Filipino-American sensation Iñigo Pascual has been one busy young man.
Since his first international single release of Options in June, Inigo has been traveling the world for festival performances and media promotion in cities like Tokyo, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Sydney, Honolulu and Rome. He’s collaborated with international pop artists like Pretty Much & Alex Aiono of the US and New Rules from the UK.
But his performance last Monday at the Staples Center as selected Filipino American artist at the LA Clippers’ Filipino Heritage Night was both historic and a personally special moment for Pascual.
“I remember driving by the Staples Center when I was little or seeing it on TV when the LA Lakers or Clippers played and imagined how great it would be to perform there one day. It’s crazy to have that dream come true,” said Pascual.
The sold-out crowd of over 19,000 attendees of every ethnicity filled the arena, a true testament to Pascual’s growing international popularity, being booked for the event the same week that his new single Catching Feelings is trending on popular millennial music app, TikTok, and nearing 2M global plays on Spotify alone.
Pascual performed Catching Feelings but ended with the nostalgic Dahil Sa’yo (Because of You) to match the Filipino Heritage Night’s theme to much excitement of fans of all ages who purchased tickets to the event. Written when Pascual was only 19 years old, the song topped the Billboard charts in the Philippines with over 100 million YouTube plays on the music and lyric video. It has become a staple for any Filipino party whether a company office party or wedding.
Dahil Sa’yo has increased in popularity in countries like the U.S. and Canada where some of the multicultural youth are just learning of Pascual’s music. When they are listening to him on Spotify they also discover his older music like the Philippines #1 hit. Teens and kids are growing with excitement to learn that someone their age is singing in Tagalog. While most don’t speak the language like their parents do, they are teaching each other the lyrics and dances on social media years after the song came out across, thousands of miles across the ocean.
“Music is a universal language. I’m blessed with these opportunities to show different cultures the beauty of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) and our language. I love it when young people come up to me and say that they are learning Tagalog by listening to the song out here in the states or that every time they hear it reminds them of a special family moment,” said Pascual.
“To be honest, writing the song I didn’t realize how much impact it would have for generations to come,” he continued. “I wrote it as an appreciation to my fans but I love to see the different meanings it has acquired. No matter what audience I play for, I like to include some Filipino songs in them. Just like when you hear the Korean language in a Kpop song on pop radio out here, I see that happening for Tagalog in the future,” says Pascual whose goal is to bring the Filipino language to the Grammys one day.
Pascual just released the music video to Catching Feelings yesterday, where the dance was co-choreographed by Phil Tayag, creative director and choreographer to Bruno Mars. Pascual met Tayag at the “ASAP Natin To Bay Area” concert when they performed together a medley of Bruno’s classic hits at the SAP Center in San Jose. The two said they would love to work on something together and kept in touch since.
“We combined my original choreography to Catching Feelings with Phil’s,” said Pascual. “As we’ve seen with shows like America’s Best Dance Crew & World of Dance, Filipinos are some of the best dancers in the world. I always like to showcase dance when I can. Phil has so much swag when he dances, it was great to work with him. We also have Matt & AC of the Philippine All Stars in the video, too.”
“It’s been amazing to see not only Filipinos do the #CatchingFeelingsChallenge but people of different ethnicities posting their own versions across the world,” Pascual added. “Thanks to people like AC Bonifacio, Darren Espanto and Kylee Charri for being in videos with me too, helping the challenge go viral.”
Other participants of Filipino Heritage Night included Tarsier Records R&B singer/songwriter Kiana V., Bay Area’s top rapper/producer P-Lo, stars of the new film, Fabulous Filipino Brothers, actors Dante/Dion Basco and DJ E-Man, one of the most influential Filipinos working in music, helping to run three of the most popular radio stations, Power 106, KDAY 93.5 & Cali 93.9 FM. A postgame meet and greet on the Staples Center court followed the Clipper game with some of the top Filipino artists, influencers, DJs and event producers in the community for a selected group of fans.
Last year the Black Eyed Peas & Manny Pacquiao appeared at the LA Clippers Filipino Heritage Night and the event keeps growing every year. This was the first time the event had booked a performing artist still living in Manila. OC Weekly and Avante Magazine are US publications that have already predicted Pascual’s international success to match others like superstars BTS, who were recently featured on the American Music Awards, Grammys and People’s Choice Awards. This event will help increase Pascual’s crossover awareness.
Watch the highlights soon from the event and Pascual’s performance soon on “The Crossover” on myxTV.com and his music video for Catching Feelings on Star Music’s YouTube that premiered as a trailer to the sold-out crowd at Staples Center.
For more, follow: @inigopascual @tarsierrecords (MyxTV/Tarsier Records)