This week, we’re excited to introduce you to Aidan Bernales, a talented musician and one of our dedicated fellows. 🎵

✨ He recently turned heads with his innovative project: a parody of Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red,” transformed into an eco-anthem remix. 🌎🎤

We caught up with Aidan and he opens up about his journey, sharing why he believes Climate and Music are a perfect harmony. 🌿🎶

Why do you think music is a powerful tool for raising awareness and advocating against the climate crisis?

AIDAN: I think music is an undervalued weapon in the climate conversation. Songs are a universal medium, easily accessible by everyone in this new streaming era, and have the unique capability to incite real-world action. We’ve seen it in the way music has soundtracked protests and movements over the past few years, from pride to Black Lives Matter. Icons like John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, and Lorde have done their best to raise awareness of climate issues in their songs and, while there is no tangible source to claim that their large fanbases have been affected by this message, I am almost positive at least one person has heeded the climate call because of their music.

The music industry is also a major contributor to environmental waste especially through CDs and vinyls. If we can get artists to stand up against the climate crisis and turn to more sustainable practices in the selling of their music, we can potentially save a few more years for the lifespan of our planet.

How do you leverage storytelling through your music to connect with your listeners?

AIDAN: In every song I write, I always make sure to tell my story as much as I tell anyone else’s. This way my songs reflect and convey the most authentic emotions possible.

Amid the pandemic, I penned my song “state of the nation” after the news that the remodeling of Manila Bay involved illegally mining dolomite from the mountains in Cebu, where I come from. The mountains became practically shaved before they ceased operation.

I was so affected by it—how can people from an entirely different city make use of my province’s nature for their gain like this?—that I dedicated the entire bridge to convey what it felt like for me to look at those shaved mountains.

These men, they aren’t prophets and

They’re only here to profit and

They said that this was God’s land

So why’re they breaking promises?

Releasing this song close to the upcoming elections, I managed to get responses from my listeners saying that they felt the hopelessness in that bridge and that they wished they could do more for our world’s situation.

Could you share insights about your experience with the Climate Tracker Asia Fellowship?

AIDAN: Honestly, the Climate Tracker Asia Fellowship may be one of the most fulfilling and fruitful experiences in my college life. I knew that I was a climate advocate but, aside from my campus publication, there were only so few opportunities around that allowed me to merge my advocacy with my passion for writing. When I got into this fellowship, I was extremely nervous. I didn’t know if I had enough knowledge about the climate to effectively be a journalist for it. Yet, Climate Tracker Asia made me realize that all you need is the heart. Because I had the heart, they taught me what I needed to know to become an effective climate journalist, and from industry experts, too!

I hold the two stories I’ve pursued in this fellowship before very close to my heart. I got to speak to people I wouldn’t have had the chance to ever, and I got to untangle the deeper webs of the climate crisis in our very country. Most importantly, I got to listen to the earth through this fellowship. That, even if our nature has no mouth to speak, they are constantly breathing life. With that life comes their stories.

It’s our duty to tell them.

Read Aidan’s story about campus biodiversity here. His songs are also on Spotify and you can immerse yourself in his music by listening here. 🎧✨