Where are you currently based?
How did you first start playing music?
As a Filipina Canadian growing up in Vancouver, I was so lucky to have my loving, large extended family singing and dancing, at every turn. My Lola (grandma) played and taught piano and encouraged me to take lessons..and to practice!
What’s been happening recently?
Like so many artist’s when we talk about our current releases that are out, our head is deep in the new songs we are writing. Isn’t that the way with everybody?
You have a new EP on the way, what’s the title?
“Feelin New” It reflects a feeling we all seem to want to feel, after all of the isolation and sadness of our pandemic 2020 year.
What influenced the sound and songwriting?
The inspiration is usually right in front of me every morning I wake up. Great artists like Prince, Diana Ross & Michael Jackson inspire me constantly and releases that just dropped by my living idols (Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars & Pink Sweat$) getting me going as well. We can’t forget to mention brand new beginners who arrive with a hot new sound. The way I feel about inspiration is that we are all so very lucky to be living in a time with the media hitting us from all sides. It’s everywhere, not just on the radio, newspapers and magazines like old school.
How did you go about writing the music?
Most of my songs start with a progression or groove I have in mind. On occasion I hit up a fellow keyboard player friend in Vancouver, Jonny Tobin, for a co-write to the changes, but so far the songs come together in my writing studio. I always have a topic in mind before I start: it can be from feelings I need to air, issues in life I want to resolve or jams we all get ourselves into.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?
We record and mix in Nashville, my production partner is Joseph Magee, my mastering engineer is Rob Burrell. And wow, there are so many great players in town, seriously the best in the world.
How did you approach the recording process?
I come in with my song ideas in a fully laid out Pro Tools session. We then start with working lead vocals right away. This helps us build the arrangement. Then we make a groove dependent choice; we either go out to a commercial studio for rhythm section basics or bring those players to our own studio. After basics are done, we refine the arrangement, sometimes over and over. I end up doing several keyboard over dubs and then we start final vocals/harmonies. Once we are happy, my partner looks at some final sonic sweetening and we head into the final mix.
I understand you were a touring Polynesian dancer as a kid. How does this influence your songwriting and production?
I’m a groove machine after all of those years dancing. The rhythm has got to feel right, no matter how simple the song is.
You come from a Filipino family in Vancouver, please tell us about how that affected your start in music:
The stereotypical jokes are spot on; lots of karaoke and dancing at home and family gatherings. There was no shortage of opportunities to get up and perform. Plus Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and every variety of funk played in our house. Let’s not forget, ballads, ballads and more ballads.
I heard that you have BS degree in Genetics when you were fresh out of high school. How does your scientific mind impact your production work?
Hehe, when I have time I learn new software, pretty darn quick. Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, plugins, etc.
You balance songwriting, playing multiple instruments and producing as well as all of your visual production. Your music sounds and looks great, in what order and when did you learn to do all of these jobs?
First, I got the encouragement to come to Nashville on my playing and singer/songwriting potential. Once I arrived, I learned producer chops by first contributing to my own songs, then taking on a more responsible role. Second, I really have to thank some pros in Nashville for encouraging me to express myself, not to hold me to their opinions on how my music should be. Third, my own recording projects led to invites to work on other artist’s tracks. To sum it up, I just gotta say if you want to learn your craft, it helps to learn from people with years and years of experience.
In terms of the visual part of the job, so many of us have been learning quickly, how to get video and still content out to the world. With technology so available, hardware and software, it’s a situation of why not? And if you need to learn a skill let’s say in Lightroom…just go get it on YouTube. How exciting is that?? I love the visual part, it’s my jam.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic.
What do you like to do away from music?
Two things, I design costumes for Halloween and sneak away to teach Zumba classes on occasion. You can’t take the dancer out of me.
What’s planned for 2021?
I’m very excited for my EP release on April 23rd! In addition to the EP, I’m also releasing a music video for the title track “Feelin’ New” on April 14th. The concept for the “Feelin New” music video, is my dance persona and our recent world-wide, online video community inspired her choices. The result is a high energy, community cast of dancers and people with “good feels,” guaranteed to inspire all of us to sport a new smile and feel the groove; a welcome remedy for all we have lived through this last year.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Fav food is sushi, fav hangout is a dance floor in an R&B Soul club where everybody moves!
Listen to “Feelin’ New”: https://distrokid.com/