Since his first international single release of “Options” in June, Inigo has been busy 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 recent performance at the Staples Center was a historic moment for Inigo. Photos by @Sthanlee B. Mirador
“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, and it’s crazy to have that dream come true…” said Inigo.
The sold-out crowd included not just Filipino fans that Iñigo typically performs to, but over 19,000 attendees of every ethnicity filled the arena, a true testament to Inigo’s growing international popularity for 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.
Iñigo performed “Catching Feelings” but ended with the nostalgic “Dahil Sa’yo” to match the Filipino Heritage Night theme to much excitement for fans of all ages that purchased tickets to the event. Written when Inigo was only 19 years old, the song topped the Billboard charts with over 100M+ YouTube plays on the music and lyric video, a staple for any Filipino party whether a company office party or wedding.
“Dahil Sa’yo” has increased in popularity in countries like the United States and Canada where some of the multicultural youth are just learning of Inigo’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 and 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 and our language. I love 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. To be honest, writing the song I didn’t realize how much impact it would have for generations to come, I wrote it as an appreciation to my fans but love to see the different meanings that have taken with it. No matter what audience I play for, I like to include some Filipino songs in them, just like 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 who’s goal it is to bring the Filipino language to the Grammy’s one day.
Iñigo will release the music video to “Catching Feelings” on 11/20, that was co-choreographed with Phil Tayag, creative director and choreographer to Bruno Mars. Iñigo met Phil 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 dance challenge choreography to “Catching Feelings” with Phil’s. As we’ve seen with shows like America’s Best Dance Crew & World of Dance or So You Think You Can Dance, Filipinos are some of the best dancers in the world and 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. Thanks to people like AC Bonifacio, Darren Espanto & Kylee Charri for being in videos with me too, helping the challenge go viral.” said Inigo.
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 3 of the most popular radio stations, Power 106, KDAY 93.5 & Cali 93.9 FM. A post game 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 & 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 Inigo’s international success to match others like superstars BTS, who were recently featured on the American Music Awards, GRAMMYs & People’s Choice Awards and this event will help to increase his crossover awareness.
Following the performance, the annual Filipino influencer, artist, celebrity & DJ game took place on the court. With Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas touring in Australia, Bay Area rapper P-Lo took over as team captain to defeat Team E-Man in their best of 3 series with a final score of 56-28. The jerseys were sponsed by Zen and New Jersey Sets.
Watch the highlights soon from the event & Inigo’s performance soon on “The Crossover” on myxTV.com & Inigo’s music video for “Catching Feelings” on Star Music’s YouTube 11/20 that premiered as a trailer to the sold-out crowd at Staples Center.
Photos by @Sthanlee B. Mirador