A NEW upbeat and danceable song was the works for singer Julie Anne San Jose when the world unexpectedly stopped last year. Because of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the song underwent various revisions and took a while to produce.
“We wrote the song pre-pandemic, and then inabutan kami ng pandemic (and then we got caught by the pandemic). So, it took a while to finish the song,” Ms. San Jose said in an interview with BusinessWorld via Zoom on June 21.
“We just wanted to write a song [that is] something new, fun, and with a festive vibe,” she added, noting that the techno pop dance track also explores the use of ethnic sounds.
When the singer dropped her new single, “Free,” it landed the No. 2 spot on iTunes Philippines Chart just a few hours after its official release last week. The 27-year-old singer first appeared on television as a finalist on noontime show Eat Bulaga’s “Little Miss Philippines” tilt at the age of three. In 2005, she entered the singing competition Popstar Kids, then she joined the child singing pop group Sugarpop. After ending her contract with GMA Records, she signed with Universal Records in 2017.
Aside from music, Ms. San Jose also landed roles television and film such as Just One Summer (2012) and Heartful Café (2021). She is also one of the hosts of the reality singing competition The Clash.
She cites the phrase “Clear your mind and set it free” as the most striking lyric of her song “Free.”
“This song may make you feel inspired with life again. It reminds us na kailangan nating huminga (It reminds us that we need to breathe),” Ms. San Jose said. “It’s also nice to listen to something that makes you loosen up and distract yourself from the world.”
Behind the song is a team of producers from the US and the Philippines — Herdy Casseus, Andrew Gonzales, Carlisle Tabanera, and Ito Rapadas. Ms. San Jose co-wrote the song with Eduardo Gonzalez and Denise Pimping.
“I realized as an artist that you should have vision to create excellence… Ang sarap ng feeling to share kung ano ang meron ka sa iba (It feels good to share what you have with others). Ang music, isa ‘yang refuge. Kung walang music or arts, ang dull talaga ng buhay (Music is a refuge. Without music or arts, life would be so dull),” she said. “I think I really found my purpose to inspire people through my music.”
This year, Ms. San Jose is working on a new album, an international online series, and will return as a host in season four of the The Clash which is currently holding online auditions.
As for her follow up single to “Free,” she said that it will be an inspirational song done in collaboration with an artist she has been good friends with.
“Free” is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, and all digital stores worldwide. Watch the official music video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzA8dTwgV5c. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman