Manila, Philippines

Cheats formed in 2013 from the core duo of longtime bandmates Jim Bacarro and Manny Tanglao, initially recruiting a loose collective of musicians to collaborate on their original material. Eventually, a more-or-less stable lineup coalesced around them, including singers Saab Magalona and Candy Gamos, who added a feminine dynamic to their music, and the band played their first shows, generating buzz with every live outing. Soon, audiences were singing along to the band’s catchy, then-unrecorded songs, leaving venues with strained voices, and sweaty from all the dancing.

The band released its self-titled debut album in 2015, produced by scene veteran Ely Buendia (Eraserheads, Apartel, Pupil), to much acclaim. This was followed by invitations to play several festivals in 2016, including Singapore’s Laneway Festival in January, where they were the first Filipino act to perform since its inception in 2011, opening for Beach House, CHVRCHES, The 1975, and more. Cheats also shared the stage with the likes of Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie at that year’s Wanderland Festival in March, and with Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa at the Paradise International Music Festival in April.

In 2019, the band released a succession of well-received singles on Spotify, including “Milk,” “These Kids are Only Dreaming,” and “Machine Jr,” collectively known as the Ultramilk EP. Since the pandemic began, they have been busy working on new material and doing online performances for their fans. This year, Cheats have finally returned to the studio with producer Mikey Amistoso (Ciudad, Hannah+Gabi) to track their next releases since 2020’s interim single “Daze” and last February’s video single “Tawid,” their first Filipino-language track. The band hopes to return to local and international stages soon, to impart their energetic live show to indie rock enthusiasts from all over.


  • Indie Rock



  • Jim – Vocals, guitars, keys
  • Saab – Vocals
  • Candy – Vocals
  • Kyle – Guitars
  • Jason – Guitars
  • Manny – Bass
  • Enzo – Drums


  • Notable performances:
  • 7107 International Music Festival (2014)
  • Laneway Festival Singapore (2016) – first Filipino band to play
  • Wanderland (2016)
  • Paradise International Music Festival (2016)
  • Clockenflap Festival (Hong Kong, 2017)

Link to EPK




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