Advised against singing Tagalog songs? Yael Yuzon clarifies ‘misunderstanding’ with SM

Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon performing at SM Mega Fashion Hall. PHOTO: ABS-CBN News/Rhys Buccat
Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon performing at SM Mega Fashion Hall. PHOTO: ABS-CBN News/Rhys Buccat

Singer-songwriter Yael Yuzon of Spongecola had to translate one of his band’s biggest hits on the spot when he performed at SM Mega Fashion Hall on Tue, Apr 18.

“Technically, I’m not allowed to speak in Filipino,” Yuzon said before his solo performance, explaining his predicament to the audience about needing to translate his song ‘Jeepney’.

According to other news reports, Yuzon said he was instructed by SM staff not to sing Tagalog (Filipino) songs.

Hearing the outcry of fans, SM Supermalls released an official statement denying the allegations.

“We would like to clarify the information being circulated online regarding performances that happen in our malls… We would like to reiterate that we promote all international and local entertainment acts in all our mall event areas nationwide. Moreover, we have been a proud supporter of the Filipino talent as we promote many celebrity and movie mall tours as week-long celebrations of Independence Day and Linggo ng Wika.”

Today, Yuzon spoke of the event again and brushed it aside as a “misunderstanding.”

Mayroon lang nawawala in translation habang nagtri-trickle down iyong information sa mga employees nila I guess,” Yuzon said in an interview with ABS-CBN News, pointing out that there was no “direct order” from the SM management about not singing Tagalog songs.

(Something was lost in translation as the information trickled down to their employees, I guess.)

Yuzon said he was asked to remove ‘Jeepney’ from his set list, but he decided to “rebel” against the power and he did the on-the-spot translation instead.

He also supported the statement from SM’s management.

“SM has always been very supportive sa mga (of) Filipino artists. I’m sure every single Filipino artist at one point has played an SM show… Everything is good.”

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