Artist In Focus: “Julie Anne San Jose”
She was fifteen when I first saw her. It was the first time my ears reached this wonderful voice she has. A voice that exudes overflowing talent and certain precision. It was a voice that up until this writing, has repeatedly played in my head, similar to a tape stuck in a loop.
Her name is Julie Anne San Jose. Jump starting her career as runner-up in a singing competition is a tough start. Although it helped her get a few television stints, the spotlight has always been evasive. At a point like this in the process of finding that spotlight, only those artists with settled perspective and real talent will endure this lengthy and exhausting highway.
In great ways, GMA helped her blossom from a girl to a lady, from a singer to a performer. They gave her opportunities that she accepted wholeheartedly. She worked the hardest she could possibly give and in the end, it paid her off, big time. In just a short while, maturity enveloped her. Improvements sharpened her. She was just a bird learning to fly, but in a short instant, she soared higher than anybody had expected. She took her time. Now, fame itself will take its time deconstructing a strongly built Julie Anne.
I am not easily impressed with singers. It will take a genuinely great vocals for me to be really mesmerized by that singer. In the case of Julie Anne, ever since I heard her voice, I loved it. Each note released has this powerful punch. It is powerful, yet, it has this gentle, soothing and familiar sound. Even though I noticed a few problems with her ‘runs’ a few years back, (a ‘run’ is composed of two or more syllables sang in a single progression of notes) listening to her now, she has already worked on this minute detail in her singing. What she is lacking now is the texture. I haven’t quite grasped a hint of texture in her singing. But then, what I like most about her singing is that she does not concern herself with the high notes. As long as she delivers the song with the most appropriate emotion, the performance is complete.
Also, although listening to her for a few times will give you an idea that her voice does not have a distinctive quality, an increased depth and regularity in listening to her voice will more likely imprint a unique tone in your mind. A unique tone that whenever you hear it, you’ll know it is her.
Hearing her always gives you a certainty that she knows what she is doing. She is immersed with subdued confidence. It is not an arrogant confidence but rather a comforting confidence that assures the audience and even herself that nothing will go out of its accord. This is an advantage for her performances where she has to be in a group. Even her co-performers themselves attest to it. Whenever they perform with her, they feel that everything will be alright — no missed note, no off-keys, and no messed-up lyrics. A sign of a great performer.
THE EXTRA SPICES
If her vocals already amazed me, coming to know her extra spices left me applauding non-stop. She is really quite a talent. A talent that is worth every second you spend witnessing. These extra spices refer to the different musical instruments she can confidently play. She strums guitars, caresses pianos, and beats drums. These are instruments that I always wanted to learn playing. But Julie Anne knows them all. She has carried some of her performances with these. She sang Miley Cyrus’ The Climb with the guitar, Taylor Swift’s Back To December with a keyboard, and just recently, she performed Look At Me Now with the drums. Wow. She can have her own band with only herself. How’s that for a concert?
Here is her cover of Back To December.
Another plus, she can rap.
Here is her cover of Chris Brown’s Look At Me Now.
This is her, singing Tinie Tempah’s Written In The Stars.
This year has been quite a year for Julie Anne. Opportunities came at her doorsteps one after the other. It seems like this year has become the blanket where all her hard work showered its payment.
It all started with the boom badoom boom bass, Super Bass!
When she covered the song, no one expected that it will, after just a couple days become a million-hit video. As of this writing, her Super Bass cover has now reached a massive 4.8 million views. Well, it is massive in the Philippine context at least. It is a very rare scenario that a video from the Philippines, by a Filipino, would reach that certain number of views. And her, achieving that has caused a bit of a stir in the world wide web, particularly in the Philippines. A chain reaction you might observe is the line of videos that achieved a favorable turnout of views as of the moment, namely her covers of the songs Price Tag and Look At Me Now.
Following the successful Nicki Minaj cover, she was given a shot that all artists thirst — an opportunity to step on the Araneta Coliseum stage.
She was personally selected(not very sure who), among all other artists, to do a front act performance for David Archuleta’s concert in Manila. She sang five songs during her act. And in the middle of these performances, she lost her balance while singing a Paramore song. But she did exactly what a professional must do. She stood up and continued singing as if nothing happened. Imagining being in her shoes at that moment, I could feel a thousand-pound of embarrassment and disappointment weighing on her. Standing up after that kind of blow is easier said than done. It requires mustering every inch of confidence in yourself. Again, it is easier said than done.
ALAS, THE SPOTLIGHT
But even after all these, something is still missing. Something that made her hold on when things were not going with her flow. It was the spotlight that she longed for. And again, this year, that spotlight came to her — the Beyond Limits concert. She did a front act before but now, this is her concert. Though shared with two other artists, Frencheska Farr and Jonalyn Viray, the concert gave her that spotlight she wanted and longed for. Though shared, the concert gave her a stage she can own — a special stage I will bet she cannot forget. She was given her individual space and time to perform with her new-found spotlight, and this she shared with her fans, almost cutting their throats cheering for her. The concert was a delight to watch, although I got to watch it only courtesy of YouTube. She has never been glowed with a special cloud of aura before. I guess that spotlight was really something special.
Julie Anne has accomplished her goal. But who said it was the only goal? Who said the quest is finished? Just minutes after writing this, she became one of the most searched artists in Yahoo! Philippines.
Her quest is not yet done. Nor is it near completion. It is yet to be explored. It is yet to be experienced. It is yet to be shared.
I want to hear her voice again. Be mesmerized once again.
- The Faces Of Most Promising Artist Of 1st Half Of 2011 Posted Today! Final Nominees Out Of These Numbers To Post Next Week! (entervrexworld.wordpress.com)