UAE’s youngest, loudest girl group is composed of cat-loving Pinays

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UAE's youngest, loudest girl group is composed of cat-loving Pinays

Published February 3, 2017 5:01pm

By LUCKY MAE F. QUILAO

There are three things that make ElectroCats stand out from other Filipino musical groups in the United Arab Emirates: one, they are all young (read: below 20); two, they are children of OFWs; and three, they all love cats.

In fact, it is their love for cats and electronic music that made them come up with their group’s monicker.

“The idea of calling themselves ‘ElectroCats’ came from Ylaijah. ‘Electro’ since they are influenced by electro music and want to electrify the audience with their sound, and ‘Cats’ [since] every member is a cat lover,” said Chris Cueva, father of Isabelle Cueva, the group’s drummer, through email.

Aside from the 12-year-old Isabelle, other members of the group are Sheena Mae Celis, 15, rhythm guitarist; Heart Ryan Evangelista, 14, lead guitarist; Yesha Pardo, 12, vocalist; Alex Faustino, 17, bassist and band leader; and Ylaijah Faustino, 16, keyboardist.

Alex and Ylaijah are products of Blended Learning Center, a home-school program in the Philippines.

According to Chris, an insurance underwriter in Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe Ltd., as parents they make it sure that music will not affect their children’s studies.

“If it is exam week, there will be no practice at all,” he said. “For them, studies come first. So they concentrate in school during weekdays and band practice during weekends.”

“For us parents, we also have to manage the time between our work and them. Sheena’s mom works as a nurse in NMC hospital. Heart’s dad works as an engineer in Brookfield Multiplex. Yesha’s dad works as an IT engineer in GE. Alex & Ylaijah’s dad works as a freelance artist,” Chris added.

Before the group was formed, the teens were into different activities.

“Isabelle, Heart, and Sheena are together for years as members of the dance group D’Fashionista Girls. Yesha has been doing solo act as a balladeer. Alex and Ylaijah are siblings from a family of musicians,” Chris said.

Each of the teen’s parents, though, are friends with one another.

“So when the teens realized that they can form a band, they decided to go for it,” Chris said.

For the members, matching their individual schedules is the major challenge in being in a band. Also, their age.

“They are also restricted to perform in many venues as it does not allow people under the age of 21,” Chris said.

But the teens, he said, are firm. “For them, playing music is their passion. So wherever they will be in the future, they will continue playing. And they wish they are still together in that future,” Chris said. —KBK, GMA News

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