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Yosha is a 4-piece funk-fusion band from Manila known for their songs that feature exceptional instrumentalism. All members of Yosha have extensive musical backgrounds, and together they create polyrhythmic compositions that sprawl across genres and moods.
As a band, Yosha aims to produce what they call “good Filipino music” without bounds and stereotypes, and their output speaks loudly of this desire.
Yosha was formed in 2008 by bassist Karel Honasan, singer Yosha Honasan, drummer Michael Alba, and keyboardist Nikko Rivera. Bonded by a strong love for music, the band formed and pieced together a style that’s impossible to mimic by any other. Being skilled musicians, the members use their collective expertise to create a soothing-yet-jolting kind of funk music.
“I could refer to all the technical approaches and musical experiences we’ve done together, but in a nutshell, we warmly bring out the best in each other,” said keyboardist Nikko Rivera in 2010 feature about the band.
To this day, members of Yosha continue to be strong forces in the Philippine music scene. All of the members have side gigs and projects as session players, musical directors, and producers.
Being remarkably skilled individual musicians, it is no surprise how the members have effortlessly mastered the onstage chemistry and intricate arrangements that they are known for. Yosha’s sound could be labeled as progressive funk-fusion, with emphasis on soulful vocals, funky bass lines and frenetic drum beats.
“Emotion is a very universal thing, where most people can easily react to,” said Honasan in an article by Manila Times. “Your audience will be able to grasp what you do no matter how complex the arrangements of your songs are.”
Aside from their original compositions, Yosha is known for covering funk and soul classics during their live performances.
Yosha Album and Songlist Discography
In 2008, Yosha independently released their debut album, “Baby Steps,” containing 11 groove-driven tracks that blend elements of nu jazz, soul, and funk. Lyrical themes are often about romance, injecting an emotional aspect to the band’s technical nature.
Baby Steps (2008)
2. Another Love
4. Sabi Sabi
7. My Love
8. Words Can’t Say
9. With You
10. Bagong Araw
Other Releases / Compilation Albums:
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Yosha Honasan - Vocals
Karel Honasan - Bass
Michael Alba - Drums
Nikko Rivera - Keyboards
Vocalist Yosha Honasan graduated from the Center of Pop Music, where she was classmates with R&B singer, Kyla. Yosha introduced her vocal chops when she became the undefeated grand champion in GMA 7’s Tanghalan ng Kampeon in 1992, where she won the competition singing only jazz songs.
Aside from fronting the band, Yosha has made a name for herself as a premiere vocal coach and is regarded as one of the most sought after back up vocalists for big name Filipino musicians.
Karel Honasan was a scholar and a performance major specializing in electric bass from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Honasan is also an esteemed musical director for Philippine R&B superstar, Kyla, Ylona Garcia, and X-Factor Champion, KZ Tandingan.
Honasan has an extensive music experience outside of Yosha, having arranged and produced for Gary Valenciano, and international acts such as Brian McKnight and Bob Minzter. Aside from all of these achievements, Honasan was also a touring bassist for Kitchie Nadal and Barbie Almalbis, and was a first call session bass player for high profile Filipino Acts Regine Velasquez, Sarah Geronimo, Nikki Gil, and Yeng Constantino, to name a few.
Drummer and music educator Mike Alba is considered to be one of the most skillful drummers in Philippine music. Alba majored in drums and graduated from the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA), and has toured all around the world. Alba also worked as a music scorer and musical director for local movies and television shows. Some of his work can be heard in movies like Enteng Kabisote, Dobol Trobol, and Love on Line.
Founding his own drum school called M.A.D. in 2010, Alba aims to constantly elevate the integrity of drumming as an art from, offering modules to drummers who wish to improve their skills.
Keyboardist Nikko Rivera is a well-known music director in the country, having worked on all the episodes and seasons of The Voice Philippines, The Voice Kids, and some episodes of Pilipinas Got Talent. While his peers and batchmates were probably still in high school, Rivera enrolled in the UP College of Music at age 15 and was granted a full scholarship.
Rivera earned his Diploma in Creative and Performing Music Arts in 2004 and immediately toured and played at every jazz festival. Rivera later became a classical pianist for Manila Symphony Orchestra. The prodigious pianist continues to perform with the best session players in the music industry, and travels in concerts across Asia, Europe, and United States.
Other Band Member Related Information
All members of Yosha are experienced and acclaimed session players. Most recently, all members signed up to play for X Factor Philippines grand champion, KZ Tandingan.
Yosha, Karel, and Nikko are regular studio session players at Tower of Doom Music, and have collaborated or have been featured on several albums. Some of these albums are “Romantico” by Kamikazee, and WilaBaliw’s upcoming material.
The band opened for American jazz bassist and composer, Esperanza Spalding in March 2009. The show was held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.
Yosha Music Videos and Other Media
The band released three Tower Session performance videos, “Fire Rhythm,” “Tukso,” and “You”.
Live Performance Videos (Playlist)
Official Music Videos (Playlist)
Official Lyric Videos & Other Content (Playlist)
Yosha Awards And Recognition
Though the band has not released too much music on their own, the individual members have all been associated with several critically-acclaimed Filipino music releases. Listed below are some notable awards.
Awit Awards (2013)
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