Photos by Mohd Sarajan
It’s raining outside, and you’re all snuggled up in your bedroom contemplating your recent life decisions. You feel like crying, but you’re just not there yet. You’re looking for something that will make you feel things, whether it’s sadness, nostalgia, or heartache. Maybe, what you’re looking for is Megumi Acorda.
Megumi is a dream-pop and shoegaze musician who started producing her music by uploading SoundCloud demos. Aside from being part of the indie-pop band The Strange Creatures, she also plays her demos live with a different band. There’s Jerros Dolino on drums, Bijan Gorospe on bass, and Kevin Ingco and Evee Simon on guitar. Collectively, they’re also called Megumi Acorda. The band brings Megumi’s demos to life as they give dreamy dimensions to her honest songwriting.
At the Almost Crimes: For Tracy Hyde and Cosmic Child gig last Sept. 21, we talked to Megumi Acorda and asked them about their journey as a band, the process of making their songs, and what it’s like to be part of multiple bands.
Young STAR: Hi Megumi! You were a solo artist before you were in a band, how did you convince your bandmates to play with you?
Evee Simon: She forced us.
Megumi Acorda: I composed a long Facebook message. I sent it to Jerros first since he was the first one who showed interest in playing alongside me. He said, “If you ever decide to play this live, kunin mo ako.” Then, I ‘copy-pasted’ my message to the rest of them.
Bijan Gorospe: I remember telling you, “Uy! Pa-bass ako!”
Megumi: He just commented under a post.
Bijan:: Our separate bands usually play gigs together. I saw her SoundCloud. I liked that her songs were shoegaze and dream pop. I told her, “If ever you’d like to play your songs full band, I’m game to play bass.” Then, years later, ayun copy-paste.
Coming from another band, what’s it like to join another band?
Bijan: Some of us are in multiple bands. Jerros and I are into different types of music styles. My previous band used to change styles, but it got boring doing it with the same people. It was refreshing to play with different people, different dynamics, and different chemistry.
How would you describe your working environment?
Megumi: I feel like I need to be in a specific headspace even when I’m just recording. It needs to be quiet. I can’t schedule my recordings like “I need to record this by tomorrow,” I’m not like that.
What’s your process in making a song?
Evee: She sends the demo, then we play it live.
Megumi: I make the demos. Then, I record the instruments individually. For example, for Evee’s guitar part, I make the part that I want her to play louder. I do the same for the other instruments.
What would you consider to be your most popular song?
Megumi: Probably my old demo U Forgot to Say Goodbye. I think it has the most plays, but also because maybe it’s the oldest.
What was the inspiration from that song?
Megumi: Back in college, maybe five or six years ago, one of the closest people to me passed away. I wrote this song to cope with grief.
How do you picture your audience listening to your music?
Megumim: In the bedroom, wearing headphones while it’s raining outside.
Bijan: When they’re sad. When they want to cry, but they won’t. Pang-edge.
Jerros Dolino: “Iiyak mo na yan!” It’s good to just let it all out.
Megumi: I want my music to be a safe space where other people would be vulnerable to it.
What’s the difference between being a solo artist and being in an actual band?
Megumi: Of course, they have ideas that I’m not familiar with. They contribute ideas and suggestions in arrangements. Even if it’s just a setlist, I get so much from them.
Bijan: Plus, it’s better to play when you have others with you. You can do it on your own, but it’s better if you’re playing with your friends.
So how did you know you were ready to be a part of a band?
Megumi: I wanted to make an EP, but I wasn’t confident with my bass skills or my drums skills. I wanted to get people who were better than me to record the EP. They are all better than me.
Evee: But she the one who does everything, so sino mas magaling ngayon!
Listen to Megumi Acorda on Spotify and on SoundCloud.