| May 9, 2011
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This month, Perpetual Change introduces yet another artist who is new to the site — Maganda.  She is a musician, singer, model, stylist and comic designer who is currently living in New York City.

She is the lead vocalist for the band Shibuya Station (which was once called Maganda, and should not be confused with other acts currently out there who are using the name in its many variations.).  The band changed its name in 2011 and decided to take a new direction in its music, image, and style.  They have performed a lot in southern California at events such as Anime expo, Animation On Display and Tune In Tokyo. There is one digital single available called The City At Night (featuring Daniel Blak), which was released on iTunes last year.

Maganda herself is a graduate of the Art and Design School in New York, and is continuing studies at The School of Visual Arts, Pratt and Parson School of Design.  She is also involved in a webcomic called Luceria Chkronicles, a brand new project for her, which has updates found on  On top of all this, Maganda also has extensive modeling experience.

Perpetual Change was able to obtain the following interview with this very busy entertainer, and it’s our pleasure to introduce Maganda to our readers.

TGForum: I’m intrigued by the name Maganda. What I found in researching it is that it refers to he original human female, as told in Philippine mythology. What significance does the name have for you?

Maganda: The name Maganda means traditionally a “beautiful person,” or more specifically a “beautiful female.” I believe the terminology derives from an old folklore or something of that sort. I was born with this name. It is kind of a long emotional  story why I was named Maganda.  My mom decided not to have me; however she couldn’t find herself to have an abortion and kept me. Once she saw me, she called me beautiful and felt so happy, ecstatic and relieved she did not go through with not having me. Henceforth, my name is Maganda.

The name has strong significance in its story alone. I, however, like Maganda and want to use the word in order to spread the message that everyone is beautiful.  I love beauty and am inspired by beauty in all aspects of life.

TGF: Apparently, the name has also been used by other bands. Have you had any problems because of this?

M: I think because it is an adjective, it would be a lot harder to find myself online. I have encountered minor problems such as web search. However, this is my name and I will continue to use it.

TGF: I don’t know any of your background, so do you mind filling in some blanks?

M: I was born in the Philippines, raised in New York City until I was 17. Then I traveled to Los Angeles to pursue a career in art. I have Filipino, Spanish, Hispanic, and Italian ancestry. In other words, I am mixed.  Currently, I am back in New York City to pursue more of my musical interests.

I have experience in choir from my church and chorus throughout my school education. I also have been taking vocal lessons and can play keyboards by ear.

Growing us as a New Yorker in the ’90s was a very surreal experience. There would be block parties with independent DJs  sampling and spinning their old records outside in front of my apartment complex. I would also hear my mom who used to disco in the ’70s (and met my father at  Studio 54) play for me the great disco legends like Donna Summer, to ’90s house like Ru Paul.  In other words, I grew up very diverse and very new York about my music. When I co-wrote The City At Night, I really wanted to  evoke the sound that blended all these styles and even incorporated Japanese sounds into the mix. It really hits close to home when I hear the song played. I am also probably one of the most obsessed Kylie and Madonna fans!

TGF: How old were you when you first stared dealing with your gender issues?

M: Ever since I was five years old, I always knew about myself. It is a very private and way too long story I prefer not to disclose.  However, I live my life as a woman. I have been extremely fortunate to have a support net of family, friends, and co-workers who are with me 100% on my transition.

TGF: Why the recent move back to NYC from the Los Angeles area?

M: I moved to Los Angeles when I just turned 18 because I was inspired by Anime, video games, and J-pop culture, and wanted to be a part of that industry. There I met producer Tommy Pedrini and we created a collaborative project that was inspired by our love of the Japanese music industry. We created music evocative of bands such as Pizzicato Five, Polysics, Capsule . . . to name a few.  In the very cusp of the ’90s to the early 2000s, I started to spark an interest in Japanese pop culture and instantly became fascinated with the fashion to the music that was being played in the streets of Shibuya, the major shopping district in all of Tokyo. What I heard and what I saw was an innovative, over the top, and outlandish  blend of hip-hop, disco, British mod, and pop art and brought back nostalgia for me to the older generations of the New York sound, and I wanted to be just like that.

TGF: You’re a relatively new artist on the scene, as you stated before in our initial contact. How long have you been performing and at what kind of venues?

M: I have been performing for about a year and a half in Los Angeles. Within those two years, we have performed numerous events in collaboration with Tune In Tokyo, a Japanese and global pop inspired club that has many events in the Los Angeles Japanese community. Through our good friends at Tune In Tokyo, we were able to open for many Japanese groups such as Dig Jeffy, F. Size. Free, and Lemon Drop Kick. We also have been invited to perform at Anime Expo, which is an annual Japanese Anime convention located at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It has been a great and amazing journey, performing in Los Angeles and making great friends along the way.

TGF: Other than the  City At Night digital single, are there any other recordings available, or plans for future recordings?

M: I have a demo out on sale on Audio Life which featured The City At Night and other amazing tracks we have. We have long term plans to release more music in time. However, we want to satisfy our fans for now with our demo, which you can purchase via  Our songs can also be heard via myspace and facebook.

TGF: Being a new artist, how have you been received the music business, the straight public, and overall, by the GLBT community?

M: In terms of marketing, I have such a diverse ethnic background, music style and image, it has been difficult to market myself to just one community because I embrace all communities. I’m involved in being bi-racial, trans, and genre-hopping with each song. Fortunately, I have not been faced with being a  “novelty” act. I know I can sing, I have an androgynous and serious look and stage presence. My audience is sometimes a bit taken aback when they hear my baritone voice. However, they all look beyond the gender they see when they hear my voice and how I express my emotions in music.

I want to perform for many GLBT events and be a part of that community. Sometimes I feel I have neglected to perform in that community and I hope our conversation can further build my relations with that community. It’s that community I truly respect the most, the best music, art and culture came from the gay community, and I have nothing but respect and honor for the struggles and accomplishments for the gay community.

TGF: If you had one thing to say to the transgender community, what would it be?

M: I really would say, keep fighting the good fight.

TGF: Anything else in closing?

M: I want to say thank you very much for taking the time to chat with me. I want to let everyone know that I have my single out on iTunes, and my first EP demo out via  Please check out my music!.

Visit the Maganda Channel on YouTube.


Storm Miguel Florez has some new YouTube videos posted, especially one from Dolores Park Cafe in San Francisco.  Storm will also be involved with the San Francisco Trans March, Friday, June 24, starting in Dolores Park.  To make a donation towards the expenses, or just for information, please check out this website.

Beth Isbell


Texas singer/songwriter/guitarist Beth Isbell has launched a new website.  She also sent an email stating that she is taking her guitar playing a little more seriously by enrolling in music school as a guitar major at AMC@UCO, Bricktown, OKC, Oklahoma.   Beth has also been playing guitar for blues artist Jimmy “The Hat” Hobbs.  And along with all this, she has several new videos posted on YouTube.

A very interesting rapper by the name of Ian aka Flykingi has a new mix tape out that features Tiffany “New York” Pollard as host.  Apparently, Flykingi  is also a supporter of the trans community and has a couple of local girls in one of his videos.

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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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