Meet Filipino emcee, Peaceful Gemini.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I go by the name Peaceful Gemini and I’m an emcee from the Philippines. I live and breathe creativity. I have always been inclined in the arts, having been influenced by my mother and siblings. I find expression in different forms of art such as drawing, stencil-making, cooking, but most especially in the spectrum of writing did I find solace and truth. My journey in the world of the written word began as a young girl when I first dug into my imagination, conjuring up stories that I made up myself. I read a lot of books growing up but I think I picked that up as my mom used to invent bedtime stories for me to sleep snugly. She also wrote a lot of poetry in different languages so there’s no doubt I got it from my momma. Now I’m on my own wave as a songwriter and performer in the world of music, specifically Hip Hop. A lot of my ideas circle around matriarchy, how it uplifts me and in what ways can I uphold the feminine energy in the world today. As a woman, I want to give birth to fruitful thoughts, words, and actions. I want to learn how to really nourish myself and those surrounding me. My priority is that I am a light being, first and foremost, then I am human, then I am an artist. I need to have connections, intuitive encounters, inner dialogues, conversations, experiences, mistakes, learnings and all that encompasses life before I can even jot my lyrics down on paper. All of my songs are original and are based on my personal outlook of reality. The reason why I make music is to expand my mind and make thoughts dance.
Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.
I was born and raised in the Philippines. I live in the quiet part of the capital, south of Metro Manila. An hour away from the hustle and bustle, just close enough for convenience and far enough to have some peace away from the city. I had my phase of living in the highly urbanized area of the metro too and that was where I had my first-hand experience of the grime, the gentrification and the realization of privilege, among other eye-opening aspects. In that space and time, I began exploring the local underground hip hop scene, exploring what the Philippines has to offer beyond the city and going more inwards as well with my spiritual journey. It was the start of my chapter that I like to call ‘Introspective Travelling’. On the other hand, in the place I live now and where I grew up there are lots of trees and open spaces, especially before as a kid, I had the luxury of playing around in empty fields and picking fresh fruits off trees. Now there are more residential and commercial areas booming but I still get to enjoy my slice of comfort in the greenery and fresh air on every corner. We call this city Las Piñas, named during the era of Spanish influence and loosely translated as ‘the pineapples’. I usually go to our local cafe or just cruise around on my skateboard, if I’m not at home, at work, doing shows or out of town. Being an introvert, a lot of my day to day activities happen indoors. I enjoy doing yoga, cooking meals, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, writing and thinking up of concepts that I want to manifest. I enjoy my peace and quiet a lot. That’s home to me.
My priority is that I am a light being, first and foremost, then I am human, then I am an artist.
What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?
The best thing about it is that I can just step out and immediately I see greens and blues. There are lots of memories growing up that’s been embedded in my city, a lot of formative and developmental stages have come and passed. I have the opportunity now to learn from that and make more meaningful moments of growth. I know I can always go home to get back to my roots. I really have nothing bad to say about my city, but if there’s anything I guess it’s the inconvenience of traveling to shows because I usually have them in the middle or north of Manila and they always finish late and getting back home at those hours become a little bit more challenging. By then I’m already tired from the night, so instead of commute, I end up booking a private ride that costs a fortune. That’s just about it really. Then again, I always knew that was part of the game and I’m willing to make that sacrifice. I never feel constrained because I make it a point to go on trips either to surf or just explore the country. In the Philippines, we have a lot of beautiful nature spots, mountain peaks, and world-class waves.
Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.
An INTIMATE SPACE to FLOW.
How did you start your career in music?
I studied in an arts school for college and creative energy was all around me. I had a lot of friends in the music production department so whenever we’d hang out there was always a jam or a cypher. It became a spontaneous thing with us wherein one would just pull out an instrument and then someone would follow up with another thing up their sleeve. Or a beat would play and suddenly everyone would be freestyling. We’d go in a circle and just let the vibe flow. My potential in musicality unfolded in those moments. I was always really shy but I had my little notepad with all my lyrics to keep me grounded. It was new to me and I was so inspired. I never thought I’d be up on stage to speak my piece but months after I first started writing we had a class project of hosting a group show to exhibit our works and I was tasked to organize the event. I decided to accompany the exhibit with live performances. I had my friends as part of the line-up and took up all the courage to include myself. That was my first gig and to me, it just felt so right. From then on, I made more songs and decided to share it even more openly. I explored beyond my comfort zone. I used the internet as a platform which became a channel for me to discover music, share my own, connect with other artists and find out where the shows were at. I went out and supported. By giving out that energy, I earned the same respect. So many opportunities opened up for me. And the rest is history. Now I’m three years in the game and counting…
What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?
I’m always yearning for progression in my growth as a woman as well as an artist. I want to continue flowing to life with openness and non-resistance. As I’ve said, I take inspiration from personal experience. As for music, I want to keep releasing new songs with more incorporation of melodies and instrumentation. My ultimate dream right now is a live band setup. I also want to feature my own visual art more to accompany digital releases. Apart from my solo project as Peaceful Gemini, I also want to work more on songs with my band, Assembly Generals
. We’re a live raw and electric hip hop collective with a message that tackles more collective issues so it’s interesting how it contrasts with the intimate approach I take with my Gemini side. It’s different but it ties everything up together so nicely in a contrasting manner. It’s like I’m channeling another facet of myself and she has something important to say as well. My goal is to tap into that side more. With Assembly Generals, I want to work more on writing in our native Filipino tongue and of course to deepen my connection with my bandmates, who are like family to me.
I’m always yearning for progression in my growth as a woman as well as an artist. I want to continue flowing to life with openness and non-resistance.
If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?
How would you describe the women around you?
Sisters. Mothers of creative ideas. Having both a feminine and masculine side. Gardeners of their inner world. Beautiful in diversity. Real. I’m here for it all! It’s all love <3
Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?
None. Since the day I came into the game, females have been supported. For me, it’s the same hustle and hard work. There are always challenges in pursuing a passion but we’re living at an age where women are more empowered on a global scale and it reflects on the culture. That’s why I’m thankful to be doing this now at the perfect point in time. The local hip hop scene right now is beaming with feminine energy.
The local hip hop scene right now is beaming with feminine energy.
Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
Whatever you do, do it with a smile in your heart.
Photos courtesy of Peaceful Gemini.