We catch up with these rising artists
Many opportunities arise in an era where the pandemic pushes us to chase goals and dream big. But, as we learn to look beyond expectations, doors open in abundance. And for the top ten finalists from the Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search, this music camp that doubles as competition is an opportunity that couldn’t have come at the right time. Globe Virtual Hangouts’ music pillar, GoJAM, continues to push Gen Z in creating passionately by providing chances to go through the motions of a music career.
After submitting their entries to Globe GoJAM, the lucky participants got the chance to learn from music moguls and experts such as singers, songwriters and producers Thyro Alfaro, Brian Lotho, December Avenue’s Zel Bautista and Kroma Entertainment’s CEO, Ian Monsod. From finding their sound to working on marketing their music, they got a glimpse of the colorful music industry. Their next steps involve a couple more challenges that test their potential before culminating in the finale competition.
As they gear up for the night of their lives, we get up close and personal with the top ten finalists set to conquer the stage of Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search Finale.
Pauline Rose Tan
Where in the world: Quezon City
Despite having young dreams rooted in joining American Idol and singing as part of her arsenal of talents, Pauline Rose Tan never really considered music as a career. She began songwriting at a young age but kept her creations under wraps. However, chancing upon GoJAM’s text blast pushed her to explore a path in music. With a saccharine and mellifluous voice, Tan’s vocals make you feel like you’re walking on air. But in contrast, her lyrics explore realities we often face. According to Tan, her creations revolve around “letting people know that they’re not alone.” She shares that many people relate to songs better if they’re written from the heart, a message she also aims to tell through her music. “There’s always someone who’s also going through the same experience. So you shouldn’t take it too [badly] or [be] too hard on yourself.”
Regardless of the results, Tan looks forward to meeting her fellow Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search participants during the finale. “The competition showed me that there’s always a group of people you can connect with. There’s always a group of people with the same interests as you, and you should find a way to look for those kinds of people,” she expresses.
aka Sunny Lorenz Perando
Genre: R&B and Synthwave
Where in the world: Pasay City
For Sunny Lorenz Perando, AKA Owen Greyson, a buildup of moments throughout his life pushed him to pursue music. One vivid memory he shares is singing iconic teleserye soundtracks and then being handed a microphone to sing into later. But eventually, Greyson’s sound takes shape through buttery R&B and synth-wave songs. Combining it with his smooth and suave vocals, Greyson’s music transports you to different scenarios. Through his music, he aims to inspire. “I want to inspire [people] in a way, lalo na (especially) these past two years with the pandemic,” shares Greyson. Aside from uplifting tunes, he also wants to give people a different experience through his tracks. He explains, “I want to take them to a different dimension.”
Making the final cut and partaking in the training boot camp sessions makes Greyson already feel like a winner. The Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search taking up a notable highlight in his life. “It’s nice to know na yung some of the things na sinasabi ng mga mentors are things I’ve done as an artist, too (It’s nice to know that some of the things the mentors told me are things I’ve done as an artist, too). It was great. I’m so honored and so happy,” he says.
Gem Matthew Largo
Where in the world: Imus, Cavite
Gem Largo could trace his music origin story as early as his childhood, where he was surrounded by a variety of music thanks to his father’s collection. As he grew older, influences like Music by Blanks and Ed Sheeran pushed him to explore music, especially after receiving his guitar and enjoying jamming sessions with friends. As a result, the music production student writes songs about personal experiences while hoping to connect with other people. He describes the message he wants to portray as, “Parang tropa-tropa na (Just like friends), you vibe with each other.” This holds true in his music, where he explores the thrill of late-night adventures over a soaring backbeat and addictive rhythms.
For Largo, the training sessions by Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search further sharpened the skills he uses in his music production track. Sure, the camp might be a competition at its core, but Largo doesn’t treat it as such. Instead, he views his fellow finalists as workmates and industry peers. “Music isn’t really a competition, but it’s a way of expressing yourself,” shares Largo. He adds, “[GoJAM’s Talent Search] has been a great way to interact with other artists and express yourself.”
Jan Christine Quiambao
Genre: Acoustic Pop
Where in the world: Pagadian City
Jan Christine Quiambao knew at an early age that she loved music, from singing with family to joining a few contests here and there. Then, while pondering on shelving her music career, Quiambao received the text calling for auditions. The rest, we can say, is history. With her dulcet voice, Quiambao beckons you to listen to the story she tells. Using first-hand and second-hand experiences helps her mind work, flexing her creative muscle in songwriting. “For now, there isn’t a specific message that I want to say except, ‘express yourself’ and ‘be creative,’” shares Quiambao.
Quiambao never imagined that she would come face to face with the mentors and go through an eye-opening experience. She pins the importance of receiving feedback from professionals, as hearing honest advice from industry experts helped her realize that she could do more. “I feel like I’ve grown throughout the past three weeks already,” shares Quiambao. But beyond the experience, the competition also signifies that a music career is still in the cards for her. She expresses, “What [GoJAM On Stage Talent Search] means for me is more of [taking] the first big step towards music. So it means a lot to me.”
Athena Gail Obre
Genre: Pop, R&B, Jazz and Indie
Where in the world: Makati City
For as long as she could remember, Athena Gail Obre’s childhood dream involved pop stardom (despite having a shy personality), which evolved into hoping to pursue music full time. At 13, armed with her guitar and some puppy love, Obre discovered that the writing lyrics and singing her heart out felt right. Her soulful vocals will have you pinned at first listen, encouraging you to pay attention until the end of the track. However, in songwriting, Obre sets her sights on just following where her creations take her. “[Music] doesn’t always have to be a deep story. Music is music, and I want to make music as it is,” she expresses. She adds, “I just want to make beautiful music; I want people to appreciate music as it is.”
Obre pushed to audition for the search despite a packed schedule because the competition exactly fits her vision. She expresses, “[GoJAM On Stage Talent Search] means a lot that I get to have an opportunity like this and learn from so many amazing artists.” Obre adds, “I’ve waited for this opportunity for so long. It feels like an honor to be part of something great.”
Serene La Madrid
Genre: Acoustic, Pop, R&B and Soul
Where in the world: Angeles, Pampanga
Serene La Madrid’s epiphany to pursue music came only recently, during a break from law school. A previous songwriting session helped her find a place where she belongs, which is a space rooted in music. La Madrid follows her current mood when she creates, exploring political and relatable messages through her songs. Armed with her melodious voice and realistic lyrics about love, vindication and the mess of infatuation, La Madrid meets her main goal of making her listeners feel validated. “Whether it’s about a love story, whether it’s political, I just want [people] to listen [to my music] and feel connected and heard,” explains La Madrid.
For La Madrid, becoming part of GoJAM On Stage Talent Search can only be described as surreal. Almost immediately after a life-changing decision, an opportunity to learn through this camp slash competition makes itself known. Instead of treating it as a “make or break” situation for her musical career, La Madrid’s perspective shifted. Regardless of the outcome, the competition is already a step in the right direction. She describes it as, “the beginning of what I really want to do.”
Miguel Justin Segismundo
Where in the world: Parañaque City
Miguel Justin Segismundo recalls the defining moment that pushed him to pursue music as a career path. He hails Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney as his heroes, which clicks when you hear his soulful vocals and soft strumming. Despite having no formal training, Segismundo still tried his hand at writing music. May it be waiting for his morning coffee or staring blankly into space, he lets his mind flow freely while creating a track. However, after one creation that he can only describe as “fulfilling,” and with the validation from his close loved ones, he realized that he was capable of writing songs. After that, his creations expanded, specifically this year, where he continues to buff his discography on Soundcloud.
But when he entered the GoJAM On Stage Talent Search, Segismundo shared that the path toward a musical career became clearer. “It’s so sudden,” he expresses. Segismundo was in the middle of figuring out how to release an album—which he says, cost a lot—when he suddenly received a text about the competition. Overall, he can only describe his participation as something that feels good and one that strengthen his passion.
AKA Jacob Yulo
Genre: Indie / Bedroom Pop
Where in the world: San Juan City
Jacob Yulo, known mainly by his artist name alpha yang, is no stranger in the music scene. His daydream-like bedroom pop real appeared in the movie Isa Pa With Feelings and gained over a million streams on Spotify. But looking back, Yulo traces his main musical origins to his father, who wrote about his faith. He points to him, along with the community that came with hearing mass and singing the same songs, as the inspiration to making his own music. However, when it comes to the works of alpha yang, Yulo shares that his creations come from limitations and that these bounds can make something extraordinary. He explains, “Even though I’m just in my bedroom, I hope people can see that that idea can turn into something that others can really connect to.”
The Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search process pushes Yulo to return to his roots. He explains, “Sometimes, I would get a bit jaded and put too much pressure on myself to make this happen. [GoJam On Stage Talent Search] really roots down on the music, and I’m glad I was reminded by this event, this workshop and all the participants who are a part of it.”
Joshua Emerson Manzanares
Genre: Indie, Folk and R&B
Where in the world: Davao City
The youngest finalist on the roster, Joshua Emerson Manzanares, learned guitar, piano and singing at ten years old. Since then, he has continued honing his musical prowess. His current music revolves around his anxieties and encounters with love and romance. Citing influences such as keshi, boy pablo and Arthur Nery, his sound and music take shape into the form of soft, sweet and dreamy vocals over the gentle strum of the guitar. He explains, “When I’m happy with a song’s concept, I show it to people and hope they feel what I feel when I sing.”
GoJAM On Stage Talent Search serves as Manzanares’ first dip into the world of music competitions, to which he can only describe the experience as “exciting.” For him, the entirety of GoJAM On Stage Talent Search acts as a teacher to him. He learned a lot from the lineup of mentors, his fellow participants and the experiences from camp. One thing that can attest to Manzanares’ dedication to his craft is the move of flying to Manila to perform his track in front of many audiences. “I’m looking forward to making great memories with them,” he expresses.
AKA John Lloyd Reyes
Genre: Pop, Soul and Acoustic
Where in the world: Valenzuela City
John Lloyd Reyes—or Jelry—has always been a singer for as long as he can remember. He’s always had music with him, from joining singing competitions at a young age to performing for family. But after witnessing a friend perform their original songs at a gig, Reyes felt inspired to take it up a notch. He recounts, “Ang angas pala na sarili mong kanta yung pine-perform mo sa stage, tapos na-a-appreciate siya ng mga tao. (It’s so cool to perform your own songs on stage, and the audience appreciates them.)” Since then, he continues to pursue music seriously by widening his knowledge of music production and even figuring out the nitty-gritty of music distribution.
For Reyes, he offers listeners an uplifting mood boost or comfort through song. And much like his music, being part of GoJAM On Stage Talent Search also makes Reyes happy. Aside from learning from mentors about the music industry, the competition also helps him connect with more people. He shares, “Malaki po yung tulong ng [GoJAM] sa akin, as a small artist na nag-try na mapakinggan ng maraming tao. (GoJAM is such a big help to me, as a small artist trying to reach more listeners).”
Aside from being slated to conquer the GoJAM On Stage Talent Search stage, all these participants show one thing in common: hunger. In each conversation, there was a palpable hunger and eagerness to make their mark and understand music from a brand new perspective. On the horizon is more music from all ten participants, regardless of the results of the finale. Safe to say, we can’t wait for what the future holds for each one!
The Globe GoJAM On Stage Talent Search Finale happens at 5 PM on April 23, 2022. Catch it via Globe Telecom’s Facebook page or live at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre. For more information, follow Globe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
Art Macky Arquilla