How TWICE fandom helped newcomer Rhodessa’s music career
Charmie Joy Pagulong – The Philippine Star
September 11, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — What started out as her fangirling over K-pop girl group TWICE led Viva Records newest music artist Rhodessa to write and churn out songs out of it.
Full name Rhodessa Marie Uy, the newbie musician’s deep affection for TWICE, particularly with one of its members Mina Myoi, has served as an inspiration for her to record own tracks, such as Kisame and Mina(mahal ko).
“Mina(mahal ko)is about TWICE. And yung mina, mina and then open and close parenthesis mahal ko because I love her (Mina),” she told select press, including The STAR, in an interview before performing at Viva Café. “That’s why I’m called delulu (delusional) because delulu talaga ako. But you can also interpret the song like (that feeling when) you haven’t moved on from your ex.”
The song Kisame, on the other hand, was created during the pandemic which stemmed from a fan fiction story about Mina on Twitter.
“I’ve read stories on Wattpad and Twitter about TWICE,” she recalled. “After I read it, I came up with an idea and that’s how Kisame started. It’s a story about bestfriends involving unrequited love. The other person doesn’t want to express his or her feelings because he or she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship.”
The Gen Z alternative pop artist became an avid fan of the girl group last year to the point that she began buying merchandise and spent quite an amount of money to fuel her fandom.
Rhodessa plans to attend TWICE’s concert here in Manila this September.
“Ini-imagine ko nga baka nasa concert baka hilahin ako bigla outside the Philippine arena. ‘Hala may kanta ka pala para sa akin ganun (referring to Mina).’ That’s why I’m also called ‘delulu.’ I will tell Mina, ‘I love you.’ Hahaha!’”
If ever she will get the chance to meet the K-pop artists, she will tell them how thankful she is for the group, “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have my (music) career.”
Being a hardcore ONCE (TWICE’s fandom name) herself, Rhodessa’s kisamenians (what her own fandom called themselves) are mostly composed of TWICE fans as well.
She told The STAR, “The fans of TWICE, yun din po yung mga fans ko. That’s why they always watch out for the songs that I am releasing because it is also about their biases (in the group).”
She recalled one cute encounter with her supporter, saying, “Someone sent me a fan mail for the first time. Pina-Lalamove niya sa bahay yung album ng TWICE. Because they know on social media that I am a fan of TWICE.
“It was my first time to receive such a gift and then it had a letter inside it. (I was) emotional. Nakaka-emo nung natanggap ko yun.” That particular fan also told her that she was inspired by Rhodessa’s music.
Besides TWICE, Rhodessa would like to share the stage with Filipino-English singer-songwriter beabadoobee and Moira dela Torre. She named Lizzy McAlpine and Gracie Abrams, Miley Cyrus and Sarah Geronimo as her musical influences and also Taylor Swift who inspired her to play and learn the guitars.
The 22-year-old Tourism Management graduate was discovered by Viva Records through Spotify’s Editorial Playlist.
She started uploading covers on YouTube when she was younger and auditioned in various singing competitions on television. “I started writing songs when I was in Grade 8. During the pandemic, I had enough time to focus (on songwriting). That was also the time I learned how to produce and release songs online,” she shared.
According to media release and citing data from Chart Data PH, the track Kisame has garnered the highest number of single-day streams in the history of Spotify Chart PH, surpassing Moira’s Paubaya with 454.3K streams in a single day.
It has also secured a No. 1 spot on Spotify’s Viral 50 Philippines list and was included on various Spotify playlists, such as, Hot Hits Philippines, Top 50 Philippines, and the Tatak Pinoy. Since its release in March 2023, Kisame has amassed 15 million listens. Rhodessa has also ranked No. 3 among the most-watched videos in the Philippines on YouTube.
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