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CRWN on His Spiritual Dance Album and Making a Classic Record

crwn releases his debut album “Seance” featuring 12 tracks and 10 collaborators.
James Francisco

After years of being a staple of Manila’s buzzing nightlife scene, crwn has dropped his first album, “Seance”, described as a dance record exploring spirituality and the paranormal. “Seance” sees 12 tracks featuring both new and long-time collaborators of the 31-year-old music producer: Jason Dhakal, Curtismith, Jolianne, Olympia, Six the Northstar, Jess Connelly, August Wahh, Nadine Lustre, LONER, and TALA.

“It has been a long time coming,” said crwn, who burst into mainstream consciousness with his acclaimed EP “How I Love” with Jess Connelly in 2015. “I’ve always wanted to make a classic record, like a “Channel Orange” (Frank Ocean) and “Control” (Kendrick Lamar). I wanted to be in that stratosphere—where people would listen to my first album and realize that it’s “the shit.”

Judging by the packed album launch at Nokal Makati last May 11, audiences seemingly agree it is just that. Complex Philippines got to talk to crwn ahead of the launch about “Seance”, the ever-changing music landscape, and “hoeing” himself online to adjust to the times.


How is your debut album different from previous releases?

I’ve wanted to make a dance record and place my horror fandom in it. I’m a horror fanatic. My favorite films are probably “The Shining” and “Hereditary.”

I’ve always meant to do a “horror album,” but I wasn’t sure if it would work or sell. “Séance” is the middle-ground where I could explore spirituality and the paranormal, and make a dance record at the same time. It’s a séance about summoning love and good energy and reflecting on those things while dancing. I think that’s what makes the album special.

Did Séance take any inspiration?

Séance definitely draws inspiration from other artists. I was super obsessed with Jungle’s latest album, “Volcano,” which was playing in the background the whole time. I also looked up to Floating Points and other crazy electronic artists. I’ll also post a playlist of my inspirations after the release, so stay tuned for that.

The album has 12 tracks with 10 featured artists. How do you choose your collaborations?

I gravitate towards artists who take their shit seriously and not just do it for clout. These people are the “real ones.” They came over to my space and I had a beat prepared for each. It only took one session to finish the track per artist. I feel like everyone was so natural and seasoned. They knew their shit, the story, and the idea of making people dance.

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Do you have a personal favorite track?

Personally, it’s LONER’s “Waiting for You.” When I was making the album, there were over 200 demos on my laptop that I’d acquired over the years,  just sitting and gathering dust/ When I came across LONER’s song, I thought this could be the album’s DNA. When he came over, he killed it.

The “How I Love” EP was the entry point to your music for many people. How does it feel to be working with Jess Connelly again?

It was so refreshing and natural. Everything just came together. I mean it’s JCon—so it’s always a banger. It was crazy working with her.

As for “How I Love” that was our root–the foundation that opened so many doors for us. I’m very grateful for that project and that we were able to tell our story very well at that time. But as much as I love that record, I never listen to it. In my mind, I realized na ang bano ko for sure. Noob-shit. (laughs)

You’ve been in the industry for a long time. How have you adjusted to the way people consume music today?

I don’t think I was ready for TikTok or Instagram Reels. I’m trying to be more consistent with my content because the album, my music, and my career all relate to that. It’s been very challenging, but I’m super game. I’m ready to be a hoe online.

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Are there any local or international artists you hope to collaborate with?

I really want to collaborate with Hev Abi. Hit me up, man. Taga QC (Quezon City) din ako. I was also supposed to have Clara Benin for a record, but we didn’t get to stay in touch. I think I want to make a deluxe edition of “Séance” highlighting more artists, remixes, and other producers in the country.

Do you have plans for shows or concerts?

Oh yeah, I want to do a tour around the Philippines and hopefully around Asia, Europe, and North America. Fingers crossed, but I think it’s feasible. This is my manifestation.

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