paolo tiong­son AKA poor taste

When Paulo Tiong­son walks into a room, there’s no chance in hell you won’t no­tice.

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In true mil­len­nial fash­ion, some In­sta­gram stalk­ing has to be done in order to get a glimpse of aulo Tiong­son’s life n so­cial me­dia, peo­ple know him as oor Taste a party go­ing, ucci wear­ing guy who lives life one ad­ven­ture or mis­ad­ven­ture at a time ne look at his care­lessly cu­rated mix of pho­tographs and you might as­sume he’s the prover­bial cool guy that’s up to no good ut if you’re ever lucky enough to spend at least 10 min­utes of your life with the guy, you’ll quickly re­al­ize that the only kind of per­son he is is the kind that will prob­a­bly prove you wrong nd in this case, that’s not a bad thing at all

oor Taste, it turns out, is ex­actly what his In­sta­gram bio tells you: more than meets the eye ith a name that is both a sar­cas­tic way of im­ply­ing he has great taste and a sub­tle way of re­mind­ing him­self that he spits verses for the kids on the street that have no ght­ing chance, oor Taste is a man on a mis­sion hat his pho­tos don’t tell you is that he is a rap­per and a mu­sic pro­ducer who is cur­rently col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal artists such as the cur­rently em­bat­tled Cur­ti­smith, and of course, his good friend, mul­ti­me­dia star and man-of-the-mo­ment James Reid s Reid’s mu­sic pro­ducer, he is heav­ily in­volved in his re­brand­ing, in­sist­ing that there is no bet­ter time than now to change the face—or the sound—of as we know it

I’m not say­ing I don’t like as it is there’s al­ways a place for that, aulo says ut I’m re­ally sick of the sys­tem re­strict­ing it to be only that ecause no one in the in­dus­try is brave enough to take a stand, and [to] like, just put some­thing good out there

aulo be­lieves it’s nally time to challenge the way the tra­di­tion­al­ist cul­ture has in uenced the way Filipinos con­sume mu­sic, and to al­low Reid to re­lease ma­te­rial that’s true to his sound and to his vi­sion [ eo­ple here] lis­ten to to Justin ieber and rake and ryson Tiller and The eeknd—all these things that James Reid ac­tu­ally has al­ways wanted and has al­ways sounded like deep in­side, he con­tin­ues I just helped the boy un­lock what was al­ways there tand­ing rm in his con­vic­tions, he’s set his sights on a dream and will stop at noth­ing un­til he sees it through

Like a kid in a candy store, his eyes light up any time the con­ver­sa­tion shifts to mat­ters of mu­sic Cit­ing anye est and Jimi en­drix as his main in uences, he looks up to artists whom he be­lieves are de­serv­ing of be­ing called pre­cisely that: artists I like peo­ple that change ev­ery­thing about the world, he says I love peo­ple who are re­ally down to say ‘I’m dif­fer­ent’ and are un­apolo­getic [about it] They’re like, ‘I be­lieve in my dif­fer­ence and I be­lieve it rep­re­sents some­thing big­ger than me, and I’m will­ing to take as many bul­lets and as many punches as it takes un­til these peo­ple un­der­stand [me]

For aulo, mu­sic is much more than just string­ing words and melody to­gether, and putting it out there for other peo­ple to en­joy usic is art ak­ing mu­sic is telling your own story and be­ing fear­less enough to share it with peo­ple that might not un­der­stand Re­spect creative peo­ple and the world will be a bet­ter place [ anye] just yells all the time and stuff, but his mes­sage is good nd now that peo­ple are start­ing to get it, we’re grow­ing e’re be­com­ing more co­he­sive and univer­sal

At the end of the day, de­spite all the chal­lenges he is up against, his ob­jec­tive is sim­ple: to make mu­sic, and to make it count

aulo Tiong­son in Aus­tralia might wake up in the morn­ing, catch a one-hour train to the city to go work eight to 12 hours at a re­tail job, um, you know, sell­ing clothes… be­ing a sales as­sis­tant, he says of his life down un­der

The more aulo talks about his life in Aus­tralia, the harder it is to be­lieve that he is the same guy called poor taste on so­cial me­dia hile days in el­bourne typ­i­cally end with him head­ing home af­ter a day of work or him head­ing out for a beau­ti­ful night and a cou­ple of deep con­ver­sa­tions, his time in Manila is spent work­ing hard and play­ing even harder I was say­ing to peo­ple in Aus­tralia, ‘ eah, I’m a lit­tle bit known in Manila,’ and stuff like that, ’cause I thought, you know, I’ve made a lit­tle bit of a name for my­self here I’ve worked a lot, I’ve met a lot of peo­ple, et cetera,’ he ex­plains

pend­ing a day in aulo Tiong­son’s shoes here in Manila means nd­ing your­self hit­ting the stu­dio—and by stu­dio, I re­ally just mean a room with a lap­top and some lue­tooth speak­ers in the third oor of James Reid’s house—in the morn­ing and work­ing on some game-chang­ing tracks, and then spend­ing the rest of the day with fel­low cre­atives ei­ther at a photo shoot or a gig And then, of course, you end the day with your tight-knit crew, par­ty­ing un­til the wee hours of the night, al­most for­get­ting that a new work day awaits hat­ever each day’s ac­tiv­i­ties may be, one thing’s for sure: aulo will al­ways see it as a source of fun and cre­ativ­ity

At this point in his life, aulo has moved around enough to know that home isn’t about where you are it’s de ned by all the rea­sons that make you want to stay there At 22, he has al­ready lived on three dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents, and de­spite hav­ing spent most of his life in the and in Aus­tralia, he still be­lieves that the hilip­pines is where he should be, at least for the next few years This is home I have some­thing im­por­tant to do here, aulo ex­plains Although he be­lieves he will even­tu­ally nd him­self back in Amer­ica to make waves in the mu­sic scene, there is an over­whelm­ing sense of mean­ing and pur­pose that he gets from be­ing in Manila The goal, ul­ti­mately, is to see the day when lo­cal ta­lent is nally rec­og­nized on a global scale, and to be one of the peo­ple who helped turn this dream into re­al­ity e gotta go play on the world stage and [we] don’t just have to play, we gotta go win ot that life’s about win­ning, but [it’s] about do­ing your best e don’t re­al­ize how well we can do if we just get our [selves] to­gether, he adds

To say that aulo Tiong­son has been there and done that would be an un­der­state­ment I put three and a half years of my life on the line I dropped out of col­lege, I went against ev­ery­one— my mom, my dad, my friends [There were] so many peo­ple who doubted me, but I went af­ter this dream that might not even ma­te­ri­al­ize, he shares

The jour­ney that led to where he is now was far from ideal, but he does not re­gret a se­cond of it ow with plans of study­ing again via a cloud cam­pus, a well-thought-out de­ci­sion that would al­low him to study from any­where in the world while he con­tin­ues to work on his mu­sic, it seems aulo has ev­ery­thing gured out hen asked if he had a nugget of wis­dom he’d want to pass on to the aulo from 10 years ago, he has this to say: Just do it on’t even quit I would tell my­self, ‘I know you al­ready know this, but you’re gonna do just ne ou’re gonna do some­thing great Just keep your feet on the ground and don’t ever lose touch with what’s re­ally im­por­tant ’

ut what about all the other young ones out there hat could aulo Tiong­son pos­si­bly im­part to them? “If you have to ask, you al­ready know If you’re ask­ing your­self whether you like some­body, whether you want to pur­sue a cer­tain ca­reer, whether you want to make this de­ci­sion with your clothes, your hair color, your iden­tity, or what­ever… ou al­ready know, he says when asked about the most im­por­tant thing life has taught him “If you go to your deep­est in­stincts and your deep­est pas­sions, you’re able to achieve things much greater than what you could nat­u­rally con­trive o go deep be­cause it will make you and oth­ers way hap­pier than you could imag­ine Love deeply, he adds

It looks like they were right af­ter all— this oor Taste kid is bad news hile he’s busy drop­ping beats and f-bombs, he’s also chal­leng­ing so much of what we be­lieve in, and ght­ing to change so much of what we’re ac­cus­tomed to ut maybe, just maybe, in a world where peo­ple move in pat­terns and mu­sic be­gins to fade into the back­ground, this dar­ing, devil-may-care dis­rup­tion is pre­cisely what we need

o could oor Taste be the next big thing? If you have to ask, you al­ready know

COT­TON ON cap, shirt, and pants, UP Town Cen­ter PROUDRACE jacket, proudrace.com

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