LISTEN: This hip-hop band from CDO wrote a song that addresses mental health

Published October 26, 2020, 10:12 AM

by Vianca Gamboa

SULO’s single ‘Kawalan’ is dedicated to a young student from their hometown who died by suicide

Trigger warning: This article contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.

Musicians have long been raising awareness on societal issues through their music, an art form that many people seek refuge in. We may somehow discredit a certain act if they turn out too problematic to be heard, often impeding the message they’re trying to get across (like Brand New, sorry not sorry). But we keep on looking for the songs that seem to say everything we can never put into words.

Recently, we stumbled upon an up-and-coming hip-hop band from Cagayan de Oro, SULO. Yes, they spit bars that are “very OPM-inspired with hints of jazz and soul.” Unlike the pop-punk x RNB fusions dominating YouTube recommendations nowadays, however, SULO likes to rap about social issues—as they should.

Composed of Miggy James, Jon and Migs Mejia, and Martin Luiz Cabaron, the new four-piece addition to independent record label Offshore Music has recently released its first single “Kawalan.”

The song is dedicated to an unnamed 19-year-old student from their hometown who died by suicide. The band mentions in an interview that the student was experiencing heavy financial burdens in the midst of the pandemic.

The group sees the student’s untimely death as a wake-up call to address youth mental health, especially in dealing with depression, our unprecedented online learning system, lack of equipment, and family problems among the unprivileged youth.

Like the pandemic, mental health issues are a public health issue.

“I think that’s what pushed all of us together, to use our art to reach out to people and connect,” says Migs in Offshore’s introductory video.

Although the first track sounded as ambient and ghostly as its lyricism, the band promises to squeeze in a few disco tunes when they release an album.

Listen to “Kawalan” here:

The following free crisis hotlines are available nationwide:

  • National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide landline toll-free), 0917-899-8727
  • Philippine Red Cross Hotline at 1158
  • In-Touch Crisis Line at 8-893-7603, 0917-8001123 or 0922-8938944

NCMH also provides a list of free mental health resources at