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‘Filipino music is in good hands’: Meet Spotify Radar artists dwta and Ysanygo

By Andrea Panaligan, The Philippine STAR Published Apr 19, 2024 5:00 am

Spotify RADAR is an annual program for rising musical artists, and this year’s slate is hidden in a house-turned-photo studio in Quezon City.

Even as members of the press, we were not allowed the privilege of knowing who made the list before its eventual unveiling this April. That didn’t stop us from making a few (or a few dozen) guesses, excitedly naming artists we found on TikTok or heard in gigs.

The actual list is a colorful hodgepodge of today’s OPM scene: hip-hop stars Hev Abi and Illest Morena; hitmakers Maki, Cup of Joe, and Dionela; R&B crooners Denise Julia and Jason Dhakal; P-Pop girl group Bini; indie sibling duo Ysanygo; and Bicol’s singing fairy dwta.

It’s exciting to realize we’re currently overflowing with promising talent that we could easily fill the list even if slots were to double or triple. Thank God Spotify Radar is a yearly event—I’m sure we will meet more of them over time.

From a fairy singing love songs to a genre-bending sibling duo, the exciting new voices of OPM find a home in Spotify Radar.

For now, in that house-turned-photo studio, we chat with dwta and Ysanygo, current members of the class of 2024, on music’s ability to transcend language and time.

dwta is finding her wings

“Dati, ang gusto ko lang talaga ay mapakinggan at ma-appreciate ng mga tao ‘yung songs ko,” dwta says, looking ethereal with her flower hair clips and glasses shaped like butterfly wings. As someone born and raised in Bicol making songs in her native tongue, “it means everything” to be recognized for her craft, which is largely shaped by where she came from.


Her uber-romantic song Padaba Taka, which listeners can find on the Spotify RADAR Philippines playlist, has been passed on from lover to lover, totaling over 14 million in current streams. It opens with a thoughtful “Kumusta ang biyahe?” and that she cooked “igwang laing na may siling labyu, ay labuyo”—with a first verse as charming as that, who can resist?

In the soothing Tahan Na, her latest project in collaboration with Arthur Miguel, she sings, “Matatagpuan mo rin ang para sa iyo,” something she keeps in mind in terms of her dreams, too. “Malayo na ‘yung napuntahan ko, pero alam ko na may dadating pa sa tamang panahon. Mas may malayo pa ‘kong mapupuntahan.” For now, she’s choosing to relish the present and remain thankful for the surprises that come her way.

Dwta admits that she used to be a “nobody,” that not everyone believed she would make it. Mainstream success does not come easy for artists in the regions after all, since major cultural conversations remain epicentered on the capital. Still, she believes her songs and the emotions she pours into them are universal, and her steadfast growth is proof. “Nakakaiyak na, ngayon, nakikita na nila ako,” she says. “Isa na kong diwata ngayon. Kumakantang fairy.”

Homecoming with Ysanygo

The first gig I ever attended—the show that opened up the world of local live music for me—was opened by sibling act Ysanygo. I was in my first year of college, new to the city, and Ysa and Ygo Ferraz, both around my age, were in their element onstage, as if they had done this a thousand times before. 

It was a full-circle moment to officially meet them six years later for Spotify RADAR, which they consider “a huge step in our career.”


“We can’t believe we’re here right now,” Ygo says. “When we come across someone and they say, ‘I really like this song of yours,’ we still can’t believe that our song was able to reach (them) and help (them) in some way.”

While the duo has released singles since 2017, they launched their much-anticipated debut EP just last October. They excitedly took turns explaining each of the four tracks, chuckling at the closing song being titled Good Night!. A little below 15 minutes, the self-titled record is a well-balanced portfolio that showcases their ability to jump around genres while keeping everything in their signature warm sound. 

They attribute their sonic identity to their sibling dynamic. Aside from being able to work with each other every day “because we live in the same house,” they also grew up listening to the same music: Tears for Fears courtesy of Dad, Duran Duran courtesy of Mom. They’re also influenced by South Korean acts Dean, IU, and BTS.

The Spotify RADAR Philippines playlist features their song Sunday Morning with Paolo Sandejas, which is an apt descriptor for their sound—listening to them feels like a calm, sunny morning. When I ask the duo what they want listeners to remember from their music, they say they want their songs to serve as a hug. “We want them to remember that there’s a friend for them,” Ysa says. “We’re still your siblings next door and we’re just a song away,” adds Ygo.


Listen to dwta, Ysanygo, and the rest of the 2024 class on the RADAR Philippines playlist on Spotify.