It takes a while for the taxi driver to find '70s Bistro',
a small restaurant-venue located on one of the streets of
Quezon City. Not surprising really because it's absolutely
chucking it down and the rain is impairing both our vision.
The tornado season is late and so am I. A quick dash and payment
of the 150 peso entrance fee and I'm in the security of a
warm and welcoming environment. Not long after sitting down,
Mishka arrives. Introductions are made with the young British
Filipino artist who is causing her own storm.
The Filipino music industry has apparently, according to the
country's press, accepted her with open arms. Though why wouldn't
they? Several months earlier Mishka won the Awit award (The
Philippines equivalent of the Grammys) for 'Best Performance
By A New Female Recording Artist', beating multi-selling Filipino
artists such as Kitchie Nadal and Rachel Ann Go. The surprise,
if any, is that Mishka is a jazz artist.
The majority of the Philippines press appears to be concerned
about Mishka's origin, Filipino mother, British father, born
in Manila, part educated in England etc rather than on the
merit of her music. At times I get the impression that as
an artist, Mishka is being thought as a foreign import. So
does this bother Mishka that a lot is made from the fact that
she is a British Filipino?
"No," she says with a gentle smile. "It's what
Although her debut album 'God Bless This Child' is in essence
a Filipino album, when listening to it, it doesn't sound like
a Filipino album when compared to alternative Filipino artists
like Bamboo or Hale. Production-wise there is something different
"I think the reason was in the way that we approached
it. Although I can write and speak Tagalog none of it could
be done in Tagalog because it was being done on a jazz label.
That was the main reason why, the main aspect, the main concept.
With time I would like to incorporate more Asian influences."