WITH SO MANY bands trying to make it into the music scene, the goal has always been about making an impact — and for three-year-old band CHNDTR, it meant creating their own musical genre.
Named after lead singer Chin Detera, the band got together in 2016 when it won the top prize at the Robinsons Supermarket Deli Music Battle of the Bands. With their penchant for “songs [that] have so much feels to it (sic),” the band members decided to call their music “hugot-core.”
Hugot is a popular slang term used to describe words and sentences inspire great emotion — usually sadness and heartbreak — from a person.
“The term hugot-core was coined by our fans. They were the ones who started calling our music that and we decided to run with it,” Ms. Detera told BusinessWorld in the vernacular during a press conference to launch the band’s latest single on Sept. 3 at The 70s Bistro in Quezon City.
The new single, “Sulat,” is a follow-up to the 2018 single “Kulang,” which was part of their debut album Habang Umuulan. Both are songs of heartbreak.
But the focus on emotional love songs was not something they started out doing on purpose.
“When we write our music, that’s what comes out. Maybe it’s because of our influences. But the lyrics always come from Chin,” Benjo Criste, the band’s drummer, said at the press conference.
Ms. Detera explained that her lyrics come from all sorts of experiences — she wrote one song when her bandmates hung up on her when they were talking.
“Oh okay, they hung up on me. We now have a new song,” she said while laughing.
Aside from Ms. Detera and Mr. Criste, the other band members are Sean de Leon on bass and Niko Bacani on lead guitar.
CHNDTR, which is pronounced as “Chin Detera,” also plays on the idiosyncrasies of a generation who grew up texting messages without vowels to fit in the character limits of pre-smartphone cellphones.
“We were really called Chin Detera before, but Chin felt that she really wanted to make it feel like a band and not like a solo act so we played with changing our names. But our previous manager didn’t want us to change our names so as a compromise, we decided to just take out all the vowels,” Mr. Bacani said.
Three years in (though Ms. Detera said she has been singing and writing since she was nine years old) the band is focusing on strengthening its presence and amassing a dedicated following from the same millennial (or younger) age group.
To keep them involved with the fans beyond their gigs, Ms. Detera said that they have a Facebook group where they communicate with fans — which at times some fans use to ask for relationship advice.
“So we’re not only a band, we’re also sidelining as relationship counselors,” Ms. Detera said. — ZBC