Scout Friday Picks: RJ Pineda

The first thing you’ll notice about keyboardist of soul-R&B sextet Apartel and internationally-acclaimed blues quartet Brat Pack RJ Pineda, aside from his prodigious musical jazz hands, is his signature black wavy locks that beautifully frame his natural suave and impeccable style. A pianist by day and night, the musician who’s been touring the nation for Apartel’s physical debut album Inner Play from earlier this July, is looking to add more to his two bands and regular solo pianist gig at Shangri-La Fort.

Come the later half of this year, he’s looking to release his own experimental rock project called Riot Lgic. “A homework way past its deadline” for RJ, he splits his free time writing the second album of Apartel and sitting down with producer Allan Malabanan (Lustbass) to create unconventional genre-bending music with his laptop, guitar, microphone, and d.i.y. bathroom studio for Riot Lgic’s debut. He says, “If Led Zeppelin and Daft Punk were to have a baby, this will be it.” Intending to bridge genres that might seem too adventurous or incompatible to each other, the project will still pay homage to his soul and jazz roots, but lean more towards his greater passions like progressive rock and electronic music. A project that he believes could be the sonic embodiment of “the truest form of [him]self,” he hopes to overcome his crippling uncertainty and self-doubt that he’s cultivated for the past six years now through the catharsis that will become Riot Lgic.

However, for now, while the project is still under wraps, he shares with us 10 songs that is sure to brighten your day, when your bed head follows you out of your bed. Dubbed “A Playlist for When You Have a Bad Hair Day”, RJ picked a mix of OG and new soul songs, that will either make your hair messier or relaxed,” because as we’ve mentioned and he abashedly admits, “My naturally wavy hair is always giving me a bad day.”

Keep Marchin’- Raphael Saadiq

“Play this song first thing in the morning. A very good morning starter. Trust me: Some caffeine plus toast, and then this track. Do it on Monday mornings ,and the rest of the week will feel right. Let’s get your hair even more frizzier with this track.”

Anderson . Paak – Am I Wrong (feat. ScHoolboy Q)

 “Let’s pick up the pace. I was always a sucker for four on the floor beats and nice
chords, reminiscing classic French house. This track is easy and doesn’t need
math to understand that you need to get up and dance, dance, dance!”

Down for the Fifth Time – Flamingosis

“One of my favorite tracks from an artist discovered three months ago. Thanks, Chiko Hernandez!  A very proper future-funk track with a really nice funky guitar; my current shower tune.”

BADBADNOTGOOD – In Your Eyes (Feat. Charlotte Day Wilson)

“Funny, this was the first track I heard from them ever. And listening to this gave me the impression that they’re smooth, that is until I watched them live. They play jazz like it’s rock. Fall in love with the strings, the chord progressions, and Charlotte’s “tita” voice and make sure to listen to this with your eyes closed.”

Erroll Garner – Honeysuckle Rose

“My entire cellular existence, I owe to this man. His piano style speaks to me the most: the balance of playfulness, friendliness and cocktail. No Bebop pianist plays like this guy. His phenomenal technique: The left-hand stride, and the right hand clusters speak balance of playfulness, friendliness and class. This particular track was originally made by Fats Waller and Erroll made it his own.”

The Brothers Johnson – I’ll Be Good To You

“A very tasty soul classic. Let’s turn your bad hairday into a fro and get that OG face on. It reminded me of Prince’s old sound. Those old school synth and fuzzy guitars are golden. Those titas at the back doing the backing vocals will send you good vibes.”

Cosmo Pyke – Chronic Sunshine

“Still fresh from this year’s release, Cosmo Pyke takes you through many genres in this one single song. Those jazzy guitar and Pyke’s easy low range voice is so laidback, it makes me want to snuggle in bed in a hoody.”

White Denim – A Place To Start (Downtown)

“A smooth funk tune for people who want to slow down, but not too draggy. Nice tune for the days when you don’t know when it will rain or be sunny.”

Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames)

“Pretty. Damn.Timeless. This 1948 OG is still touring right now! But he ain’t too OG either. He just started his music career in the ’90s. Bang your head to this soul track and wake up in a diner in the ’50s.”

Change – Glow Of Love (12″ Extended)


“A vintage finish. Luther Vandross’ timeless collaboration with this soul-disco band Change. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this track somewhere. Producers sampled this track for a song, which the name I will not mention!”

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Celene Sakurako
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