The Manila Music Scene according to Local DJ and Law Student Cisco Disco
Francisco Arceo, otherwise known as Cisco Disco, is a Filipino DJ, Ateneo Law student, and Political Science graduate from Ateneo De Manila University. Prior to the pandemic, he's performed at several bars and clubs in the Philippines such as XX XX, Fyre, Nokal, Mao Den, Pool Club, VU's and more.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO DEEJAYING?
Music has always been my number one and deejaying for me was just a means to share this love for music with those around me. It started off as just playing music for my friends, then came house parties, and then next thing I knew, I was being invited to play for some clubs. Music is always better shared with others and the same goes for listening to it.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MUSIC SCENE IN MANILA?
Being optimistic and all, I believe the music scene here is still at its infancy stage when it comes to diversity. There’s no denying that there’s been a lot of musical talent arising from the local scene (even history has shown so), but it’s always been a prominent issue in saying that there isn’t enough diversity when it comes to music. Whether we blame it on the money, mass media, or on the superfluous marketing of pop music, I think what’s more important is that artists and listeners alike don’t get disheartened by this, and just keep making (and listening to) music they want to hear.
There’s still a lot of room to grow, and that’s what makes the music scene in Manila exciting. Organizations like “Unknwn,” “Wanderland,” and “Karpos” have, in my opinion, trail-blazed this expansion of the local music scene. I think it’s only a matter of time after the pandemic has died down for things to pick up once again.
WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING A DJ IN THE PHILIPPINES?
Given the right crowd and location, it can definitely be exciting. The best part about deejaying is playing unexpected tracks that listeners don’t expect to hear, but enjoy nonetheless. The nightlife scene is always exciting as people love to go out, and I think that’s a huge factor as to why being a DJ can be such a pleasure at times.
ARE YOU CONSIDERING BEING A FULL TIME DJ? IS THIS POSSIBLE IN THE PHILIPPINES?
With the pandemic still plaguing us, the feasibility of becoming a full-time DJ has just become a lot tougher that it already was pre-quarantine. This question hasn’t really popped into my head as I just enjoy what I’m doing as of the moment.
Do I want to become a full-time DJ? Perhaps not entirely. I would opine that since my main intention, just like others, is to help elevate the local music scene, then maybe being a full-time DJ alone wouldn’t be enough.
WHO ARE YOUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION AS A DJ?
Michael Bibi, Jamie xx, Cloonee, Mall Grab, Skream, Kettama, Luuk Van Dijk, Amtrac, etc.
DROP YOUR TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS OF ANY GENRE
[In no order]
1. Your Love by Furns
2. Sleep Sound by Jamie xx
3. Baby by Donnie & Joe Emerson
4. like we were the last two people on earth by dj poolboi
5. I’m on Fire by the Chromatics