Pamela Fernandez aka Pamcy is a Filipina house artist who has been covered by the likes of Scout and Bandwagon. We asked her about her new album ‘BINIBINI’ on Healthy Tapes, Filipino food, her relationship with Kurvine Chua and the Genjitsu Stargazing Society, lifting up female and non-binary artists, and more.
COUNTERZINE: How are you today?
Pamcy: I’m okay!
CZ: Tell us a little about yourself.
Pamcy: I’m Pamcy and I’m an electronic music producer and DJ from Manila, Philippines.
CZ: You recently released your new single “Sinigang na Hipon”. Could you tell us a little about the thoughts and feelings behind it?
Pamcy: This is one of my personal favorites from my album, BINIBINI, and it was the easiest track to make, because it was inspired by one of my favorite Filipino dishes.
CZ: “Sinigang na Hipon” is named for a Filipino sour shrimp soup. Are you a foodie? What are some of your favorite Filipino dishes? Any recommended recipes?
Pamcy: I love food, so much so that I make beats inspired by food. Sinigang na Hipon has been a favorite of mine since I was a child, and my other favorite Filipino dishes are Pinakbet, Talbos ng Kamote, Ensaladang Talong, Ginisang Upo, and Bistek to name a few. Usually Adobo is the most suggested Filipino dish, but I also recommend Tinola, Bulalo, Sisig, Kare-Kare, Lumpiang Shanghai, Baked Tahong, Kaldereta, and lots of RICE to go with everything!!!
CZ: It’s actually the second single off of your album on Healthy Tapes entitled BINIBINI, following “Beauty Parlor”. What does Binibini mean and how do you feel the term represents you and your music?
Pamcy: Binibini is an honorific term for women in Filipino and I used this as the title of this album to honor and celebrate the culture I grew up in and my life as a Filipina.
CZ: What artistic goals did you have with this project? What do you want people to take away from it?
Pamcy: I have a knack for taking inspiration from everyday objects and ordinary things. I love and enjoy taking simple ideas to another level through my own way. I hope those who will be able to listen to this album will realize that what is truly essential and fundamentally beautiful in life is already right in front of you—that you don’t have to look too far to see and feel it.
CZ: What and who would you say are some of your foremost musical influences?
Pamcy: My favorite artists who have a huge influence on my sound are Disclosure, Yaeji, Tyler, the Creator, Toro y Moi, and Tarsius to name a few. Lately I’ve also been inspired by DJs and musicians like 7ip7o3, Éclair Fifi, Jayda G, Park Hye Jin, Octo Octa, and Leikeli47.
CZ: We initially learned of you and your music (particularly Deep Sea Pearls) through an interview we conducted with Kurvine Chua of Genjitsu Stargazing Society. How much has Kurvine’s support meant, particularly as someone also living, performing, promoting, etc. in the Philippines?
Pamcy: Kurvine Chua is one of the most prominent advocates of cassette culture in the Philippines and Kurvine has helped not just me but also a lot of artists and tape enthusiasts here. Cassette culture here is growing now because of people like Kurvine who tirelessly promote and support DIY music. Kurvine is one of the nicest and kindest people in the scene so I’m really thankful that they’re around, and I consider myself lucky to work with and be a part of Genjitsu Stargazing Society and the local cassette community.
CZ: Empowering female and non-binary artists is of particular importance to you. Beyond the obvious, why is this something you find especially personally important? In what ways do you seek to do that?
Pamcy: Being a female in a male-dominated field is never easy and even though there has been some progress over the years, I feel like men still have the upper hand in most events, gig line-ups, and opportunities in music. Gigs are still not safe enough for women & LGBTQ+ until now. I just want to see the scene be more accommodating towards women & LGBTQ+ musicians and music enthusiasts, and I hope that what I am doing now will eventually open more spaces and pave better avenues for people like me.
CZ: Where and when might people be able to see Pamcy live?
Pamcy: I’m currently based in Manila but I would really like to play shows abroad someday.
CZ: What was your favorite artist or band that you’ve played a show with so far?
Pamcy: My favorite live act that I’ve played some shows with is Hernandez Brothers. They’re a drum & percussion duo. Their energy and sound is off the charts, even if they don’t have the usual elements like guitars, vocals, and keys. Aside from live acts, I also play gigs often with DJs and my favorite DJ in Manila is CEDEZ. When I was starting out as DJ, I joined this female DJ competition and she was one of the participants. She won our round and was one of the standouts that night. Sadly I wasn’t able to hear her set because it was a silent disco setup and I could only listen to my set through the headphones. And then we played another show together months after the competition, when we supported Los Angeles-based DJ-Producer Softest Hard. CEDEZ’s set that night was out of this world. I have never heard anyone play like her, her selection and mixing is insanely good.
CZ: If there was just one thing you wanted everyone to know about Pamcy that hasn’t been covered, what would it be?
Pamcy: That I am the quietest person alive! I don’t talk much especially around strangers and I struggled with that when I was younger. But music and art became ways for me to express myself and create a new voice.
Pamcy’s new album on Healthy Tapes is out now digital and cassette and is available to purchase here. You can follow Pamcy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud to keep up-to-date on her work.
(Featured photo credit: Ryan Melgar)