Here’s something you don’t usually encounter — a Filipino folk musician! Hailing from Pampanga, Ian Penn is one of the few modern folk singers out there who’s keeping the genre alive here in the Philippines. His first single, “Headback Home” which you can listen here, was released last October 2014 under Lilystars Records Philippines. The single, composed of sounds from the harmonica and the guitar, offers a very indie and rustic feel that will take you back to a scene with nothing but the mountains and a warm summer breeze.

     We had a chat with the man himself about folk music, OPM, and him as a musician. Check out the interview below:

What interested you in the indie folk genre? Who would you consider your influences?
Ian Penn: I should say Bob Dylan & Jack Kerouac. Jack wasn’t a musician but in his words I find myself curious.

What do you think you’re contributing to the music scene in the Philippines?
IP: A different genre. Folk music. 

Did you have any setbacks or were there people who prevented you from making a career out of the music you made?
IP: I always thought It would’ve been nice to have band mates, to perform and be known as a group. So I searched for people, and that waiting on people sort of held me back. To be in a band means you have to have that same commitment and desire. And I don’t have that with anyone yet. You really can do it on your own, I say, and here I am.

How did you know establishing a career in music was your calling? 
IP: It just is. Its not like it’s always been a secret desire. Songs were in my head and people are responding to my SOS, doors are opening, and so I’m just living it.

What is your main purpose for creating music? 
IP: To have a better way in killing time.

How is the music scene in the Philippines, do you think its a good place for those just entering the business? 
IP: It’s not. If you think about making money all of your life, you wouldn’t see life. If you decide to enter the music scene, you do it for the music. You do it for you.

Describe the Filipino’s taste in music. 
IP: I can’t generalize it. What I see on my own is that we’re more interested in the foreign acts rather than our own homegrown music, but not all.

Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
IP: Anybody in the industry.

If you could play a festival anywhere in the world, where or what would it be? 
IP: Glastonbury? Coachella? These two.

What’s next for Ian Penn?
IP: He’s gonna release his first EP called ‘Wild Abandon’.  It’s gonna be out before August and he’s going on a nationwide road tour with Dragonfly Collector this year.

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