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‘Budots’ goes international with DJ Love’s Boiler Room set

‘Budots’ goes international with DJ Love’s Boiler Room set

Budots goes international

Davao City native Sherwin Calumpang Tuna, better known as DJ Love, leads budots dance music to an international takeover after Boiler Room’s Broadcast Lab set.

Boiler Room also kicked off with performances of transpinay activist Teya Logos, PAWN Records head and Lapu-Lapu City-based Libya Montes, DJ MharkTzyOnTheBeatTV of Showtime Official Club, Pikunin, Obese.dogma777, T33G33, and Hideki Ito, in an undisclosed location in Manila, April 30.

DJ Love at Manila Community Radio’s Boiler Room-sponsored event. TWITTER | @Ricomambo96

Budots goes international with DJ Love’s Boiler Room set

DJ Love’s performance received feverish responses from his musical peers, clubbers, and newfound fans on social media. He bought the Camusboyz flair, sharp dance movements, the signature pulsating baselines, and trademark tiw-tiw whistles of budots music. It was full artistry and showmanship at full display.

Elija Pareño, also known as Flying Lugaw wrote on Facebook,

“DJ Love ended his set by doing the sign of the cross, prayed for five seconds, and bowed his head to everyone, showing his utmost gratitude from the front to the back. He couldn’t hold back his tears while everyone cheered on. The man then pointed at the Boiler Room logo behind him, and seeing that happen right in front of me will stick with me forever.” 

Pareño also moderated a discussion about the “origins, evolution and future of budots and ‘tiknong’ pinoy,” with DJ Love as a guest.

DJ Love, in response, penned how grateful he was for this massive milestone in his career.

“Di ko napigilan ang luha ko lalo na napasaya ko silang lahat. Sobrang nagpapa salamat ako sa lahat po. Thank you lord. Wala na akong mahinge. Binigay muna lahat about pangarap ko sa music industry. Im done. Nagawa kuna lahat. Sa mga nag sisimula dyan it takes time mga brad,” he wrote on Facebook.

He added that it took 20 years for his hard work to finally paid off. DJ Love also advised beginners that “it will take time” but soon will be worth it. 

UK-based music broadcaster Boiler Room selected Manila Community Radio as the sixth recipient of the Broadcast Lab series grant program. The radio program landed GBP9,000 to fund their concept and lineups of ‘underrepresented artists, community & collaboration’.

“Manila Community Radio’s proposal to bring greater visibility to a uniquely grassroots genre like budots – and envisioned its future – was authentic, creatively distinctive, and lovingly curated. As a fresh lens on alternative Filipino club culture, the grant’s curator panel found it deeply deserving of financial support and a wider global audience,” said Boiler Room creative producer Will Davenport.

Since the event was invitation-only, fans can soon watch the official live stream on Boiler Room’s social media pages.

Budots deep roots and why is it appealing?

Budots’ early years can be traced to the streets of Davao City since 2010. However, it carries a negative association, as the term “budots” is a Visayan slang for “slacker” or “tambay” in the Tagalog language.

Camusboyz, a dance group founded by DJ Love in 2004, became the moving force of the regional dance craze. DJ Love, who also serves as the choreographer, is behind the catchy sound mixes that use samples from the harsh music of the squatter’s area. Such as animal noises and vehicles that are all mixed in his makeshift computer rig. While Badjao dances and bistik (bisaya-tikno or techno) were the inspiration for the dance moves.

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Camusboyz dance group. YOUTUBE | Sherwin Tuna

In 2008, Budots entered mainstream pop culture when Ruben Gonzaga, Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition winner, performed on national television. In 2012, the magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho featured Camusboyz.

Who would have forgotten when President Rodrigo Duterte danced with the Camusboyz leading up to the national elections in 2016? Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. also tried the same antics and, undoubtedly, elected him.

Budots’ appeal lies in its reliability, the repetitive vocals used are extensions of the Bisaya humor. Listeners are familiar with the incorporated neighborhood noises, and dance moves that are hilarious, free, and have no bounds. This genre owes its success to its catchy and infectious bounce, which the Paro Paro G dance craze has done. 

Budots rise to the global scale is long overdue

Although it was not the first time budots received international recognition. Nocebo, a highly-acclaimed psychological horror film on Netflix, used a budots track. The featured song was a collaboration of DJ Ericnem and DJ Love, with the vocals of Ericnem’s wife, Josephine Orapa Yamson. 

While the budots dance also went viral after Aira Daniella Fernando, or “Katik,” published a video of herself dancing to Joji’s song Die for You. Asian collective music company, 88rising later posted the video of the Cebuana-based influencer on their social media pages.

IMDb | Nocebo (2022)

Behind the campaign to make waves on the international stage, budots still face ridicule within our borders. Music pundits dismiss budots as “jologs” rather than our own strand of electronic dance music. In addition, DJ Love also faces copyright issues, as his originals and remixes were re-uploaded without credit, and used by television shows.

But until then, DJ Love and music producers alike should be acknowledged and celebrated for championing budots. Boiler Room is just the start for our local house music to rise onto the global stage.

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