This is what happened at MINT’s Music Business Management (MBM) Week. This year, young talented musicians and established OPM artists performed their hearts out, inspiring everyone here at MINT to fall in love with OPM.

IT’S an annual tradition for Meridian International College (MINT College) to dedicate a “week” that highlight each degree program offered here by featuring its own students’ artistry. The first event held this year was the Music Business Management (MBM) Week.

Dubbed as “Lokal Live,” the five-day affair was filled with insightful talks by established guests in the OPM (Original Pilipino Music) scene and performances by MINT’s own pool of artists. The festivity was centered on the current generation of local musicians who are reviving and reinventing the OPM sound today.

We began with a “Songwriting Workshop,” led by songwriter-musicians Mr. Marlon Barnuevo and Mr. Davey Langit. Both shared their respective personal journeys on how they began with music and their perspectives on the music scene today.

The next day showcased both new and familiar faces from MINT’s very own music label, Herba Buena. MINT students Syd Hartha, Dan Tristan, Riot Logic (RJ Pineda) and Fern Tan, and Jorik Katalbas performed their original compositions live.

“Songwriting 2.0” featured another round of talks by established underground artists such as Leanne and Naara, Quest, Chino David, and Argee Guerrero, who performs under the name, “I Belong To The Zoo.” The third day shed light to the creative process in music-making and how artists build their own identity in a competitive industry.

The fourth day was the “peak” of the week as renowned bands such as SUD, famous for their single “Sila”, performed along with funk RnB band The Metro Fantastic, whose latest single “The Shakes” really got us grooving. Keeping the tradition alive was the “homecoming” performance by MINT alumna, Clara Benin, and current MINT student-artists such as Elise Huang and EJ De Perio.

Closing the week were sets performed by MINT’s own talents: Sam Ayson, Patrick Lacambacal with “Offnote”, Izzy Mariano and “Colorblock,” and Diego Redoblado with the band, “Bebelabs.”

Jorik Katalbas, a fourth year MBM student, conducted this year’s MINT Medley, performed by MINT Riffs, the school’s glee club. It was a clever mash-up of the songs: “Nights” by Elise Huang; “Kumusta” by EJ De Perio; “Tila Tala” by Syd Hartha; “Say It In Time” by Jorik Katalbas; “Still In Love With You” by Cheenee Gonzalez; “Dreamer” by Fiona Comendador, and “Parallel Universe” by Clara Benin.

As a senior student experiencing MBM Week for the last time, I’m going to miss learning from guest artists, learning from my fellow schoolmates, as well as listening to great music during lunch breaks and after-school hours.

The beauty about it all is that it’s the start of every MBM student’s journey to finding their own “sound”. I love how this event gave the students a chance to learn from the professionals, work with one another, and just enjoy really good local music.

Surely, each year, it just gets better and better. W


CHEENEE GONZALEZ is a 4th year Music Business Management student at Meridian International College (MINT College). She is a local indie musician and a Spotify Philippines artist who has released her first EP album, “Windowpane”, in 2017. She is now an artist under Warner Music.


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