Cross-cultural and inter-community understanding are the hallmarks of Filipino Hip Hop duo SNRG’s music and purpose. Their name standing for “Some Never Really Get” - or the consonants that sound out “synergy” - are two brothers named Beau and Aaron Canlas. Both were born in America and strive to build musical bridges over the valleys that metaphorically separate people across oceans.
They want people to not just fill in, but “feel in the blank” to learn more about each other. For the purposes of this post, the brothers are identified by their first names.
“We may truly never understand one another,” Beau said referring to the communities SNRG wants to bring together. “But that should never deter us from attempting to connect with others that seem different.”
2019 marks ten years of these brothers writing and creating together, and they are celebrating with the US-release of their new album called The Mixed Ape. According to them, this album will show more of their artistic history along with another side of their artistry, and differs from what’s in their debut album Never Home, released in the Philippines.
“I always loved the presentation of performing, but had my start as a model,” Aaron said about his beginnings before SNRG. He recalled singing classic 90’s R&B songs by Boyz II Men at his family’s request, then getting into writing poetry and moving into hip hop because of his brother’s encouragement.
When asked about his start, Beau - who also worked for the ABS-CBN network in the Philippines as a host with a brief stint in acting - said “I taught [Aaron] how to read, but be taught me how to write.”
Together they perform both in the Philippines and all across the United States, have several music videos out online, and actively interact with their supporters and fellow artists on social media. They plan to bring that feel into their CD release show and party for “The Mixed Ape by Missed Apes” this Saturday, March 16 starting at 9pm at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia.
“Fans will get to witness the live creation of an SNRG mix tape. A collection of artists will perform songs that inspired them, along with original content, in a round robin style, which will be mixed by the DJ,” Beau explained.
The brothers revealed that The Mixed Ape will be a raw, experimental showcase of their content. Their goal is to share their cultural history, artistic influences in music, and what influences them as people. The audience should pay attention to the song “The M Word” when they listen to the album.
“It could be controversial because [the song] addresses the colonial influences of Spain, the US, and Japan on the Philippines, and even though some of it is in Tagalog (Filipino), I want people to be moved by the music,” Beau said.
Both men also expressed their aspiration to help unite the Filipino community via their new album, keeping with their mission as SNRG.
“The sun never sets on the Filipino because there are Filipino communities all over the world,” Aaron said. “Instead of being divided, we need to work as a team because what we can achieve together is incredible.”
Beau added that their job as artists is to “spark conversation to topics that haven’t been fully addressed or acknowledged” to keep diversity and inclusion in all its forms in the forefront of their audience’s minds.
The Mixed Ape and the event this weekend is just a snapshot of the bigger picture and they look forward to seeing as many supporters at Jammin’ Java as possible. Join them as they bring soul to our city, and celebrate what Some Never Really Get.