SWENOY: Bridging Cultures Through Music in Sweden

SWENOY: Bridging Cultures Through Music in Sweden

In the heart of Scandinavia, far from their tropical homeland, a group of talented Filipino musicians have found a way to connect with their roots and bring the vibrant energy of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) to Sweden. This is the story of Swenoy, a band that started with a dream in 2016 and has grown into a beloved musical bridge between cultures.

The Birth of Swenoy

Jerry Rariza and Edmar Morillo are the visionaries behind Swenoy. One evening (isang gabi) , Jerry and Edmar were enjoying a fun drink, reminiscing about their love for music and the joy of performing. As the night unfolded, the idea of forming a band was tossed around, initially just a whimsical thought fueled by camaraderie and laughter. By the next day, what started as a lighthearted conversation turned into a serious endeavor—they found themselves ordering musical instruments, ready to embark on a new musical adventure.

They then embarked on their musical journey in Sweden with a clear mission: to create a band that could seamlessly blend the rich musical traditions of the Philippines. Their dedication and passion led to the formation of Swenoy in 2016. However, it wasn't until 2018 that the band officially adopted the name "Swenoy" and began their public performances.

The name Swenoy perfectly encapsulates the essence of the band. “Swe” stands for Sweden, their adopted country, and “noy”, from the word Pinoy,  is a colloquial term for Filipino. Together, Swenoy symbolizes the harmonious blend of these two cultures, reflected in their music and their identity.

The First Performance

Swenoy’s official debut took place on a memorable day—Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018. This performance was more than just a musical event; it was a celebration of love, not only between people but also for music and cultural connection. Valentine's Day has since become a significant date for the band, marking their public introduction.

The Band Members

As of today, Swenoy comprises four talented and passionate members:


Jerry Rariza: Vocals and guitar. Originated from Bicol, Jerry is the band leader, and the visionary behind Swenoy. The founder and driving force of Swenoy, Jerry’s vision has guided the band since its inception.


Moncliff Lee: Hailing from Dumaguete City, Moncliff is the bassist. His dynamic bass lines add depth and energy to Swenoy’s music, providing a solid foundation for their performances.


Riza Baustista: From Manila, Riza’s versatile vocals are crucial to Swenoy’s appeal. Her ability to convey emotion through her singing helps create a powerful connection with the audience.


Edmar Morillo: The drummer from Biliran City also the visionary behind Swenoy alongside Jerry. Edmar’s rhythms provide the heartbeat of Swenoy’s music. His beats add complexity and drive, enhancing the overall musical experience.



The Musical Journey

Swenoy’s repertoire includes a diverse range of genres, from OPM covers to rock and other contemporary styles. Their music is a celebration of their Filipino heritage, infused with the influences they’ve encountered in Sweden. This unique blend allows them to create a sound that is both fresh and familiar, resonating deeply with audiences from different backgrounds.

Their performances are characterized by energetic delivery and a genuine connection with the audience. Whether playing in small venues or large stages, Swenoy always aims to create an inclusive and engaging experience.


Connecting Filipinos in Sweden

For many Filipinos living in Sweden, Swenoy’s music is more than just entertainment; it’s a lifeline to their culture and community. The band understands their role in keeping the Filipino spirit alive in a foreign land. Through their performances, Swenoy brings together Filipinos, offering a sense of belonging and a reminder of home.

Swenoy’s mission goes beyond music. They aim to create a space where Filipinos in Sweden can connect, celebrate their heritage, and share their experiences. Their concerts often become gatherings of the Filipino community, fostering friendships and strengthening cultural ties.

The Future of Swenoy

As Swenoy continues to grow and evolve, they remain committed to their mission of bridging cultures through music. With each performance, they bring a piece of the Philippines to Sweden, sharing their unique sound with the world.

Looking ahead, fans can expect more exciting music, performances, and community events from Swenoy. Their journey is a testament to the power of music to transcend borders and unite people from different cultures. Swenoy is not just a band; they are a symbol of cultural fusion, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the Filipino people.

Keep an eye on Swenoy as they continue to make waves in the music scene, connecting hearts and cultures one song at a time.

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