The story behind Last Song Bea’s breakthrough

Last Song Bea sounds like a hybrid of the 70s Manila Sound era and the resurgent 90s alternative rock band scene.

How does a new rock band create instant buzz and land on Spotify’s editorial playlist just three months after releasing their debut single? Last Song Bea is an interesting case study in do-it-yourself marketing and self-promotion.

The relatively new pop/rock band Pinoy boasts seasoned musicians from a variety of fields, including Richard Parcia (guitar/vocals), Xyrus Judan (bass), Donie Dico (lead guitar), Mark Bambico (drums), Nimrod Laacquian (keyboards /guitar), and Erwin Dimaculangan (guitar/vocals).

They released their debut single “Nakakotse” in August 2021 without fanfare. Relying solely on their social media (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube), the song eventually gained traction on Spotify and other streaming platforms.

Despite the under-the-radar blitz, music fans took notice of the emerging act which sounded like a hybrid of the 70s Manila sound era and the resurgent 90s alt-rock band scene.

Riding their creativity, the band followed up with their second single, “Tara!” in November, and released their alternate version, “Pasko!” in time for the holidays.

Buoyed by their then-modest success, the band strayed dramatically from their core sound, releasing their fourth single, “Inside,” as a Valentine’s Day offering. Surprisingly, the edgier, grittier rock anthem opened the band’s doors to a wider audience.

To date, their Spotify streams are showing an exponential increase, with “Inside” taking the top spot (100,578 streams), followed by “Pasko!” (106,706), “Inside” (the live piano version, at 41,689), “Tara!” (28,661) and “Nakakotse” (6,848).

It’s also worth mentioning that this all happened amid the lingering Covid-19 pandemic – a dark time for musicians and the local music industry in general. But what do all these numbers mean?

Interestingly, Last Song Bea singer/songwriter Richard Parcia is an award-winning CIO who works for one of the biggest industrial companies in the country. Despite his expertise in the field, he simply prefers to ignore what might be called beginner’s luck – considering their band’s stature as an emerging band.

Richard enthused modestly: “I always think it’s just a matter of exposure and timing. Whatever the streams, we really needed to get it out there for people to find it. For example, Pasko! is released a month earlier before being picked up by Spotify for their editorial playlist.

“Even in the digital age, there is no substitute for the good old promotion, although the medium is different and faster. Of course, people think that it is easy to promote it through social media, but that also meant ten times, even a hundred times the competition.

“And remember, we’re just a small indie band. We don’t have any record labels to help us promote. We’re DIY. We’re just lucky to find an audience. We’re far from to be the great local artists, and much further than a K-Pop group. But we are happy that some people listen to us and when they tell us that they do, it motivates us to continue.

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