Quest & Juan Miguel Severo for Coke Studio Season 2 Homecoming

They’re only words, goes the refrain of an old pop song, but rapper Quest and spoken word pioneer Juan Miguel Severo wield words as mighty weapons. And their love affair with words began very, very early.

Quest remembers: “My childhood was not easy. Both my parents had problems so I spent a lot of time with my cousins. And I would borrow cassette tapes from them That’s how I fell in love with both words and music. It happened at the same time. Imagine, I started with cassettes and now there’s streaming!” Juan Miguel’s memories are actually his mom’s stories. “My mom said that when I was two years old, I would give her a flower and recite a poem when I handed it to her. She would write down these poems and save them. Sadly, we live in a flood prone area and those poems are now lost. I read my first book at 5 and wrote my first poem at 11. And I also love performing and so it all comes together with spoken word.”

Quest discovered his talent for rap with his church but then moved on to more mainstream works. Recognized as an eminent urban storyteller and a “microphone revolutionary’ Quest’s song “Sige Lang” was named in 2012 as the official song of Gilas Pilipinas, the national men’s basketball team. Juan Miguel Severo began performing his spoken word works in university venues and smaller clubs until he was given a role in the Jadine teleserye On the Wings of Love and he brought spoken word to the world of television and thus, more popular recognition.

The life of the artist is itself a quest, and both these artists cherish the journey. Quest says: “I want my listeners to go on a journey from darkness to light; from sadness to joy; from confusion to clarity.” Juan Miguel sees a more personal view of it. “I know what I want to be and that’s better. The quest is to be better; to face wanting to be better.”

Inspired by the theme of the homecoming and the dynamic energy of their collaboration, Quest and Juan Miguel was eloquent on the very essence of home.

“Home is not tangible,” Quest declares. “It is a personal message to find home; like a ‘note to self.’ To find home is to find what makes you feel alive, to solidify what you are as a person.” Juan Miguel says, “I know that this collab is a big thing for myself, but it is also bigger than myself. We need to push boundaries. What I want to express is to let everyone know that their journey, their story is valid. I want to give them hope.”

Watch how Quest and Juan Miguel Severo collaborate for a refreshing kind of music that celebrates their own genres in the second episode of Coke Studio. Catch it every Sunday at 11:15a.m. before ASAP on ABS-CBN or on

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