Local Popscene nightclub impresario Aaron Axelsen has built up a pretty stunning track record of spotting, booking and debuting music’s next big things. After all, he’s the man who gave The City a brief but telling glimpse of the late, tragic Amy Winehouse. His latest find is a one-man band who calls himself Yeek. Born Sebastian Carandang, the multi-instrumentalist blends soul, punk and trip-hop. Based in Los Angeles, the South Florida-bred musician is now on tour promoting his new EP “IDK WHERE,” with his guitarist kid brother Simon Sea, who also films Yeek’s bare-knuckled videos.
What day jobs did you maintain?
I worked in the hotel industry — not just with the bell or front desk, but in the inner office. My last day there was three years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Basically, I didn’t have enough money set aside to leave. But my people were all, like, “You’ve got to go or you’ll never get anthing done in music.” So it was scary as hell, being out there on my own with nothing in the bank. But it did force me to take things much more seriously. And I never looked back.
You’ve said that you never really bumped into any other Filipinos in Naples, Fla.
Definitely. And at times, just walking through the city, I felt like I might have been the only Asian in the white state. But my parents have been working very hard at keeping Filipino culture alive in our household, all the way back to family recipes. I can’t say I like all of it, but there are somethings I really love, like a good lumpia. I have always loved lumpia. Always will.
Has the culture affected the music?
Yeah. Certainly. And it might not seem as strange and foreign as being born into an actual Filipino family overseas. But just being born into one in America, I feel in a lot of ways just like everyone else here — just more American than anything else. But I’ve been remiss in my duties. I haven’t actually learned to speak Tagalog. Yet.
I really want to learn how to speak it properly, And now that I’ve been to Japan and toured England, I’m going to the Philippines this summer. And I’m really looking forward to it — maybe it will light a new fire under me creatively.
IF YOU GO
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $15 to $17
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.rickshawstop.com