Pinoy Homegrown Talent: Indio I
Indio I is a band that was formed in 1994, to bring reggae music to a new level. In 1997, Philippine reggae band Indio I released their debut album, Indio I. The music is patterned on reggae from Jamaica, the genre’s birthplace, and doesn’t add any Filipino flavoring, aside from some lyrics in Tagalog, the Philippines’ national language.
The opening track, “S on My Chest”, is one of the album’s better songs, featuring a strong melody set amid an intense, penetrating backdrop. The song is also made distinctive by the use of a string quartet, and vocalist Vic Facultad sings with an exaggerated grittiness, which works well here. He tones down the grittiness on the tender “Di Mo Lang Alam,” but keeps it rough and tough on other songs that need a lighter approach, such as “Diwata” and “Earth to Man.” The songs on Indio I often contain catchy melodies and choruses, including “Blue Magic T-Shirt,” “Sexual Chocolate,” and “Senseless.” However, the music suffers from heavy-handed production; many of these songs would’ve benefited from a lighter, sprightlier approach. “Senseless,” in particular, is a potential hit single, but the chorus gets bogged down in the production. This is an album with a lot of unrealized potential.
Upon penetrating the local music scene, the band was given recognition by award-giving bodies and networks. At the 1997 NUROCK Awards, Indio I garnered 8 nominations, and at the 1998 Katha Awards, the band brought home the Best Reggae Song Trophy for “Di Mo Lang Alam”. Since their inception indio i has performed in some of the hottest nightspots and the most beautiful beaches in the country.
In 2014 Indio I once again rises to the challenge to re-enter the arena and share their talents with the whole world, reaching out to a whole new audience beyond the shores of their archipelago. Aptly titled Indio I:Redux, the band ventures forth with a restored spirit, a new passion and reason to keep the music playing. Follow their story. Ride along their journey. Enjoy a new stoke.