, then they are all for it.
Their latest single, ‘Wanton Lee’ featuring Mazefits, talks about China invading the Philippines. Talk about being timely! According to them, we can see China everywhere in the country, from pop culture to simple household items. Most of the large companies in the Philippines are also Chinese-owned! The song opens up with the President saying that China wants to turn the Philippines into one of their provinces. The band produced this song as advocacy to reclaim our national territories. For Titomo, we don’t always have to depend on larger countries like China. The Philippines can make it.
They also draw inspiration from themselves. As a band that is also striving to find their place in the Filipino music scene, they sure can write pieces that many starting artists can relate to. When asked to give advice to aspiring artists, theirs would be to just continue. To them, it’s most fulfilling when you continue to hone your craft even with an empty stomach and do it even more if so.
What’s next for Titomo?
So far, the band has graced us with an EP called ‘Laman Tiyan’ with 5 songs in early this year, but they assured us that they will still continue making music. They are also planning to pursue a full-length album and go on more out-of-town gigs! Let’s hope it works out for them and look out for their next releases! You can also find them on YouTube, Soundcloud, and Facebook where you can message them directly if you wish to avail their EP. For bookings and gigs, you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Titomo is definitely a band to look out for in the music scene and we couldn’t be more excited about their next releases! We think it’s brave of them to speak about social issues in their songs. Do you, too? Share us your thoughts on the comments down below! Or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.