“Oh, yeah I saw this, I didn’t know it was you!” Manila X Festival show director Paolo Valenciano laughs as DJ Carlo Atendido shows his music video which has been gathering momentum on YouTube. Atendido approached Valenciano to address a production idea for his set with hip-hop troupe The A-Tribe, and the latter clearly enjoys putting the show details together than talking about it in general terms (read: press cons).

Collaboration is key for the designers and musicians involved in the event, and Valenciano is thrilled to know that Atendido and the hip-hop troupe have actually worked together. Their moment in the show will be a breeze.

A director's work is never done, specially after press conferences: DJ Carlo Atendido consults with director Paolo Valenciano about his Manila X slot
A director’s work is never done, specially after press conferences: DJ Carlo Atendido consults with director Paolo Valenciano about his Manila X slot

Manila X Festival, now on its second year, aims to be the premier fashion-meets-music festival in the country, and eventually the region. Music and fashion, throughout history and regardless of genre, have always had a relationship anyway, but a festival celebrating the union of style and sound is special indeed.

Like last year, Manila X boasts a diverse array of stylists and musicians and this year’s line-up includes artists from wildly different genres from pop to hip-hop to metal: Bamboo, KZ Tandingan, The Juans, Kiana Valenciano, Jess Connelly, Saydie, Franco, Curtismith, Sam Concepcion, Tukar Sinati, The A-Team, and DJs Carlo Atendido, Patty Tiu, Ron Poe, and Tom Taus.

Also appearing: pop/rap/r&b/YouTube sensation William Singe.

Manila X Poster

KZ Tandingan turned in an astounding performance for the press con with an East-meets-West take on Lorde’s “Royals.” According to Valenciano and producer John Lozano, they wanted KZ to be part of Manila X from the beginning and added that her appearance last year was an unplanned and welcome surprise (she was collaborating with a stylist and performed as a special guest). This year, she is officially part of the line-up.

KZ

There will be elements of surprise in the show itself. Kiana Valenciano, when queried if she will collaborate with her paramour Sam Concepcion, admits with a laugh that she didn’t even know that Concepcion was confirmed as part of the line-up until the press conference itself. Lozano and Paolo Valenciano emphasise that spontaneous collaborations amongst the performers is highly likely.

Paolo Valenciano and John Lozano aim for a bigger Manila X this year
Paolo Valenciano and John Lozano aim for a bigger Manila X this year

Lozano also says that style-wise, while he encourages the designers involved to go all-out with their respective ideas, the need for the clothing to be wearable and practical is as important.

“We want everyone to have something to take away from this,” elaborates Valenciano, “Like, if you’re an EDM fan, you get your fix from the DJs, or if you’re a rock fan, you have Bamboo, Saydie, and Franco. We wanted to widen the appeal (even more) because last year, it felt like a whole bunch of people just getting together to party, from all walks of life.”

William Singe
Australian YouTube sensation William Singe is one of the headliners for Manila X

Manila X partnered with style magazines Candy, Chalk, and Meg for the event. Each entity essentially curated its own section for the program. “These guys have their (respective) followings, and we don’t want to alienate their readers. We made sure that the artists per magazine, per brand, will still have some kind of appeal to their current readers.”

For his part, Atendido says broadly, and without giving away surprises, “You can expect a different kind of DJ performance, it’s not just dancing to EDM. It’s a DJ doing what you think a DJ would do, but the cool part is that we’re incorporating it with the A-Team so it’s not only nice to hear but also very visually appealing.”

Will Kiana Valenciano (shown here with DJ Carlo Atendido) collaborate with Sam Concepcion during Manila X?
Will Kiana Valenciano (shown here with DJ Carlo Atendido) collaborate with Sam Concepcion during Manila X?

As for Valenciano, directing family members–he is Kiana’s brother and the son of Gary V and has directed the latter’s shows–he says “is easy. I can make them do things they don’t wanna do (laughs heartily). It always works though; it’s always for their benefit.”

Manila X is happening on May 27 (Saturday), 7pm, at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds, Makati City. Gates will be open at 4pm. Tickets are available at ticketworld.com.ph. To learn more about Manila X, head on to their official website, www.manilax.net, or check out their Facebook (www.facebook.com/manilaxfestival) and Instagram (@wearemanilax) pages.

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