For this month’s Wonder Fresh roundup, Bea Lorenzo takes the lead
Wonder Fresh is our monthly roundup of tunes and tracks to listen to. This October, singer-songwriter Bea Lorenzo will be leading this month’s curated list. Scroll down for her favorite remote sets, performed as the world adapted to the new normal.
Bea Lorenzo is a breath of fresh air, a ray of optimism whose energy radiates even through a mildly choppy Zoom call. Yet behind her sweet smile and delicate charm is a voice so expressive and moving that it demands your attention. From the commanding pull of Ili (Hush) to the smooth but painful lull of Kapalaran, Bea’s music finds its way around your senses, tugs at your feelings and offers bountiful harmonies to your ears.
Despite being categorized in the genre of experimental R&B, Bea shares, “I can’t claim that I know a lot about R&B, but I do understand why people would think that my influences are all R&B. [But] my influences would be—growing up—musicals.” She names Annie, Les Misérables, Sound of Music and classic Disney films as her early inspirations before citing Jason Mraz and Adele as her musical guides as she got older.
But as we continue to enjoy music while socially distant, remote sets or pre-recorded live performances are the norms. Many, if not all, musicians adapted to this setup to stay connected with fans. Part of this is double hatting as their own technicians and engineers. This is an experience many singers today are all too familiar with. However, as we go beyond logistics, Bea also mentally prepares herself for remote shows.
“It’s hard to translate what we’re used to [when performing] live, especially with the reception from the audience,” she shares. “I have to mentally prepare myself that I am going to be speaking to a camera without anyone speaking back, you don’t have eye contact or you don’t get to see [the audience’s] expressions. For me, that’s a huge part of what I enjoy in what I do, so it needs a lot of mental preparation.”
As spectators and fans seek the joy of IRL gigs, Bea longs for the human connection that comes with performing live. “I miss the company of the audience. It’s simply that, I guess. Being in someone’s company is the same way an audience is there for you. It’s hard to feel that through a screen.” After all, nothing can beat the soul and palpable energy of a live gig, one where the artist and the audiences feed off each other’s energies and adrenaline. Nonetheless, this temporary shift to the digital realm is not negative for the singer. Instead, it keeps her hopeful.
She admits, “[My peers] are a big part of what keeps me hopeful. Seeing how my friends adapt so well and [are] making it work for them, performing remotely or on their own.” Some of her quarantine realizations include the drive to make her recording career work and to fight for her passion in pursuing music as a career. “I feel like the pandemic sort of just set me back a little bit, but it has made me hungrier for [my music career].”
Ahead, Bea Lorenzo shares the lady artists—peers and influences—that she loves. Her playlist is an eclectic mix of local and international singers, from Billie Eilish to Lorde, who’ve adapted to performing remotely.
Closest Thing To Love by Keiko Necesario
Once Aligned by COELI
It’s Okay by Clara Benin
Ghosts In The Room by Janine Teñoso
Who’s Gonna Love You by Leanne & Naara
Death with Dignity by ena mori
Time Well Spent by Reese Lansangan
Runaway by AURORA
John Huges Movie by Maisie Peters
Getting Older by Billie Eilish, in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge
Both Sides Now by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles
Solar Power by Lorde, live on Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Lianne La Havas on Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
Listen to Bea Lorenzo’s recommendations on YouTube.
Art Alexandra Lara