By Pauline Allen and Abner Galino
“My parents from PI, but they made me in Daygo,” runs a line in DreCat’s song titled “MadeInDaygo.”
Well, if you didn’t get it. “Daygo” or “Dago” are slang terms for San Diego, particularly its inner-city neighborhoods.
In the song Hearts of Man, DreCat sings: “Happy my nanay resting in heaven, looking at my niece like dang, you really saved me from depression.”
Oh yes, rap songs narrate heartbreaking stories too.
In his web page, drecat.com, he says his music “combines the energy and punchline capability of Ludacris, the melodic delivery of J. Cole and the laid-back smoky vibes of Currensy.”
DreCat’s singing career gained traction in Southern California through his high energy songs, “MadeInDaygo” and “No Mumble Rap.” The buzz over these pieces helped him get on several tours in 2019, including a six US states tour with the popular Los Angeles-based female artist Reverie.
The Fil-Am rap artist is looking forward to a global audience.
DreCat’s passion for music didn’t surface until he was in college.
“My friends introduced me to recording and would invite me to their studio sessions. Watching them start with just a beat and then having a full song at the end blew my mind. I longed for that feeling of creativity more and more which inspired me to make my own music,” he recalls
DreCat says that when writing his music, he always tries to tell his audience that he is a Filipino.
“When I write my lyrics, at some point throughout the song, I want the listeners to know I come from a Filipino background. Whether it’s me incorporating my guilty pleasure of eating Jollibee, or how much I love my Lola to even drinking San Miguel’s with my Tito, I will find a way to tell you I’m a brown Filipino American in my music,” Drecat explains.
Rappers have been known to capture life lessons with just catchphrases, slangs, and one-liners. Rap songs commonly celebrate confidence, boldness, and individuality.
DreCat credited fellow Filipino American rap artist P-Lo or Paulo Rodriguez from the Bay Area for making it easy for upcoming artists like him.
“Being a male Asian American rapper in the music industry isn’t as difficult as it was in the 90s because of artists like P-Lo hitting mainstream radio making it normal to see a Filipino rapping.”
“I’m sure it’s even harder for a female Asian American rapper to get noticed, but with artists like Ruby Ibarra breaking (the) barriers,” DreCat says he believes more doors has opened for the ethnic community.
But DreCat reveals that the biggest obstacle he faced in pursuing his music was not even about the structural hindrances that proliferate in the industry. On the other hand, what almost stopped him from pursuing a creative career was the cultural constraints within his own home.
“Being a first generation Filipino American, our parents moved to the US hoping we would go to college, graduate, and have a good paying job. The uncertainty of a music career stressed my parents out because they only wanted what’s best for me and didn’t want to see me struggle. However, what’s life without the ups and downs? It took some years of convincing. But now I have their full support as they’ve seen how serious I am and the amount of work I put in.”
DreCat says hip-hop will always be his first love, “but over the years I’ve opened my mind to so much more music. I see myself even diving into R&B/soul, EDM, and even indie alternative in the near future.”
And for those aspiring Fil-Am hip hop artist out there, DreCat has these words to say: “If you’re strictly in it for fame or the money, it will be even more stressful than you think no matter how talented you are. You must have the passion to create because it’s a long journey with valleys and peaks. Fall in love with the process and be grateful for the people you meet and the memories you make because that’s what you’ll need to push through when you feel like giving up.”
Adding his voice to the fight against Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate, DreCat says: “It’s horrible and frightening. It hasn’t really affected my music career, for I was more worried about my parents, aunties, and uncles since many of the attacks were happening to the elderly. I know we will get through this for love always prevails.”
“DreCat SZN is here!” Stream now on Spotify and make sure to follow @drecatmusic to stay up to date with new music, shows, and videos.