I discovered Luis Rabat through one of my musician friends, but the world has yet to know and listen to his spellbinding tracks that are worthy of worldwide recognition.
Technology has made it possible for a lot of artists to create their music for a little fraction of what they’re earning. The emergence of DAW Recording Software like Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason also paved the way for recording businesses to reduce the costs of their services. Music app Spotify has also been open to streaming music from independent and unknown talents.
Luis Rabat is one of those artists who persist in creating and sharing music for their passion. While music has not been a very lucrative industry in the Philippines for the many, Luis has invested in the production of his music.
A Physical Therapist by day and musician by night, Luis has learned to juggle serving others while making music independently. With the help of another talented independent producer Paolo Lofranco, Luis’ songs that came out are nothing short of remarkable. His 90s R&B and Pop influences have evolved to indie and electronic 80s sensibilities, like artists No Rome and The 1975.
Luis has released two singles so far, but my friends who have listed to him and I can’t get enough of his songs. I would rarely have imagined that a Davaoeño who’s even still generally unknown makes this kind of music. He deserves to be heard.
Let’s get to know Luis better as an all-around indie-pop musician and a nice guy.
Please tell us more about yourself.
Luis Rabat: My name is Luis Rabat. I am 25 years old. I was born on July 1, 1995, and proud to say that I have lived in Davao City ever since. My parents are awesome (that’s all I can say ‘cause they choose to have privacy), and I have 3 amazing brothers, whom I consider as my irreplaceable gems in life.
I am a bachelor’s degree holder as I have graduated at Davao Doctors College in its Physical Therapy course last 2019. I have been a dancer ever since I was in grade school, and I’ve joined other school organizations such as Ateneo Dance League during high school and Ateneo Dance Theatre when I was still taking up Mass Communication.
I shifted to physical therapy at the age of 19 and started exploring the world of singing and songwriting. After I passed my licensure exam last August 2019, I started my journey as a recording artist on Mancave Studios. I released my first single, Puppeteer, last April 5, 2020. I have been balancing my life as a son, brother, friend, physical therapist, and an independent music artist ever since.
Is being a physical therapist your dream job or is it really being a musician?
Luis Rabat: Both are dream jobs. Being a lyricist and a performer has been a dream of mine for years while being a physical therapist is a calling I’ve never expected to take wholeheartedly. I feel blessed to be able to do both at this time in my life. It’s a great opportunity to be able to help and inspire others through the paths I have chosen.
What gave you the confidence to pursue music?
Luis Rabat: I have always loved music ever since I was a child. I grew up from a family of musicians. All my life, it felt like I had music in my blood ever since, like it was a gift from God. I grew up from a family of musicians. I enjoyed watching my oldest brother or relatives as they excelled in something related to it, whether it was singing or playing instruments. I didn’t excel at it at an early age, but I knew I loved listening to it. It evolved into something much deeper when I underwent depression at the age of 19, and it was the only thing accessible at a point when there was nobody reachable. It helped me get through the darkness I had to endure at that time. Up until now, my connection with it gets only deeper as I am currently able to write and release music.
Who are your major influences?
Luis Rabat: I was initially influenced by music through my parents. When I was young, I remember listening to a lot of classics from The Carpenters, Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofil, Fra Lippo Lippi, Richard Marx, Martina McBride, and other artists from the ’70s and ’80s. I will forever consider them as my core influences. As I grew up, I’ve learned to love a lot of artists from the 90’s pop, the early 2000s to modern pop and RnB. I’m also currently inspired by the style of RnB and Pop through Neyo, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, JoJo, Kehlani, and SZA.
Let’s talk about producing your music independently. You always mention Pao Lofranco in your credits. How did you two hook-up?
Luis Rabat: I’ve been acquainted with Pao since my high school years in Ateneo de Davao. He’s one of the musically-gifted ones in my batch, and it still shows today. I talked with him after I finished the board exam, and that’s when I started working with him. He has already achieved a lot since he officially started as an artist a few years ago. He’s a Viva Records artist, but he also works as a freelance producer for singers and songwriters like me. Up to this day, I’m still amazed by his humility and kindness despite his recent achievements. Behind the music, I’m good friends with him.
How do you feel about the fact that it’s hard for indie artists to do full-time?
Luis Rabat: I won’t deny it. It really takes determination, patience, and a strong heart to venture into the world of independent artistry. But even if it’s hard, it strives us to become better at what we do for the sake of our art. It’s part of the process. What’s important is that we grow deeper in what we love doing, making music, and connecting with others through our craft.
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