Laying the foundations of their dreams in the music industry, ConStruck Music shows their grit, passion, and burning fervor, fueling their own brand of Pinoy hiphop supremacy.
ConStruck Music is a Pinoy hiphop, rap, and r&b collective founded in 2020. The group is comprised of members Ken, Killmo, PRDG Jomattz, MaJo, Murkee beats iji, Tank B Music, and Jmag. Their music is a distinct and eclectic blend of a spectrum of different subgenres under the street culture of hiphop.
After first coming together through their love of streetdance, the members have united under the name ConStruck Music to achieve Pinoy hiphop supremacy together one step at a time. Get to know them more in this in depth interview with uDOu via IndieVision, shining the virtual spotlight on hidden gems of Pinoy artistry.
What made you decide to form a rap collective?
Killmo first started ConStruck Music without a name, without a solid plan but when he invited some of his friends from different circles as well as his own brother Ken, to get in on the flow of a rap collective composed of various talents, they were all on board.
Where did the name ConStruck come from?
They first started as a no name group for about a month and then during their first group meeting, when they were coming up with a name, they took inspiration from their surroundings which, at the time, was near a construction site.
Giving birth to the two core components of what is to be their permanent label, “Con” and “Struck” signifying the group’s inner drive to strike the people with the cons of society, culture, etc. through their music.
Another anecdote MaJo recalls was that it also means to reconstruct the so-called “cons” and make it right.
What made you decide to discuss heavy and taboo but very real issues?
Being fans of the Tulfo shows and staying up-to-date with the latest issues, the group first decided to work on these heavy topics out of frustration. Although they would sometimes make music for good vibes or music to uplift their listeners, their drift often flows with the times in between what’s happening now, what’s happened historically, and how they’d like their future to be shaped. According to Killmo, “hindi to pwedeng good vibes lang palagi. kailangan may mga issues talaga na tinatalagay”
Jomattz shares that they also believe they’re not alone in their beliefs imprinted in the message of their music about the times, and as Killmo put it, music was their way of going about sharing the message as the voice to the voiceless. “Imbis na magrarant lang sa Facebook, gagawin namin music ‘to para mas marinig ng marami. And habang panahon, ayun, naririnig naman yung purpose nung ginawa namin.”
How important do you think it is to inject politicality in music?
MaJo says, it’s very important. He explains, “kasi para sa’kin may energy talaga yung music eh,” stating how different it is to be able to express musically and make your audience feel what you mean as compared to merely stating an opinion. “Paparamdam mo sa kanila. Hindi mo paparinig, paparamdam mo,” he adds.
Jomattz interjects and adds a historical layer to the discussion saying that while hiphop, rap or any kind of music is in essence, fun, hip, and playful, “let’s not forget that hiphop was borne of the movement as well.”
“Plus it was from the culture of the oppressed, from the hiphop mecca, New York,” says Jomattz.
“As much as we don’t want it to be political, it will always be… yun yung counter nila with violence. Dun lumabas yung music, dun lumabas yung dance… Sure it’s fun but at the end of the day, the essence should always be there.”
Regarding the people who don’t believe rap should be political, Jomattz offers, “To each their own.” Explaining how hiphop is for all and it’s not one dimensional. Because at its core, it’s for the community and as a community is made up of individuals with their own tastes, styles, personalities, and lived realities, we must all approach each other with respect for their views because once again, hiphop is for all.
Killmo interjects with a jab quoting our very own core value, “you do you.”
Do you think the caliber of the artist diminishes if the song doesn’t have a message linked to societal issues?
Man-on-fire Jomattz asserts his side, “Everything right now is based on preference.” He personally believes that the value of an artist or a song doesn’t really diminish even if there is no level of political awareness.
The group agrees that while there may be individuals well-invested in art forms that hold a mirror up to society, there are still casual listeners who don’t really care much for that level of complexity in their tastes on songs.
Just like ConStruck Music, people are not one dimensional. Most of their material may be neck deep in awareness, they also have fun songs that people can just vibe to in the mix.
ConStruck’s resident beatmaker, Murkeebeats mentions that it doesn’t only depend on the individuality of a person because even an individual may at one time prefer this type of music over the other as well and in another time, may prefer some other kind of genre. So it also depends on “kung anong gusto nilang makuha at that time.”
Killmo thinks that having various types of music contribute to the very diverse ecosystem of music where there’s something for everyone. “kailangan ng balance palagi para hindi masira yung equillibrium nung music industry,” and proceeds to add jokingly once again, “you do you.”
Individually, who are your main inspirations?
The collective agreed to answer in a roundtable since they’d each like to share their inspiration
For JMag, his main inspiration would be his father whose fallen dreams of being a singer have now been passed down to JMag hence his perseverance in realizing them. “Kaya ngayon, sumubok ako. Tinutuloy ko yung gusto ng Papa ko para sa’kin.”
On the flip side, for Tank B, inspiration comes from proving himself to his family who has shown little belief in the path he has chosen. “Ito yung boost of confidence ko talaga when it comes to sa identity ko,” sharing how he wants to prove that the time and sacrifices made for his craft shouldn’t be undermined.
He shares that his parents may sometimes doubt his purpose thinking that, “hindi namin sila iniisip pero, actually, baliktad kaya namin to gagawin kasi iniisip namin kayo.” Ending with a shoutout to his parents.
Continuing the theme of proving their purpose to their family, Iji shares that he’d like to think that all his hard work in the music industry, making it his full-time work is not for naught in hopes that his family will be fully proud of him and his work in the future. “Hindi talaga ako nagtrabaho para nakafocus ako dito, sideline lang… Siyempre gusto ko talaga mapatunayan sa kanila na may mararating to.”
For Murkee on the other hand, since his focus is mainly on the beats, his fuel comes from wanting to reach as wide an audience as possible. To be able to keep the hype and the fire of passion burning within his group through the beats he makes is one of the main reasons he strives for greatness in his craft.
Among all the facets of inspiration that drive him, MaJo discloses that more than anything, music or hiphop as an artform is the only thing that keeps him going through it all. MaJo also maintains that his team, ConStruck Music, provides tons of inspiration. Seeing them all work hard together really motivates him.
Taking an alternate route, Jomattz gathers inspiration from his desire to succeed. Armed with his lessons from achieving success in the craft of dance, he also wishes to hone in order to achieve success in this field. “More than the people, it’s how you carry your mindset. How you carry yourself.”
Ever the joker, Killmo claims his inspiration to be “Cocomelon.” However, he pulls back to say that the people who trust him the most contribute most to his inspiration. Like ConStruck Music, his team who joined him in the collective with only trust to hold on to, keeps him on his toes. Striving for greatness for the sake of the team and other people who also believe in each of them.
Instigating a round of applause, Ken’s main source of inspiration is Killmo and their DGM or De Guzman brothers tandem. He goes on to explain that he sees his brother as a great source of inspiration because no other people apart from the two of them have taken the road less traveled. Going on to become successful people in different more traditional fields, Ken hopes that together with Killmo, they too can prove their greatness and success in their chosen field through ConStruck Music.
Who is ConStruck Music?
Just a bunch of rag tag artists who are fuelled by their various inspirations tearing through the music, specifically pinoy hiphop scene.
But more than that, ultimately, ConStruck Music comes together as a unified entity with a shared dream of fortifying the collective they’ve carefully built up for the sake of hiphop as a culture, as an artform, and as a lifestyle for the people and by the people. In that sense, no one can take away the pride in their craft.
No one can say that they have failed or have yet to succeed. Because in their passion, their perseverance, and their dreams that have yet to be realized, every facet of hiphop culture has already been championed.
That is why they are rightfully the first of many IndieVision has decided to shine the spotlight on.
Listen and follow ConStruck Music in their Facebook and Youtube pages. Watch out for more music coming out on all major digital platforms!
Special thanks to our partners, Casimir Mayo and Harvey Celestial of After Dark Mnl and Anchor Point Studio for making the IndieVision April 2021 cover shoot possible!
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