We're introducing a new digital celebrity series, Cosmo.ph Spotlight. And first up to get featured is
You might be familiar with her name—the former child singer who we still see on TV from time to time—or not. And we don't blame you. The 23-year-old GMA Network talent has been making only a few headlines the past year, most of which had to do with her rumored romance with Kapuso heartthrob Benjamin Alves. But her love life isn't what we're discussing here.
Julie, or Japs as she's fondly called, is not just a random filler who sings and dances on variety shows. Unknown to most, Julie is an artist and a very hard-working one at that. She not only sings (incredibly well, mind you), but she writes her own music, collaborates with co-artists for her passion projects, and plays several instruments—the piano, guitar, drums, violin, and ukulele (she's also looking into learning the saxophone soon)—all of which she humbly says she only knows how "to play by ear."
After failing to win in the singing competition Popstar Kids in 2005, 11-year-old Julie went on to be part of a girl group which then led her to bag more singing and acting gigs on GMA-7. One of her biggest career highlights was being paired with her former love team partner Elmo Magalona in 2013. Even after their tandem was broken off a couple of years after, Julie continued making music.
After a few albums, concerts, and a Communication Arts degree from Angelicum College under her belt, Julie's star power is still under the radar. She's made waves mostly on the internet scene where her covers of international pop songs (most recently with "Despacito") on her YouTube channel have gone mega-viral.
We sat down with Julie to talk about her start in music, what frustrates her as an artist, and why she is never, ever giving up on her dream.
What was your musical training like?
I started singing when I was two and a half years old, and then I took voice lessons when I was three. It has always been my
The first instrument I learned was the piano. My dad bought this piano '
I enrolled sa piano lessons kaso parang dinadaya ko na siya kasi nakakatugtog na ako ng mga piyesa, parang pang-beginners lang 'yung tinururo—"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." I wanted pang-intermediate level sana ituro. So nag-start kami sa ganoon when I was seven or eight.
I've always been passionate about music. Siguro
Do you wish people took you more seriously as an artist?
Yeah, because I believe there are a lot of talented people here in the industry and I just think they need to find this perfect avenue for them—they have to find this platform that would fit them. Kasi
People should be more open-minded about the artistry ng isang tao or 'yung capability nila sa craft nila 'cause, like I said kanina, sobrang daming talented na tao dito sa showbiz na 'di nabibigyan ng recognition.
What's your biggest frustration about the industry?
Haters and bashers. 'Nung nag-start pa lang
How do you deal with them?
I just ignore them. Now, I have a team who handles my social media accounts—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook—may
Every time I browse Instagram or Twitter, I don't read comments.
Kapag celebrity ka, people expect a lot from you. People think that everything is served to you on a silver platter. Parang
What's the meanest thing that was said or done to you by your haters?
The meanest thing?
Another one was when I had this show at a public event and someone vandalized my car. [They spelled out] a harsh word. Mura. Someone cursed me. I felt bad
They make me tougher and stronger. And
I just want to perform. I want to make people happy. I want to make music and spread it
And I'm very lucky and blessed that I have my family, my friends, my supporters. I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for them.
What are you looking forward to doing in your career?
I'm looking forward to making more music and doing more acting projects. I'm starting to like acting
I also want to pursue my Master's degree. I really want to but I think I'm just not ready yet, I guess. I've thought about it [a lot]. Like a month before the enrollment, I did the essay,
I also want to try Broadway! Para
If there's a song that you could relate to the most right now, what would it be?
"Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah. It's about '
'Nung natalo ako, sabi ko, maybe hindi ito para sa akin. And maraming beses ako muntik mag-quit—pero hindi, eh. 'Pag gusto mo talaga, 'yun talaga. Siguro nga it's "written in the stars."
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jico Joson, Mixi Ignacio
VIDEO: Trina Elefante
HAIR: Rhoy Cervantes
MAKEUP: Kaye Misajon
STYLING: Ash Aquino