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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » REGGAE TO THE WORLD: SMOKING THE “PEACE PIPE” WITH JECK PILPIL IN THE PHILIPPINES!

REGGAE TO THE WORLD: SMOKING THE “PEACE PIPE” WITH JECK PILPIL IN THE PHILIPPINES!

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston—-

From the first time Jeck Pilpil heard dancehall music he was hooked.

He was a teenaged high schooler in the 1990s and remembers dancing to the beat with his two younger brothers in Manila, capital of The Philippines.

Philippines reggae act Jeck Pilpil

Over time, his taste in Jamaican music matured.

“I heard the thundering voice of Bob Marley a few years later. I bought a box set of Songs of Freedom,” he recalled during an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“From then, I’m stocked with the feel good vibes and conscious lyrical form and decided to flourish my musicality with roots, rock, reggae.”

In early 2000, the Filipino singer went professional with his band Peacepipe. They played cover songs and originals in clubs, bars and reggae events throughout The Philippines.

Three years later, he got his break when two of his songs (Drop Your Gun and Get High With Me) made a reggae compilation album called Island Riddims, distributed by homegrown label Galaxy Records.

Jeck Pilpil & Peacepipe

Three years later, he got his break when two of his songs (Drop Your Gun and Get High With Me) made a reggae compilation album called Island Riddims, distributed by homegrown label Galaxy Records.

The following year, Pilpil recorded his first reggae Christmas song, Christmas Mabuhay, also for Galaxy Records. The company released Peacepipe’s self-titled debut album in 2005. He followed-up with Mabuhay Revolution in 2009 and last year’s Rasta Salute.

Pilpil says his biggest influences are Morgan Heritage, and African singers Lucky Dube, Majek Fashek and Alpha Blondy. The 36-year-old says it is not easy being a reggae artist or musician in The Philippines.

“The radio airwaves here is more into rock and pop, but I know we have to live with it and find ways not to indulge with Babylon popularity contest,” he said.

Despite the lack of love on radio, Pilpil believes the reggae scene in The Philippines is growing.

Jeck Pilpil

“The country has several bands and sound systems that play reggae and dancehall music in a style faithful to its expression in Jamaica,” he explained. “Reggae in The Philippines comprises the many forms of reggae and its sub-genres, and at times combining traditional Filipino forms of music and instruments in their music.”

He says there are several reggae festivals including the Manila Reggae Summit and Fête de la Musique in Manila, as well as the Bob Marley Day Festival and Cebu Reggae Festival in Cebu.

Pilpil is a member of H-Project, a group of reggae artists worldwide who contribute to poverty-stricken Haiti.

He is currently working on his fourth album with Peacepipe.

 

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