Get the Inside Scoop on the Chart-Topping Music Group “ZupaNova” that has Fans at the Edge of their Seats since the Release of “ZupaHot” and “PopPop”

Angela A
6 min readMar 23, 2023


Find out what’s next for this iconic duo (from hinting at new music and fashion), exclusive details about their journey, and the insider backstory about their connection to The Black Eyed Peas!

Most recognize ZupaNova for their global success over the past couple of years in reaching the Top 40 Charts on the iHeartRadio Media base in the US. “PopPop” hit #41 on the charts and “ZupaHot” hit #38. More recently, ZupaNova collaborated with International Billboard artist IAKOPO to release the single “Don’t Think” that hit #5 as the most streamed and downloaded songs on North American College Radio. In fact, ZupaNova also opened up for Fall Out Boy and BTS at this past New Year’s performance on FilAm TV / “We Global New Year’s Eve” celebration.

But that’s not all, take an exclusive look at this iconic duo taking music to the next level for a ZupaCelebration of fashion, culture, music, lifestyle, one love, and impacting communities around the world through mentorship and giving back.

Dive into the must-know details on these global ZupaStarz — their backstory, exclusive inside scoop, upcoming projects, their connection to The Black Eyed Peas, and… could they be hinting at new music coming soon? Find out here.

Teen Ties to Music Icons

Rawcel (ZupaNova) and Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas) go way back to their teenage years as friends and classmates in high school. Rawcel was heavily involved with his high school music scene, clubs, and local producers in LA County as a singer and rapper. During this time, he was friends with Will.I.Am and other members of what became known as The Black Eyed Peas (BEP). In fact, Rawcel introduced Fergie to the group!

“I went to high school with Fergie and eventually introduced her to BEP. So being around them, I had the opportunity to write, produce, tour, and experience a lot. I was inspired to create my own project, so I started ZupaNova.” — Rawcel

Dante Santiago and Rawcel were classmates during this time who partnered up with their music and soon became recognized and recruited by InterScope Records recording artist BEP in 1993. Soon after, Apl-D-Ap, Rawcel, Dante, Will.I.Am, and Taboo formed a crew called “Broshigeez” that consisted of singers, rappers, dancers, writers, DJ’s and producers from the LA hip hop scene.

Rawcel also went on to work with BEP and others in the entertainment industry. In fact, ZupaNova continues to perform at special events as an opening act for a wide-range of music icons, such as: Ray J, Randy Jackson, American Idol Finalists, David Foster, Macy Gray, Lala Hathaway, Bell Biv Devoe, Aaron Neville, Tamia, Sevyn Streeter, Pau Gasol, Tiana Xiao, and more.

SkyHigh Collabs

Upon meeting acclaimed Producer, Recording Artist and Multi Instrumentalist Davy Brown, through his mutual friend and cousin, Rawcel and Davy knew that their combined talent was undeniable. Together, they both formed “ZupaNova” with resounding response, worldwide, for their unique EDM and Hip-Pop music sound and style that continues to transcend all genres, cultures, fashion, and lifestyles.

Will.I.Am then introduced Rawcel to music artist Arii Brazil, who then released two songs produced by ZupaNova. Their viral music videos were filmed in Brazil and was directed by the legendary KONDZILLA, who has produced over 1,000 music videos on YouTube and has more than 63 million subscribers, with more than 25 billion views on his channel. ZupaNova was featured on the WISH BUS 107.5 in Los Angeles and in Manila, while making a stop to the Philippines during their annual Asia/World tour to promote their hugely successful single, “PopPop.”

ZupaNova has continued to top charts and perform at some of the notable events around the world, such as: NAMM convention in Anaheim, Sapphire Pool Parties in Las Vegas, Miss Philippines USA 2019, Fashion 4 A Cause Fashion Show, Miss Philippines USA Swimsuit and Talent Competition in Glendale, CA, The Coronation Night of the Miss Philippines USA Beauty Pageant in Glendale, and much more.

ZupaFashion and Philanthropy

With a vision to create a wave of positive impact around the world, ZupaNova continues to serve as role models, mentors, and create music to unite all cultures, fashion, lifestyles, and create an echoing effect of “ZupaLove” around the world. ZupaNova and Nancy Gale, Founder of AMBITION, have teamed up with a mission to ignite a deep and meaningful conversation that unites brave and powerful voices to inspire. ZupaNova is committed in their role as a long-standing ambassador of, a nonprofit entrepreneurial program for disadvantaged youth that fosters innovation, solution-driven thinking, confidence and positive work ethic through business, music, fashion, and special guest collaboration. “AMBITION is aspirations with no limitations.

Together, ZupaNova and AMBITION, raised awareness and funding for disadvantaged youth by co-hosting and performing in a virtual benefit concert that gained the attention of celebrity Paris Hilton and business power couple Tom & Lisa Bilye. Both joined in with many local Los Angeles students to help support the program by creating a fun social media wave of selfie-style promo videos.

ZupaNova is among other well-known mentors for the Foundation that include: Richard Branson, Paris Hilton & Carter Reum, Brad Pitt, Jessica Alba, Ashton Kutcher, Tom & Lisa Bilyeu, the daytime talk show “The Real,” Lou Williams of the LA Clippers, etc.

ZupaNova is also the creator of the AMBITION theme song! They created two songs, the first one “Everyday is a Holiday” and second new song “You Don’t Know About Me” with a movement known as “THE DIALOGUE” to engage in conversation with youth about race and racism.

When it comes to fashion, ZupaNova can also be spotted on the catwalk performing for runway fashion show “Fashion 4 A Cause” in Los Angeles, California, that brings together charities, fundraising, and nonprofit organizations through fashion.

ZupedUp for Upcoming Events and Tours

There’s no sign of slowing down for the ZupaNova! Below are the latest dates, details, events, and opportunities coming up.

  • ZupaNova and Iakopo, with over 1.7 million followers, will be appearing on WishBus 105.7, Filipino International Live Radio Station (over 13 million followers), “Wishclusives” live on August 21st at 2pm, debuting a new single, “Free.”
  • Get ready for ZupaNova’s World Tour! Collaborating with celebrity artists and influencers, documenting the progress of taking the ZupaNova brand and building ZupaWorld empire on a ZupaLife Docuseries. “We also look to discover the next up and coming ZupaStar to give them the opportunity to collaborate with ZupaNova and join us on our 2023–2024 World Tour!”
  • Live for Music” and GiG Productions present the “THE AMBITION TOUR” 2023
  • Lucky 8 Educational Gala” sponsored by AMBITION Nonprofit Group
  • ZupaNova Music Festival Orange County Filipino Commerce of Orange County
  • StarVerz Experience is written and produced by Rawcel, which is a futuristic fashion concert featuring a variety of talents from the US to Asia, of different backgrounds and ages, at Mt. Sac College to sold-out crowds.

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