We get to know the Filipino-Irish singer-songwriter, Eunice Janine
You know how the saying goes: When one door closes, another one opens. The pandemic might have shut doors for us, but it offered more opportunities, too. Such was the case for the Filipino-Irish singer, songwriter and live streamer Eunice Janine Delos Santos. This period witnessed her turn a hobby into a full-fledged career. And in just two years in the industry, Eunice Janine has released more than 40 singles on Spotify, bagged runner-up in Miss Kumuniverse 2021 and even collaborated with Salbakuta’s Bendeatha.
As far as origin stories are concerned, Eunice Janine narrates that she had the “typical Filipina girl” experience growing up, and points to her mother as the main influence on music. She also had the almost universal experience of joining different singing competitions since she began singing at the tender age of three. But on the songwriting side, she’s always kept it as a hobby. “I felt like it was such an odd time,” she shares in an exclusive interview with Wonder. “The way it restricted us inside our homes; at the same time, you'd literally just navigate and find everything on the internet.” So, after setting a goal of releasing one song on Spotify, she set out to find a producer. She came across her current producer and manager, San Diego-based Filipino-American Ge Oh.
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Her goal of one song out on Spotify blossomed into over 40 in two years, with loyal listeners and supporters streaming her songs. Of course, this is with the help of Ge Oh and her collaborators over at HRDRV, a community-based record label. “[Ge Oh] explained to me very well the importance of having songs out. ‘Cause I had a lot of worries back then, like who's going to listen to my song? But [he taught me that] also having a catalog to show that I have songs for people to listen to is a big factor,” she explains. If not for that kind of push, Eunice Janine wouldn’t be boasting an expansive discography.
Up ahead, we get to know Eunice Janine better.
W: Do you have any musical influences that inspired you to explore your current sound?
Eunice Janine: The influences that I have when it comes to the music I'm doing at the moment are definitely Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa. Taylor Swift, too, with the writing and everything; but with the sound, more of Dua Lipa for sure.
W: Let’s talk about I’m All I Need—you seamlessly switch between English and Filipino throughout the track. Did codeswitching come naturally when you wrote it or did you intentionally make it a bilingual song?
EJ: Yeah, kind of? A bit of both. Because when I started making music, Ge Oh always used to ask me, “What's your goal when making music?” One of my goals has always been to incorporate Tagalog and English in my songs. Of course, I dream big, and I want it to be known globally, I want everyone to hear the language.
So my CEO, Mickey Shiloh, started this song for me. When I wasn't in the collaboration session, Ge Oh sent me this file and told me, “Mickey wants you on a song.” And when I listened to the I'm All I Need track, I said, “I really, really liked it.” Mickey told me, “Yeah, finish it if you want to.” So I did, and then I thought, “Why not put Tagalog lyrics on this track because it's kinda cool?” And it did work. I've been making Tagalog-English songs in the past; that was a fun thing to do on the track.
W: I’m All I Need is an anthem about confidence and self-assurance. What inspired you to explore this topic for this single?
EJ: I'm on Kumu as well. So when I joined the virtual pageant, the Miss Kumu Global, you need to have your advocacies; mine was women empowerment. After that opportunity, I had more confidence to voice my advocacy and incorporate it into my songs, too. Like My Own Woman, Women and I'm All I Need, these songs are more about talking about ourselves. It's about me; I'm not talking about you or anyone else—just empowering myself as a woman and other girls as well.
W: You also got to collaborate with Salbakuta’s Bendeatha for Sinasabi Ko Na. How was the experience working with such an icon?
EJ: That was a unique experience. I don't think there's one Filipino who doesn't know S2pid Luv. We've all been singing that in karaoke, so that was such a cool experience. So when we decided to collaborate, I made the hook first, the “sinasabi ko na (I’ve been saying).” I sent it to him, and then he sent me his rap back. Plus, I got the chance to sing it live with him and S2pid Luv in one of my gigs, so that was cool.
W: In this age where Filipino talent continues to step into the spotlight across the globe, what does being Filipino mean to you?
EJ: Definitely by just doing everything, and in my case, music, with love and passion. When you embrace Filipino values, especially when growing up, and you put those values into making music or whatever it is you do, it really shows. So just doing everything with love, passion and purpose.
W: Lastly, what else can we expect from Eunice Janine soon?
EJ: I spent August and September with many gigs, performances and travel, so I couldn't focus on making and putting music out—definitely more music from me. That's what I'm doing now, and I'm being more active on Kumu to communicate more with my fans and supporters. So yeah, making more music and, hopefully, more live performances.
Listen in, folks. With immense drive, passion and love for her craft, Eunice Janine is here to stay. It’d be a crime not to listen.
Special Thanks Beat This Philippines
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver