Filipino-Canadian Who Co-Wrote BTS’ and Justin Bieber’s Songs

Many artists have either experienced smooth or rough career entry into the music industry. For every successful artist, there is always someone behind the scenes who is a great music producer and songwriter.

For August Rigo, a Filipino-Canadian recording artist, songwriter and producer from Toronto, it wasn’t an easy route to get into the recording industry but he just persevered. At a young age, he taught himself to play instruments such as keyboards and guitar. August went to Humber College for Jazz. After 1 year in the Jazz program, he continued his studies and studied sound engineering at Harris Institute. “That’s where I kinda got my chops up and learned how to be an engineer and really record myself properly. Learning the foundation of how to mix my records so that’s how I got into the whole technical things,” August says. College is where he sharpened his abilities and expertise. 

After college, he routinely traveled to New York City and tried to meet music producers. “I used to drive down to New York City and have a stack of CDs. I used to know where labels were and I used to hand it out to different people who look like they were in the music industry,” August mentioned in an interview with Filipino TV. He worked on his skills remarkably hard to be great in his craft. 

Eventually, August caught the attention of multiple elite music producers. In 2010, he signed a publishing contract with Sony/ATV, an American music publisher and an admin society deal with BMI, a performing rights organization. From 2010-2011, He has written songs for multiple artists such as Justin Bieber, One Direction, Chris Brown, Iyaz, Pleasure P, Music Souldchild and Sean Kingston. “The real turning point in my writing career was being able to write for Justin Bieber. That was my first major placement and because of that, it kinda steamrolled into getting a record deal with Def Jam and just being in the industry,” August says.

His involvement with the music industry eventually resulted to the release of his debut album “Music Of My Life” on Manhattan Records/Sony Japan in 2012. The album featured famous artists like Busta Rhymes, The Runners and several other artists. By 2015, August debuted his second album “The Fall Out”. The Album went on to be nominated for best R&B/Soul Recording for JUNO, a Canadian music award. After the nomination, August continued to write songs for famous musicians throughout the years.

Recently, August Rigo co-wrote and produced two tracks for K-pop international phenomenon BTS’ latest album, “Map of the Soul” (Black Swan and On). The On song by BTS generated more than 134 million views. It is the biggest record August has worked on yet. August Rigo’s tenacious attitude proved that anyone can follow their dreams through hard work and dedication.

“I think the key is to ignore the ignorance and don’t let that affect you. You can be great no matter what your race is and just work hard to personify that greatness and manifest that.” August says.

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