First Hate Live in Manila: Poblacion Danced the Night Away with Synth-Pop Duo from Denmark

Words by Kelly Punzalan
Photos by Michelle Neri

The music scene in the Philippines is no stranger to foreign musicians. Pinoys have always been fond of American artists, and now Korean pop groups are more popular than ever. In this vast world we live in, so much talent is out there that it can be hard to keep up and sort through mediocre music through Soundcloud and Spotify. But if you’re patient enough to look, discovering a relatively unknown artist with great music can be exhilarating. First Hate, from Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of those hidden gems.

First Hate from Copenhagen, Denmark

First Hate stopped by Manila for the last show of their Asian tour “Cherry Blossom,” having previously performed in Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, and other cities. Joined by supporting local acts ACTIV, Ena Mori, Lustbass, and Pillow Talk last April 25 at the Johnnie Walker House in Poblacion, their entrancing and almost mystical sound perfectly matched the venue’s sophisticated and intimate atmosphere.

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Ena Mori


Much to my surprise, Anton Falck Gansted, the main vocalist, danced all throughout their set, only catching his breath in between songs while his partner Joakim Nørgaard worked the keys in the background. His fluid dance moves and high energy were too contagious that the crowd could not resist dancing and bobbing their heads along to the music.

Hailing from Denmark, First Hate has been making synth-pop tunes together for about six years now. Funnily enough, the two first met as opponents in a Thai boxing match back in Copenhagen. Joakim knocked Anton out and won the match. The two worked out their differences though, and with the power of an online random name generator, First Hate was born.

The duo mostly draws inspiration from their struggles, their friends, and their relationships with other people. They get inspired not only by their daily life, but their “dream life” as well. When people listen to their music, they hope that they will feel better than before. Joakim shared that one of the things he appreciates the most is when people come up to them and tell them their songs helped them get through tough times, like the death of a loved one or a bad break up.

Overall, the message First Hate wishes to send with their music is to live and love freely while you can. “I think most of the time we’re just trying to connect with ourselves and we try to do that by connecting to other people. Humans should be connected and learn from each other,” the pair tells us in an interview.

Once they return to Denmark, the two plan on buying some really nice suits, creating more music for their new album, conquering the world, and finding inner peace. In their own words, “We’ll come back next year with brand new suits and brand new music.”

First Hate Live in Manila was presented by Johnnie Walker, supported by Fred Perry, and brought by Decibel Music Group デシベル.

Which act would you like to see next in Manila? Tell us in the comments!


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