Six Things You May Not Know About Me…
I used to sew all of my own clothes, either from scratch or I would alter clothes I thrifted. Before I decided to pursue music, I was in line to take over my mom’s alterations shop back in Alaska. It was extremely stressful to feel responsible for taking over my moms small business. Like, REALLY stressful. But when it came down to it, she supported my decision to live my truth.
I used to compete nationally in pageants representing Alaska. I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for naming the organization, but I was basically Miss Teen Alaska a few times at national scholarship competitions. And then, I got into Berklee and I didn’t use any of my full-ride scholarships LOL. I thought I was going to be an English teacher up until I took the leap towards music. I was going to teach and then take over my mom’s business.
I love anime. I am a huge sailor moon fan, I used to be obsessed with Inuyasha, and I’ve been working my way through Naruto recently. In our house, we rewatched almost the entire Dragon Ball franchise over the pandemic. It took forever. We still have about 100 episodes left, but we’re chipping away at it.
I’m dyslexic. I don’t think I could survive without autocorrect and even still, autocorrect and I fight ten times a day because it’s out of pocket with the word suggestions. No respect.
I was on my high school improv team my senior year. I know. Super cool. Very hot. I was also obviously a choir and theater nerd.
I am an emotional eater. I feel like this is cultural too. In Filipino culture, food is love. I don’t think my mom has ever really apologized to me for anything. Instead she would cook. And if someone didn’t eat it, was an insult. Food is how we show we care and how we heal.
Twelve Songs That Have Influenced My Life & Career…
Please Be Patient with Me – Wilco
This song was a big moment for me. I first listened to it in college. I guess I hadn’t ever heard a song about mental health affecting a relationship before it and I felt seen for the first time in a very specific way. I’ve been pretty open about my journey with my mental health in my music and social media and this song definitely was a turning point for me.
I Could Fall In Love – Selena
This is one of the first songs I can remember singing along with loudly in my room. I looooooved Selena growing up. I watched the JLo biopic everytime it came on TV. I think this was one of my first favorite songs.
Que Sera Sera – Doris Day (Karaoke Version)
My mom is Filipina and, as a culture, Karaoke is huge. As soon as they learned I could carry a tune, I was sat in front of the machine for every party or event. I’m pretty sure I learned how to read by singing this song on karaoke.
BYIMM – Emily King
I remember the moment I heard this song. I was living with my uncle in Philly the summer I graduated college and I was walking to the train station when my head exploded. Emily King helped me to embrace the sassy and soulful way that I sometimes write songs. Genres can be really limiting. Representation is huge. So, this was a huge moment for me. I was like “damn, she’s tender and soulful at the same time.”
All of Ella Fitzgerald – Specifially, her live albums.
I can’t pick just one song. Ella was a beacon of light for me. She put out so much music and had so much control over her voice and body as an instrument. I studied her heavily in college to the point where my professor was like “okay, that’s enough Ella.”
People – Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl)
I was introduced to Barbra Streisand through Funny Girl. I know probably every word to this musical and it’s unbearable to watch it with me. The VOICE, but also the charm. I think I learned it was okay to be playful and not take yourself too seriously from her. Obviously, she still takes herself seriously…but she had FUN.
Samson – Regina Spektor
I started writing my own songs when I was around 15 and in a heavy “Regina phase.” It was perfect for my hormone induced dramatics. My mom hated listening to Regina with me because at one point she barks like a dolphin in one of her songs. But, I loved that. I loved how free she was.
You Don’t Know Me – Regina Spektor and Ben Folds
Ben Folds was a big moment for me. His songwriting is so unique and playful and badass. But, also really vulnerable. I want to say it was like freshman year of college that I listened to him on my commute to school over and over and over. Regina was the gateway to Ben.
Stay High- Brittany Howard
I f*cking love love love Brittany Howard. She has such a unique magic to her that is hers alone. She inspires me for sure to just keep doing my best. Music is weird because obviously there are no rules and some things work and some things don’t. But, I think Brittany’s vibe literally only works for her. She’s special that way.
Souls Like the Wheels – The Avett Brothers
When I was 18, I discovered the Avett Brothers and I lost my shit. I was super depressed. I had to defer a year so I could figure out how to pay for Berklee. Most of my best friends had left for college. The tenderness of these dudes and the way the could still rock out on stage and have fun. They’re still some of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.
No children- The Mountain Goats
Melodic yelly, depressing and aggressive folk-rock that says things that you don’t think anyone should actually say. God I loved it.
Otis Redding – You Send Me
This kind of soul has a real hold on me. There are a lot of artists that have influenced me and my life but this was the first song that came to mind. This was hard to do because I could list out 100 more songs and I didn’t even touch on what my parents listened to, but I think that I still got 12 pretty good ones.
“Music for me is about freedom and expression and vulnerability and these questions just made that even more clear to me. Thank you so much!” -Julia