HITC MANILA DAY 2 RECAP: Zedd, NIKI, eaJ, other acts immerse crowd in party mode


By Rona Amparo and Anna Barlam

Foreign acts made the weekend of festival-goers go wild despite rainy weather on Day 2 of 88rising’s “Head in the Clouds” Manila at the SMDC Festival Grounds in Parañaque on Saturday. 

Grammy-award winning electro-house DJ Zedd boosted the crowd’s energy with his upbeat songs, “Stay the Night,” “The Middle,” “Clarity,” and many more. 

Seeing the audience’s bouncy vibe throughout his setlist, Zedd expressed how grateful he is to play in front of an “unbelievable” crowd. “Manila has a special place in my heart,” he said, adding that it was in the Philippines where he got to perform in front of a big audience for the first time.

Roaring cheers welcomed Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI, who began her set with acoustic guitar and performed “Before” and “Keeping Tabs.” She closed the night with her R&B “Lowkey” and hit track “Every Summertime.” 

After more than an hour of putting the show on hold due to inclement weather, Korean singer-songwriter BIBI reopened the festival with her powerful dance moves and vocals, as she danced and sang to one of her latest releases, “Blade.” 

BIBI made the HITC crowd alive again with her hit track “The Weekend,” which made fans sing along during her enigmatic performance.

Korean-American soloist and former Day6 member eaJ took the HITC stage to the next level as he kicked off his set with unreleased song “Friendly Fire.” Eaj got closer to fans while playing “Car Crash.” 

Before ending his set, eaJ gave a shoutout to Filipino-Australian singer Ylona Garcia and R&B act August 08, whose HITC stages got canceled due to heavy rain. 

“Though it saddens me that my set didn’t push through, my number 1 priority will always be everyone’s safety. Just wanted to take the time to apologize and thank everyone who put in the time and effort to see me perform. I promise to perform for you soon. Please stay safe and take care,” she tweeted on Sunday. 

August 08 took to Twitter to express his appreciation to eaJ for acknowledging him during the show. The American musician also made the announcement on social media regarding his canceled set.

Among the roster on Day 2 of the international music fest is Denise Julia, the sole Filipino act, who serenaded fans with her R&B tracks and covers. 

The 20-year-old Filipino musician rose to fame with her single titled “NVMD,” which became prominently featured on TikTok.

Denise also swooned fans over her soulful renditions of Kehlani’s “Distraction” and Pussycat Dolls’ “Stickwitu.”

Other foreign acts such as DJ E-Man, rappers Spence Lee and Guapdad 4000, musician Elephante, and folk singer Akini Jing all made a mark to HITC audiences with their feel-good setlists. 

The pioneer two-day international music festival may have ended, but it left the HITC crowd on cloud nine with 88rising’s roster of local and international artists that revived the youthful party vibes in Manila. 

Latest Chika STAR
Latest Chika STAR
Latest Chika is PSN and Philippine STAR's online entertainment hub | Your one stop shop for the latest showbiz news, trending, viral stories, and more!