The path to a career in art is not one filled with roses and sunshine, it takes a hustle mindset to get anywhere.
Luckily for us, we caught up with former Bay Area, former California duo Moonwlk (Gabbi Buencamino (vocals) and Nicholas Lazaro (synths, vocals) to talk to us about growing up in the Sunset, making music together, and now pursuing that dream in the heart of Manila.
Give us some background, how did the band come to be?
We were friends in the same neighborhood and knew each other for maybe five years, both musicians but we never came across to working together. In 2011, Nick had started messing around with electronic music and wanted to experiment with another singer. The smartest choice was Gabbi. Although, pretty quickly, their different vocal styles proved a bit difficult to mold for the sound of moonwlk. Gabbi had a background in theater and broadway, while Nick was into rock and heavy metal.
Tell us both about your Bay Area living experience to now being in Manila?
Gabbi was originally from Southern California, but Nick is originally from the Sunset in San Francisco, graduated from Lowell high school, and lived there from 1997—2006, a peaceful time with minimal gentrification and a taqueria Cancun burrito was well under 6 dollars (including the melon or horchata). Nick also frequently surfed at ocean beach, favorite spot being Kelly's cove near the cliff house. In the Philippines, making music a lifestyle is possible, however, the downside is the absence of a decent burrito, and ironically living on an island, Nick lives about 5 hours from any decent surf-able wave.
How would you describe your music to someone like an elevator pitch?
Intense, sparkly, electro-pop with Freddie Mercury and Debbie Gibson, except they're Asian.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Playing in the same festival as Passion Pit, Chvrches, and Stars. Nick also proposed to his girlfriend there and now they're married.
Where can our readers listen in?
Search MOONWLK on Spotify. We have both our albums and a few new singles there. You can also see us on YouTube.
What's coming up next for the band?
More music videos, more new music, and evolution.
// Photography by Danielle Rueda, Talent— Moonwlk (Gabbi Buencamino and Nicholas Lazaro), Hair and Makeup by David Shawn "B" Delgado and Emerson Labay, Styling by Miel Cabanes.
Danielle Rueda is a Fashion and Lifestyle photographer from San Francisco. Since 2008, she has worked in Manila, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.