Hear a live recording of August Wahh’s ‘I Know What I Want’ on Island City

Photos by Maine Manalansan


Four months ago, Island City launched their very first video on YouTube. It was a live recording of Fern.’s Only You at the neon-lit attic of Casa Reid. James Reid and the folks of Careless Music came up with this idea to introduce new musicians who aren’t necessarily signed by a label. What’s even greater about the project is that they go above and beyond to look for talents outside Manila like Cavite-based rapper DB and Cebu-based artist Jetter.

For this week though, they signed up Sabrina Augustine Haw a.k.a. August Wahh to perform I Know What I Want. Like DB and Jetter, she also started her music career in her hometown. Born in General Santos, August wrote her first song when she was around seven years old. “Not professionally, but I always wrote songs and poems,” she shares. “I think my first recorded song ever was in 6th grade.” And since then, she’s been constantly finding ways to keep on improving her art whether as a solo artist or as part of a group. 

Contrary to popular belief, August Wahh isn’t a newcomer in the local music scene. 2010 marked the first time she performed in Manila and a year later, she became part of neo-soul band Chocolate Grass. While in the band, she already flexed her songwriting muscle through Roots, a track she wrote that was later released as a Chocolate Grass song.

Young blood: August Wahh started writing songs when she was just 7 years old.

With a soulful voice and a hint of vulnerability in her songwriting, it’s not hard to see how August cultivated a following that also bare their soul to her. This is the type of openness that brings a different level of humanity in her music. It’s so unique that it even caught the attention of international artists. In 2017, August opened for the ultimate soul queen Erykah Badu and earlier this year, she co-opened Daniel Caesar’s solo concert with her collaborator crwn. 

Aside from opening iconic concerts, she’s been taking over the Metro Manila scene with crwn, performing songs from “Labyrinth,” an EP they released this year, other tracks in their archives. This week, they’ll be performing at Wonderfruit, an arts and music festival in Thailand. It’s truly a vibe to behold. People singing Sahara, swaying softly with their beers in hand, just living the greatest part of their youth. If you still haven’t heard her perform live, then at least we have Island City for that. 



Check out a live recording of August Wahh’s performance of I Know What I Want on Island City’s youtube channel.

#culture #feature #friday #music

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