Melody Maker - MJ mentions
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Although Jana Garcia’s passion for music began when she was only 3 years old, won as national champion of the Yamaha School of Music (Voice Category) competition when she was 10 and began writing her own songs by the time she was 14, it was only in recent years when she began to make a name for herself in the independent music scene. 

But even before that, this Mass Communications graduate from Adamson University has been honing her chops as back-up singer for artists as prominent as pop-rock singer Lou Bonnevie to American balladeer Michael Johnson who is best known for the hits “Bluer Than Blue” and “I’ll Always Love You” and “Doors.”

“I was always a part of Ms. Lou Bonnevie’s Earth Day Jam concerts so I learned a lot from her. And then I responded to a Facebook post that was looking for back-up singer but did not reveal the artist so I was very surprised to learn that it was Michael Johnson,” Jana told SoundStrip during a recent Breather Moments episode of BusinessMirror’s Broader Look podcast. 

Speaking in mostly Filipino, Jana said that singing with both Lou Bonnevie and Michael Johnson were big learning experiences for her. Johnson even gave her an advice that she still fondly remembers to this day. 

“He said it’s always important to sing from the heart and sing with emotion,” she shared. 

That was in 2014. The following year, Jana began to seriously pursue a career in music as a solo artist. Partly inspired by homegrown icons like Ely Buendia, Ebe Dancel and Join The Club, the band she recently collaborated with, Jana said she knew that like them, she also has “something to offer.”

“I saw that these artists that serve as my inspiration were able to effectively convey what they wanted to say to their audiences through their music. I wanted to do that as well, to communicate my own messages, to give a piece of me,” she mused. 

Determined to make it on her own, Jana she admits to personally knocking at productions and events where she can play her original music. Her efforts eventually started to pay off when her seven-song debut EP, “Ang Simula” was released on simultaneously on popular streaming channels like Spotify, iTunes and Amazon. 

With her wistful vocals and hook-laden introspective songs, Jana was an immediate hit in the indie live circuit. Whether accompanied by a band or just her acoustic guitar, she is a captivating presence wherever she plays.  

As messages go, Jana’s songs reflect the way she looks at the world around her. One of her earliest compositions was a song called “Bihag” which means prisoner. “The song refers to a person who becomes the focus of your attention to the point that you become his prisoner because you are so in love with this person,” she elaborated. 

Another song, “Di Biro,” which she released in 2017 is about love at first sight. “It’s a typical love song but it’s my own take on what people perceive about first love, which to them is synonymous to puppy love or something that won’t last long. I believe otherwise. For me, there’s a big chance that your first love may end up being the one for you,” she pointed out. 

“While Jana’s songs sound personal, she said they’re not always based on her own experiences. “I like to talk to people and then when I go home and realized that a person I talked to had a fascinating story, then I start to consider writing a song about it,” she reveals.

“Sabihin Mo Lang,” her 2018 release and considered as her biggest hit to date, is a different story. 

“It’s not about a particular person. This one has a deeper interpretation since it’s about unconditional love that is not necessarily about couples. It could also be about family or someone’s personal relationship with God. When love is unconditional, you tend to give everything you have, to the point that there’s nothing left to yourself,” she further noted. 

“Heto Na” is the closest Jana has ever got to writing her life story. “It’s a reminder to myself that even artists like us get tired, too. That while writing and releasing songs can be tiresome, our breakthrough is just around the corner, just waiting to be claimed.” 

Her latest single, “Lullabye” with an e was written under unusual circumstances. “I just finished washing clothes or maglaba when I wrote this so that partly explains the title. I tried to sleep after that and then I wondered what else can I do? So I wrote this song. But I decided to make it deeper, about someone who’s tired and just wants to rest but realized that there is that someone he or she can rest easy with,” she further shared. 

With all these engaging stories behind, it’s small wonder that Jana Garcia continues to go places. And yes, she has plenty more to offer. With her amazing ability to craft wonderful songs and record them in her equally remarkable style, we can certainly expect to see more of this wunderkind in the days to come. 

“Lullabye” is released by the New York-based Indie Label The Orchard and under the local wings of Halfnote Music Entertainment. The song is now available on 65 online streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer where Jana’s other releases are also available.

With additional reporting by Fhejay Mae Solemne
Cindy McArthur, Webmaster
Any idea which songs she sang with him??
One concert I have from Manila suggests maybe This Night Won't Last Forever. I don't know if he had backup singers on the other songs.
Cindy McArthur, Webmaster

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