Syvä, a Finnish word that means “deep,” is also the name of a Filipino band.
The band has an atmospheric sound, combining chill wave and R&B, says lead singer Nina Tomas. The rest of the members include RJ Burce (drums/rhythm guitar) and JG Cubias (bass).
Its music aims to be different, but its three members share a few similarities. They come from the same high school in Bicol, and lived in the same neighborhood after they moved to Manila for college. “Playing music has always been our hobby,” says Nina.
Now Syvä is in the Top 8 of Greenwich’s Ultimate Bandkada Search, a camp and competition where participants are trained and mentored by professional musicians Climax, Pow Chavez, Top Suzara and Kio Priest. The bands then get a chance to show off their skills; the winner gets P100,000.
How did Syvä start?
Nina: We’ve been recording since last year. Random lang, mga twice a month. Then RJ saw the Greenwich video and told us na we should try out.
When did you decide to make music seriously?
When we saw the Greenwich Bandkada ad. We live near each other in Taft Avenue, so we decided to do some recording.
Are you all still in school?
JG and RJ are graduating soon. I work as a projects officer in publishing.
What inspires you?
While surfing the Internet, we came across these nice songs with a heavy, droning feel. They’re the nice kind of heavy.
Like whose songs?
We don’t even remember the artists, but they’re very underground—stuff you find on eight-tracks.
What were your earliest memories of music?
RJ started learning guitar in grade 3, then moved to drums in high school. We were all friends in high school but we weren’t in the same group.
What can you say about each other that other people might not know?
RJ is really technical about music. JG is skilled at guitar stuff. Beyond music, RJ’s really just silent and likes beer. As for me, masyadong malinis dapat lahat. Hindi naman kami ganun ka-OC sa musicality dati.
What three qualities do you think an Ultimate Bandkada should have?
The members should complement each other. Second is confidence. And you have to really want to play your music, not just to impress but because you really love it.
What makes your band different?
I think we’re different because we’re playing EDM and hip-hop/R&B. The others are more rock. So our goal as a band is we want to make the genre different. Tatlo lang kami. It’s unique, what a three-member band can do with a track’s texture and depth.
What are you looking forward to in this competition?
We look forward to discovering diversity in music, how other bands do their thing, and relating with people who have the same passion. To know more about ourselves. Along the way, we’d like to learn more about what we want and don’t want in music.