Yup, the HITC lineup is official
Culture is a complex idea—it’s all the ways of life merging to connect us, yet it keeps us diverse. It allows us to express ourselves because we wear it, see it and even listen to it, forming our personal tales and tastes. We acknowledge culture in those that surround us on the daily, but to acknowledge it is one thing. To celebrate it is another.
Lucky for us, the pioneering global music and media company 88Rising and LiveMNL are taking over the SM Festival Grounds with Head In The Clouds (HITC) Music & Arts Festival Manila on December 9 to 10, 2022. It promises to celebrate the best of Asian culture with the power of music, and the official lineup proves exactly that.
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On my end, there was a gasp, a jaw drop, and widened eyes when the announcement was posted via @hitcmanila on Monday morning. Notable artists who we’ve always known as part of the dream lineup were confirmed to finally be representing the Asian diaspora in Manila, Philippines second to Indonesia to mark the debut of the festival in the two countries.
While there’s no surprise that 88Rising’s very own pillars NIKI, Rich Brian and Joji are headlining with their no-skip discographies, the thrill of officially hearing the news was still inevitable. I mean, Rich Brian expressed his excitement for HITC Manila when he told us about turning into a fur baby in the studio. (Just when I thought the cat person in me couldn’t be stoked, too!)
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It gets better with headliners Jackson Wang (who’s coming to Manila for the second time this year, FYI!), eaJ and YOASOBI. Talk about a range of Asian talent!
Of course, there’s no missing out on three of the highly-anticipated Filipino artists of PARADISE RISING. We can’t help but hype Ylona Garcia on reappearing in the local scene with new sizzlin’ music (Entertain Me and Vibin’) as if she never left. Manila Grey is definitely going to serve the right amount of spice with RnB songs such as Island Baby (Maarte) (AKA the first track in the semilucent 2 EP), while Guapdad 4000 will bring in the reliable hip-hop energy with How Many or even his iconic collaboration with Rich Brian (released in the midst of the pandemic). Joining in the Filipino pride is our very own Zack Tabudlo, who's known to capture hearts with his hit songs, Binibini and Habang Buhay.
HITC Manila will act as the boiling point of Asian pride with even more live performances by K-RnB staple BIBI, Indonesian rapper Warren Hue, J-Pop girl group ATARASHII GAKKO!, Thai rapper MILLI and other surprise artists whose performances are likely to exceed our expectations.
Oh, and have I mentioned the special guest? ICYMI, it’s ZEDD. Yes, the Grammy-winning hitmaker and electronic producer. I think that seals the deal: We’re up for a sensational celebration! 88Rising didn’t lie—my head is in the clouds.
As an avid listener of their artists (special mention: NIKI, Ylo and BIBI), HITC Manila is a dream come true. There’s so much excitement at the chance to hear the music that captures every emotion there is to feel, performed live by talents that represent my culture across the globe.
Tickets are already available; get your two-day passes here. HITC Manila is brought to you by 88Rising and LiveMNL. Presented by Globe.
Words Bianca Villena
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver