Musician ((( O ))) talks her philosophy, 12-year music project and the first Sundrop Gathering
There’s something wonderful about how neo-soul artist ((( O ))) sees the world. Where most of us are simply go through the motions of the day-to-day, forge an Insta-background-at-best relationship with nature and nurture a love-but-mostly-hate relationship with our country, she’s put herself at the other end of the spectrum. To ((( O ))), who was once known as June Marieezy, life isn’t meant to be lived according to a society-issued prescription. She lives off the grid, finding comfort in the remoteness of a Philippine jungle. She makes music in her solar-powered treehouse, working only when the sunshine allows it. She goes by an alias that can’t be pronounced––funneling focus to her music and message, and not her name.
“My mother has been a registered nurse for 45 years. When my family and I thought she had cancer, I had a bit of enough of the world and decided to leave everything––including music––to explore all the doubts I'd been carrying about what society has taught me to believe,” ((( O ))) explains, diving into her motivation behind her change of name. The shift signified much more than an increased difficulty of being found on Google––it was an overhaul across multiple fronts. “For a long time, I already had a strong feeling that something wasn’t right in the way everyone had unconsciously agreed on what was the “normal” way of living,” she shares.
“We have the resources to make this country way better
than the countries Filipinos are tricked into
This hunger for change and consciousness naturally translated into her music. Realizing that making good music––music that granted a temporary escape rather than offering a solid solution to our problems––wasn’t enough, she turned over a new leaf. From June to ((( O ))).
The Sundrop Garden is ((( O )))’s compound music project––an upshot of the sentience that has long simmered within the artist. A 12-year promise, ((( O ))) releases a single track or a moondrop every full moon, and an album or a sundrop every year. Following the digital release of her first sundrop, Sundrop ((( 1 ))), ((( O ))) is gearing up to ring in the milestone at the very first Sundrop Gathering this month.
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One, two—get to know ((( O ))) (it’s unpronounceable) ? Celebrate the launch of her debut album, Sundrop ((( 1 ))), together with local sustainable brands, and a real life listening gallery on November 10 at The Eye, Green Sun, Makati. Get your tickets at thesundropgarden.com/manila
Ahead, we let you in on our conversation with ((( O ))). Discover more about the artist, the sentiments tied to the 12-year long The Sundrop Garden project and the upcoming Gathering ((( 1 ))) event happening on November 10th.
Paint an image of your life now. What is your day-to-day like?
((( O ))): I can be as floaty as an invisible fairy or as mental as a technical person with a purpose. There is no day-to-day, but with the Gathering ((( 1 ))) launch coming up in the Philippines, I'm definitely Logistics Girl making connections with meaningful connections to manifest a meaningful experience for everyone from my eyes.
We understand that you work from a treehouse studio you built and rely on solar power to create. In what ways has this affected the way you create your music?
((( O ))): Opposite from IG culture, it helps me to care about no one else's business but my own healing and creation, which naturally becomes a gift––not just for myself but for others too, without me even needing to try.
Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for The Sundrop Garden.
((( O ))): I listened to my angels and an inner voice guiding me to create with nature's rhythms to remind me that it's a true reality supporting everything beyond my human endeavors.
Let’s talk a little about Sundrop ((( 1 ))). What are the stories within this album?
((( O ))): It's about energies I've encountered off grid, or about me missing being off-grid.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that while many Filipinos are made to believe that life is better abroad, you’re encouraging a mindset of decolonization. How does this translate into your music?
((( O ))): We have the resources to make this country way better than the countries Filipinos are tricked into daydreaming about. Now, we just need the right mindset before someone does the typical story of stripping the purity from the land we still have and prices rise higher than the [ability of the] simple-living Filipino to sustain himself. We have the opportunity to be powerfully creative and conscious with the untapped gifts lying dormant within us and right beneath our feet. We already have everything we truly need and more. We just need to remember.
“The Sundrop Garden is all about returning
back to the source… I want places to meet themselves.”
Reading back through your tweets, we saw that you made handmade covers for ((( 0 ))). Is this something that your plan to keep doing?
((( O ))): Yes!
We hear that there is going to be a Plant Swap at Gathering ((( 1 ))). Could you tell us a little about this initiative and why you decided to make this a part of the event?
((( O ))): People who bring a native plant will place the plant and plant's information into the center of The Listening Gallery. By 5PM, they can come back into the circle and silently pick a different native plant based on intuition or what they read the plant is about. It is a silent educational interaction. The Sundrop Garden is all about returning back to the source. All Sundrop Gatherings around the world will revolve around inspiring local people with energies originating from that geographical energetic grid––from local creators, to 100% natural creations, to fresh food, to their heirloom seeds and native plants. I want places to meet themselves.
Let’s fast forward to the day of Gathering ((( 1 ))): What are you looking forward to the most?
((( O ))): What I am most looking forward to is seeing everyone wonder at the same things I wonder about, valuing things I find valuable, inspired with a different perspective towards creating and living life. And maybe I'm most excited to see the missing gaps encountered on this journey to Gathering ((( 1 ))) being filled by other people's curiosity over time.
Is there a certain feeling or thought you hope people take with them when they come home after the launch of Sundrop ((( 1 )))?
((( O ))): A magical feeling this country has given me countless times.
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Be part of the very first Sundrop Gathering. Gathering ((( 1 ))) is happening on November 10 at The Eye, Green Sun, Makati. Get your tickets here and score a 20% discount when you sign up to participate in the plant swap!
Poster ? Karpos Multimedia
Art Alexandra Lara