SHANTI DOPE to join IV OF SPADES as wildcard for an exclusive Coke Studio Collab.

Teen prodigy Shanti Dope exploded onto the rap scene at age 16, but he himself says that even as a child, he wasn’t like other children. He discovered rap at age 9, as he was sound tripping with his friends, and it created a space where he could be himself.

Shanti Dope

His parents separated when he was young and he was shuttled among various relatives. Though adults expect teenagers to be obsessed with puppy love and such, Shanti Dope raises the big questions.

His songs tackle such weighty topics as the futility of materialism and biting social commentary.

“Bata pa ako, inuusisa ko na ang mga bagay na hindi pang-bata.”  (Ever since childhood, I would be curious about matters that are not just for children.)

Now mentored by rap legend Gloc 9, Shanti Dope just waves aside any fancy titles as the next big thing in rap, just happy to keep on experimenting on his music.

“Lahat lahat puedeng i-adapt,” he muses, echoing the open and experimental attitude to music as the IV Of Spades guys.

“Shookt,” sums up Zild Benitez of IV Of Spades when he and his bandmates Blaster Silonga and Badjao de Castro were told of their Coke Studio collaboration.

“Although, we have to admit that there was also some fear,” admits Badjao.  “But even if there was that fear, we still had to do it.  We’re just enjoying it.” Zild then turns philosophical and says,  “There’s a saying that you should grab opportunity, but sometimes you should also grab the fear.”

Known for their distinctive and some would say, brave sartorial choices, fear is not exactly what we would associate with this groundbreaking band that makes not just music but also creates a super stylish and cool vibe for their fans.

IV of Spades

Just going into music, even though they are all from musical families was a big act of audacity for these three musicians.

“People think that because our parents were musicians, they encouraged us, but it’s actually the opposite. They were always pointing out to us how hard it is to choose a life in music,” Zild begins.

And Badjao and Blaster nod in agreement.  “We still did it!”

Of the collaboration itself, they come up with the words unusual, challenging and exciting to describe the whole process.

Badjao adds, “Very challenging and exciting.”  ZILD adds, “We are part of a generation that’s not boxed in by genre.  We knew that Shanti Dope is edgy so we just wanted to enjoy the collaboration.”

When asked how to describe their song, Shanti Dope, quips, “Parang vintage na classy barong.”  Zild pipes in, “It’s like a big work of graffiti.”  “That has been enhanced by photoshop,” adds Blaster.

They all marveled at how effortless and seamless their chemistry emerged.  Maybe it’s their shared openness to experimentation.  Maybe it’s their youth.  Or maybe it’s just that when you love creating and performing, your shared artistry just flows.

Watch how Shanti Dope and IV Of Spades collaborate for a refreshing kind of music that celebrates their own genres in the first episode of Coke Studio Season 2. Catch them every Sunday at 11:15a.m. before ASAP on ABS-CBN or on www.youtube.com/CokeStudioPH.

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Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


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