Get to know Paolo Sandejas, the Filipino singer-songwriter who captured the attention of BTS’ V
We’ve all seen the viral clip: BTS’ V listening and singing along to Sorry by Paolo Sandejas during a scenic drive. For the young Filipino singer-songwriter, it is “an unexpected milestone” in his brief career, and he is filled with nothing but gratitude.
In an exclusive Wonder one-on-one, he reveals, “My music has been introduced to so many new people [whom] I would not have been able to reach without V’s vlog.” He adds, “I’m simply lucky to be able to receive a portion of the love they [show to] BTS.”
Sorry, an anthem on grief, has unexpectedly skyrocketed his career—ironic, to say the least, given how much more love he’s received from people across the globe through the single.
Ahead, we get to know more about the 22-year-old singer-songwriter and performer.
Wonder: You kicked off 2022 with Different Shade of Blue and most recently, HIDE & SEEK, what do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
Paolo: With both songs, I really want my listeners to feel calm and relaxed. I’ve always enjoyed listening to music that calms me down, so it’s nice to be able to put my own take on such a song.
W: What's an emotion that fills the music you create in this season of your life? Longing? Excitement? Security?
P: What a nice question! I feel like right now, I’m in a period of transitioning out of my student life and into my young adult life. That change comes [with] a lot of excitement for sure. However, I believe the emotion that mostly fills the music I create is hope. Hope that the efforts we make in life do not go waste, and hope that no matter what happens, life and fate will always lead you to where you’re meant to be.
W: You've opened up about how your single Sorry is an anthem for your heartbreak years back. Now that you know what you know now, what would you tell that individual wrestling with grief?
P: I would probably tell them to keep moving forward. One of my favorite lines in Sorry goes, “Sometimes things just don’t work out.” I feel that it’s a very important truth bomb as sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be. But by moving forward, we continue to search for the things in our life that ARE meant to be.
W: Coming from a prominently creative family, has performing always come naturally to you?
P: Not really? I remember many times as a kid when I’d try to perform at school events [wherein] I didn’t feel that confidence. However, with practice and repetition, I learned to take pride in my own music and sound.
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W: How do you find that work-life balance as a student and performer? What boundaries do you instill in your day-to-day?
P: It’s definitely tough as there are a lot of things that I enjoy doing, which all require a lot of time and effort. I’ve found out that it works best for me to block out time per day for each of my interests and requirements. However, when specific interests and requirements demand more of my time, I reevaluate how I’m dividing my time and allocate more time to that task if needed.
W: This is just the beginning for Paolo! What are the top things you wish you could achieve in, let's say, the next five years?
P: In the next five years, one of my dreams is to play in music festivals around the Philippines and around Southeast Asia. I really love performing, so to be able to play at a festival would be a dream come true. Other than that, I only hope that I can continue to grow as an artist and develop into the musician that I aspire to be.
Photos Universal Records Philippines
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver