Pepe Smith - Bio, Albums, Songs and Lyrics - OPM Filipino Music

The Story of Pepe Smith

Joseph William Feliciano Smith, born on 1947, is a Filipino singer, songwriter, drummer, and guitarist. More commonly known alternately as Joey Smith and Pepe Smith, he is an icon of original Filipino rock music or "Pinoy Rock."

Pepe Smith was born to an American serviceman father and a Filipina mother at the U.S. Clark Air Force Base in Angeles City, he moved to the Kamuning district of Quezon City where he was raised by his maternal grandmother at the age of eight. He formed his first rock band at the age of eleven.

Smith was a member of the nationalistic and the seminal Philippine rock group, the Juan dela Cruz Band along with fellow musicians, Wally Gonzales and Mike Hanopol. "Juan dela Cruz" is the recognized term for the "everyman" in Philippine society. The Juan dela Cruz Band initiated the rock music revolution in the Philippines, veering away from covers of foreign hit songs and focusing on original songwriting. The trio has always been credited of spearheading the Pinoy Rock genre in the Philippine music industry.

Smith was also a member of the Japanese rock trio, Speed, Glue & Shinki, an interest in amphetamines being the attribution for the "Speed" moniker in the name of the band.

Points of Interest

He spent six months in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His band, the Surfer, was contacted to play for American soldiers.

He was jailed for six months for alleged drug trafficking in 1993. His constant jail visitor in the Quezon City Jail was Apa Ongpin. After his release for lack of evidence, Smith held a concert at the jail for the inmates.

Released in 2005 his very first solo album entitled Idiosyncrasies, on Alpha Records. The 14-track album was three-years in the making; the recording project had started in 2002. The album was released simultaneously with the Juan Dela Cruz's three-CD collection from the rival Vicor Records.

Despite having an American father, he has never set foot in the USA. It's his dream to visit America, he says. His band, during their peak, only toured the United Kingdom, East Asia (and later, Australia), but not the U.S.

In 1994, he survived a car accident that damaged his signature jaw.

He was one of the Filipino acts who opened for the July 4, 1966 concert of the Beatles at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines. His admiration of the Beatles further strengthened his musical resolve.

He and the Juan Dela Cruz Band participated in the first open field rock festival in 1970, the Antipolo Rock Music Festival.

Father of singer Queenie Smith and former MYX VJ Sanya Smith.[3]

One of his main hobbies is collecting toy planes. His childhood dream was to become a pilot.

Smith composed the song "Himig Natin" backstage in 1972, while waiting for his turn to play in a concert called "Himig Natin", at the Rizal Park grounds in Manila, Philippines.

Joey Smith formed his own band, The Airwaves, in circa-1976. The members were Joey Smith (vocals/dobro/drums), Jun Lopito (guitar), Gary Perez (guitar), Gil Cruz (bass) and Edmund Fortuno (drums).


  • Himig Natin (trans., "Our Music {Hymn}" 1973
  • Maskara (trans., "Mask") 1974
  • Super Session 1975
  • Kahit Anong Mangyari (trans., "Whatever Happens") 1981

Solo album

  • Idiosyncrasies

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A-H: Best of OPM Filipino Singers
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