When stars align for Joan Velasquez
Joan Velasquez often introduces herself as an ‘artist-wanna-be’. This music artist may be new in the industry but she has a total of 31.8K combined streams from her three songs on Spotify.
It’s her unique voice that grabs more attention and melts the heart of those listening to her songs.
“Marunong lang ako pero hindi ako magaling. I can play instruments pero hindi mahusay. I paint, draw, and write pero hindi sobrang creative. Yung tama lang. My point is that I love and enjoy what I do. I don’t want to label myself as a professional in creating art”, says Joan.
“Hindi ko alam kung introvert or extrovert ako. Basta I observe first the energy of people na nakakasalamuha ko bago ako mag-ingay. Kaya nung grade 11 ako, nakilala ako ng karamihan na tahimik pero malakas tumawa.”
Joan does not allow her fears to define her. “I grew up believing na hindi lahat ng attributes meron ako. That is why at first, I was filled with insecurities and fear. But I guess lahat naman tayo natatakot.”
Just like a good song, Joan developed her love for music as she grew up. “I really don’t know kung kailan nag-start ang love or passion ko for music. Pero nung hindi pa ako nag-aaral, I remember na mas gusto kong makinig sa radyo kaysa sa manood ng TV. Mas naenjoy ko yung mga kanta at the same time na curious ako sa mga taong nagsasalita sa radyo. Nakakapakinig na rin ako ng mga kanta sa mga television shows as these evolved.”
“Nung 12 years old ako nag-start na sumubok sumulat ng mga kanta at tula. Sobrang cringey yung mga naisusulat ko noon. Pero nakakaproud din kasi doon nagsimula yung growth ko as a music artist”.
Her music influences were based on the artists which her family appreciated more. “Lumaki at nakatira ako sa bahay na buong araw may nagpapatugtog. Kahit saan kwarto may nagpapatugtog. Pumunta ka sa baba, sa taas, pati sa labas ng bahay ay may nagpapatugtog. Hahaha. Kaya yung curiosity ko nung bata ko laging – paano kaya gumawa ng kanta? Gusto ko ganoon din ako.”
“Madalas makinig yung tatay ko sa The Beatles at yung kapatid ko naman kay Ed Sheeran. Sa pagsulat ko, hindi ko na rin alam sino yung mga naka-influence sa akin. Siguro yung mga English teachers ko or sa mga napapanood kong foreign movies. Hahaha.”
Her music is a somewhat combination of indie pop-folk. “Sa kung anong naririnig ng tao sa akin ngayon, sobrang obvious na ang influence ko ay si Reese Lansangan. Two-faced compliment ‘yon para sa akin. I really find it hard na mahanap pa yung magiging trademark ko. Pero it’s okay kasi nasa proseso pa rin naman ako.”
“Dati, hindi ko agad masabi na Pop ang genre ko. Pero bakit ako mahihiya? Eh, wala namang masama. Kasi yung ibang artists, lalo na yung mga bands….ang iba sa kanila feeling superior na porket pang headbang yung songs nila. Eh andoon na sila sa taas, hindi na sila matitibag.”
“Nilagay tayo ni Lord sa ating respective places sa music industry. Walang higit o lamang. May kanya-kanya tayong purpose kung bakit iyon yung genre natin at space sa music industry.”
Joan also faced challenges from persons with damaging form of behavior. “Yung mga taong gumagawa ng iba’t ibang klase ng shaming. Ginagawa nila ‘yon kasi they can’t make themselves progress. I hope they find their true worth. Mahirap yung ipinapasa nila sa iba yung insecurities nila. At dahil sa mga personal experiences ko kaya nagagawa kong makasulat. I just have to let go and adapt.”
A fiercer Joan now faces detractors. “I am an ambitious woman but I know, by experience, how much the world has been harsh to me but still the world gives sweetness. I am content to see myself change. Slowly, learning to let go all the abysmal experiences. Asking myself over and over again why do I need go through all of that won’t clear everything, every agony.”
“I am a woman. I am ambitious and I intend to make my own way into this world. What others negatively say has zero effect for who and what I am. I shine, not hide. I may be emotional and sometimes a little scared but that’s not how my name ends. I am Joan, an artist.
As an artist, Joan has released three songs.
‘Huling Sandali’ was written by Joan and Andrew Patuasic of Cyber Band. “It is a song of questions from a person holding onto someone whether he or she should let go. There is no perfect relationship.”
“It’s about a person who’s in a draining relationship. Despite of the emptiness, that person is still able to find ways to give. Just like most of relationships, people put their partners into pedestals and I view it as a risky thing and prone to possible mistakes. But at the end of the day, we all love unconditionally. Love is like a wave. Beautiful yet could be destructive.
Another song is ‘Jupiter And Pluto’, named after two planets. Jupiter being the largest planet while Pluto may not longer be considered a planet due to its size. Hence, the catchy line “You said, I’m your Pluto and you’re my Jupiter”. The song showcases Joan’s sweet-calming voice, bringing the feeling of how beautiful it is to be in love.
Joan wrote this for a 6’3 feet guy. “Para ito sa guy na hindi ako hinusgahan. This song is kinda cute but it’s quite deep for me. Sobrang emotional ko when it comes to this song.”
“It is an emotional song played majestically with the keys and orchestra in it. It is well-produced by Ian Mabulac of Idiyanale Productions.”
And the song ‘Conjunction’ – as the sun’s glare opposed. “It’s about two people orbiting each other but never seemed to be as one. As a sequel to ‘Jupiter And Pluto’, two person played as planets who kept trying to align or conjunct with one another. The message is that two persons can love each other but still be uncertain of commitments that’s why a line goes “Is it better if we, remain apart?”
“Though the lyrics seem sad, remain grateful for your former uncertain partner. You will learn a lot from the experience and outgrow the bitterness. The song is magical. Try listening to it while you watch the stars come alive at night.”
Meanwhile this pandemic has given Joan a lot of realization about life. “Hey, I’m totally fine! Madaming realizations. Gumawa ako ng virtual diary about this. Unti-unti kong nahahanap yung sarili ko. Unti-unting nare-resolve yung mga traumas ko noon. Matagal ko ring hiniling ito hahaha…. yung lagi akong nasa bahay. Kasi 2019, pagod na pagod ako physically eh…hanggang ngayon din naman huhuhu…hahaha.”
“The internet has made the world smaller. I met a lot of friends. Actually, mga listeners sila noon then eventually turned into friends. Mga kapwa kong artists na mas magagaling sa akin. Nakakatuwa kasi ang dami kong natutunan sa kanila.”
“Pero minsan sobrang nakaka-pressure since nasa bahay lang ako. I have all the free time kaya nao-overwhelm ako. Hindi tuloy ako nagiging productive pero ayos lang, hindi ko kailangang ipilit. Mahirap pilitin na magka-spark, ika nga.”
Her future plan is centered on pursuing her studies. “Mag-aral. Iyon lang muna for now. Kasi noong 2019 durog-durog yung mga plano ko. Focus muna ako sa studies ko. Natuto na ako sa mga pagkakamali ko noon pero hindi ko naman bibitawan yung music. Gusto ko munang lubusan na magamay at maka-fully blend sa pag-aaral lalo na’t nasa new chapter – college freshman na ako this year.”
With all her success, she is grateful to those who supported her.
“Syempre, malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa aking family and friends. But I want to take this opportunity to really thank my artist friend – Andoy Patuasic of Cyber Band. For sure he’s proud of me. Witness siya kung paano ako nag-grow and mature as an artist. Napaka-supportive ni Andoy at laging naka-guide. I appreciate his honesty and criticisms. I know that he will always be there to support and see me soar higher as an artist.”
“Ganoon din sina kuya Migs Dato and Eugene Layug of O/C Records. Napakahumble nilang tao. Lagi nilang pinaparamdam na I belong sa music industry. Laking factor nung wini-welcome ka ng mga kapwa mo artists.”
“I also want to thank two gentlemen who never failed to make me feel that I am free. I am beyond grateful to Nicholas Castro and Kuya Ian Mabulac. They are great musicians and producers who helped me with my songs”
“And to my good friend Isabelle. She is the person behind my amazing song cover arts. She’s very creative and a smart artist. Stay tuned for her fantastic art for my upcoming EP”
“Last but not the least, thank you Tatay Paul. Akala ko talaga masungit si Tatay Paul, hindi pala. Hahaha. Thank you sa the rest of Mendirafam for the warm welcome.”
Her advice to other aspiring artists is to be more observant to others. “Be interested in other people’s experiences and perhaps even inconsistencies as you can use these as inspiration to improve your craft. Be observant for there are times when you can’t be fully-creative but your perspective will always guide you to do amazing things – more than you can imagine.”
“Explore your potentials. Tell stories, comfort someone, and then realize that you can do so much with your music. Make your own way in this beautiful yet challenging world. As you learn to sail your own ship, never be afraid of the storms.”
Apart from music, Joan offers insight to her personal world through a virtual journal on Substack. Few reviews are pleasant as Joan not only shares her experiences but also removes the feeling of doubt and the fears of being alone.
Joan’s message for Mendira Media: “Thank you so much Mendira! You made me feel something I’ve been craving for a long-time… and that is belongingness. Cheers to more projects with the Mendirafam! May God bless us all.”
She is an artist to watch out for. Joan’s stars are starting to align in her favor.
Joan Velasquez social media and music platforms.