A Look Back at Filipino-American R&B Music of the 1990s

We’re kicking off the 3rd Season of Undiscovered SF with a Throwback Edition of your favorite night market dedicated to Filipino-American culture, and you may be asking yourself… why? Well, if you grew up in the Bay Area in the 90’s, it was quite a special place. Of course, fashion was different, with girls rockin’ pumped up hair w/ aqua net, and fellas rode around cars that went BOOM... But there was a scene bubblin that would spawn a new generation of Fil-Am R&B singers coming out of the Bay at that time. Artists, like our headliner Jocelyn Enriquez, would pave the way, becoming one of the first Filipino Americans to sign a major label record deal. More acts would follow, and it became common to hear Filipino American freestyle and R&B music acts, like Jocelyn Enriquez, Kai, Pinay, OneVoice, Buffy, and Jaya (to name a few) playing at family parties, cotillions, night clubs, concert stages, and even the radio. Here’s some of our favorite groups to come out of that era:

One of the first Filipino-Americans to sign a major label record deal, Jocelyn Enriquez’s 1997 album Jocelyn was released on Tommy Boy Records. Fueled by the infectious freestyle club hits "Do You Miss Me?" and "A Little Bit of Ecstasy," Jocelyn hit No. 12 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

The boy band Kai, whose slow jam "Say You'll Stay" could be heard at every Filipino wedding and cotillion in the 90’s, reached No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998 and was the second Filipino American act to release an album on a major label, after Jocelyn Enriquez.

In 1993, University of California, Berkeley, students Irma Laxamana, Maylene Briones, Angelica Abiog McMurtry and Jocelyn Enriquez formed Pinay Divas. A Filipino American version of En Vogue. Jocelyn eventually split from the group to go solo. Continuing on as Pinay, they had a hit song "Is It Real?"

One Voice (styled as OneVo1ce) is a Filipino American R&B girl group that originated from Vallejo, California. The group is well-known for their 1999 single When U Think About Me.

Other popular acts from that era include: Buffy, Jaya, M:G, One Vision, DNH, Forte, Pure Harmony, Simple, Julie Plug, Fatima, Passion, Legaci, among many others.

To get you ready for Undiscovered SF Season 3 Opener, check out our playlist on Spotify and listen to this throwback mix by Proof.

Don’t Miss Freestyle Queen Jocelyn Enriquez Performing Live!

FREE Sat. July 20th 4pm-10pm @ UNDSCVRD Creative Night Market w/Triple threat djs + CRSB + More! click for info

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Undiscovered July 2019 CRSB

Written by Marky Enriquez