Since his childhood he showed extraordinary artistic flair: he played the piano, sang in a choir and drew illustrations. In the early 90’s he embraced the Hip Hop culture. He became a graffiti writer in 1993 and 1997 started his musical career as a turntablist. In 2000 he approached electronic music with beatmaking and the art of sampling. In over 15 years of his career he has performed in various clubs and festivals in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Back from a tour in the Philippines, John Type shares his experience in his homeland.
Can you introduce yourself to those you don’t know you yet?
I am a producer DJ, a scratch champion in Italy, a multifaceted artist who loves experimenting with music.
In 2016 I invented a new way of doing DJing called MidiTablism that has received a lot of international acclaim on the web.
2018 was a blast: I released a single with the American label Artist Intelligence Agency and I just came back from a tour of no less than 11 gigs in the Philippines!
We know you are based in Tuscany, Italy: why are you connected to the Philippines and what brings you here every few years?
Many people think that I’m half Italian, but I was born in Manila and both my parents are Filipino with Spanish descent!
I moved to Italy with my family at the age of 4, I often return to the Philippines because I have a lot of relatives and friends with whom I share passions and musical professions.
How do you think Metro Manila has changed in the last few years, especially in the music scene
Until a decade ago Manila was an oasis that was not very contaminated by the rest of the world but in recent years the scene has evolved a lot and more rapidly than in previous years, now there are many more local and events that host international artists.
Can you name some Filipino artists people should listening to?
Filipinos people are scattered throughout the world, for those who do not know turntablism was created by Filipino DJ’s in California, to name a few: D-Styles, Shortkut, Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Babu, Mike Boo and many others.
Regarding the Manila scene I would recommend listening to beatmakers like Red-i, Caliph 8, Tukar Sinati, Toro, reggae artists like I-Dren Artstrong, Ras Taro, DJs like Supreme FIst, iNBiTuiN, Mars Miranda, Skratchmark, Iamtong and many others.
An artist of the ’70s that I appreciate for his soul funk music is Joe Bataan, an Afro-Filipino from New York. Artists with Filipino descent also dominate the international pop music, such as Bruno Mars, which this year alone has won 6 Grammy Awards!
How did you approach turntablism, beatmaking and sampling?
I approached these disciplines through the Hip Hop culture with which I came across in the early 90s, at the beginning with the breakdance then with graffiti, later I was caught by rap music and then djing. Passion has guided to practice these arts and then to make music, with turntables and also by creating beats and productions up to the sound design and engineering of sound for mixing and mastering.
Can you explain what MidiTablism is?
MidiTablism is the combination between turntablism discipline and MIDI technology, which is the standard communication protocol between electronic musical instruments. When the DJing equipment began to evolve and implement MIDI, it was natural for me to try to enrich my DJ set up with a sequencer (hardware or software device that can process MIDI signals), it is from this combination that the first techniques of MidiTablism were born.
What makes Manila unique in your opinion?
Its People! There is an incredible melting pot of people from all over the world! A coming and going of strangers with unpredictable ethnic groups, often because they are half Filipinos. Finding yourself speaking three languages between speeches, sitting at the table with people from every country and culture, it’s like being in the whole world in one place, this is the most precious magic that I find every time I’m back to my country…I can’t wait to be back!
Please tell us what are your favorite spots in Metro Manila for:
Which area of Metro Manila you like the most and why?
I prefer the areas with skyscrapers: Makati and Bonifacio Global City which I consider “the Manhattan” of Metro Manila: I advise everyone to check it out!
Which place in the Philippines you like the most and why?
The place I love most in the Philippines is its sea! Among its 7,107 islands there are such beautiful beaches that you would never have imagined could exist.
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