CA Christian Alexander
The Complex Council best represents what Complex Philippines stands for—the culmination of youth culture in the Philippines. Whether in music, fashion, or sports, the Council commands respect, influences many, and lets their work speak for itself.
Claim to fame: Filipino-American singer/songwriter repping #PinoyPride
Christian Alexander Bonoan, AKA CA Christian Alexander, believes we’re in the midst of a Filipino renaissance across industries, including music. This belief motivated him to take his recording talents from New York to the Philippines. His gamble proved correct; he would soon be part of PARADISE RISING, a sub-label of 88rising that reps Filipino talents, rhyming and vibing alongside his cousin, Mito Fabie, AKA Curtismith.
CA believes in the potential of the local community and looks to push Filipino representation on a global scale. With his combination of passion and talent, he’s all prepped to succeed.
What’s been the biggest shock with how urban music has grown in the Philippines?
For me, I wouldn’t say I’m too shocked. I moved from New York in 2018 because I saw the potential of the music industry and the community. And now, to see where it’s at; it’s great to see everyone else thriving. I hope the community continues pushing forward, keeps inspiring and challenging themselves to create better art.
What do you think makes the music community in the Philippines different from the States?
The music community here [in the Philippines] is more supportive of each other. There’s more of a community feel, where everyone shares music, pushes each other to be better and shows love like that.
I love collaborating here. For example, on PARADISE RISING, I collaborated with my cousin, Curtismith, for Black Hearts. It was a great feeling because we were working in our home studio, Mango Room; it’s cool to make a new sound inspired by what’s happening here culturally and bringing in knowledge from the States.
Why do you think Filipinos have such an interest in music?
If you look at Filipinos from Day 1, we’ve been known for our musical talents. The everyday singer in the Philippines can sing better than most people in the world. So, I feel like music is embedded in our DNA.
How do you think music helps define the Filipino identity outside of just music?
I’m big on urban culture and feel like music is just one facet. So music and fashion, it’s all intertwined. Here [in the Philippines], the culture is thriving, and brands and individuals are doing well and getting recognized, proving music is synonymous with urban culture.
I used to be a journalist in the industry too. I’ve seen how representation has grown, so the future generation can see that they can have a creative career. You don’t gotta be a nurse; you can work in entertainment!
Would you have done anything differently five years ago if you knew how big urban music would get?
I kinda had an idea that music was going in this direction. My manager at the time in the States was the marketing director at Sony in the US. He called and told me to move to the Philippines in 2018.
I was already making music in the States and entertaining a few record options, but he told me to take the risk and come here—and I’m just happy that I did. I went on to meet many great people, and I know this is where I will be for the next few years.
Fill in the blanks for us: Youth culture in the Philippines is defined by ____ and kept alive by ___.
Youth culture in the Philippines is defined by authenticity and kept alive by authenticity.
Another one: It’s about time that Complex arrived in the Philippines because ____.
It’s about time Complex arrived in the Philippines because Complex, as a brand, is known to be the center of all things culture in music, sports, and fashion. What better place to focus on that than the Philippines, where we’re thriving in all of those facets?
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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