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EXCLUSIVE: Just Juris

With rainy season almost upon us this year, it could be perfect time as ever to listen to the ‘chillax’ music of Philippine acoustic pop royalty Juris Fernandez.

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JURIS FERNANDEZ at the Manila Bulletin office (Photo by Julius Lacaba/Manila Bulletin)

JURIS FERNANDEZ at the Manila Bulletin office (Photo by Julius Lacaba/Manila Bulletin)

Chill-out acoustic music has had its place in the OPM scene for ever so long. At the forefront these days is Moira dela Torre, but remember who opened the door? Yes, it’s Juris.

The latter was lead singer of MYMP two decades ago and those who know her would agree that even then, she can tug at listener’s heartstrings with her mostly mellow style of singing.

Her rendition of “Especially for you” and group’s original tracks “Sa Kanya,” “A Little Bit,” and “Kailan,” among others were on the playlist of almost every radio station across the country.

In an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment, Juris said she never planned to sing the way she does to make them marketable or for them to corner a niche.

Apparently, she just “went with the flow.”

“I don’t have self-imposed rules that ‘Hey I should be singing like this, more chill, more hugot and all,”’ she explained. “I just sing the way I know how. I guess this is my forte.”

Juris admitted being a singer was not really her dream. Coming from a family of doctors, she took up a pre-med course but did not pursue it further as she eventually found herself roaming the metro for gigs.

“Yet I’m an introvert,” she pointed out. “I don’t like to perform in front of many people. I used to perform at school but sapilitan pa. I don’t know what happened but now, singing is what I enjoy doing the most.”

When Juris left MYMP in 2009, she signed with Star Music as a solo artist. One of her remarkable hits with them, from the album “Now Playing,” is “Di Lang Ikaw” (produced and composed by her good friend, Ice Seguerra).

On mentoring
Being someone who has been in the industry for years now and with several awards under her belt, many think Juris is in the position to mentor other artists, especially upcoming ones.

“I’d been around for many years but I didn’t have the opportunity to that,” she said. “I don’t know, let’s see.”

The subject was brought up over the mixed reactions Moira and James Reid have been receiving as judges on “Idol Philippines.” Some think the two are too young for their position.

“You know, I believe that the people, the team behind that show know what they’re doing. There are young artists who are comfortable to work with young mentors. It’s also about emotional support eh,” the former “ASAP” sessionista said.

A few weeks back, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid created buzz online after she called out a contestant on “Idol Philippines” for having the “same sound” as Moira.

Juris relates to the idea of aspiring singers “copying” the style of their idols.

“It’s not something new eh. There are times fans send me videos of them having the same sound as me. I don’t see any problem with that,” she said. “We all know people are inclined to copy or emulate what is popular. Of course, eventually I would wish for a person to look for her own style—that’s where a mentor comes in.”

Back on track
After years in hiatus focusing on family life, Juris returns to the limelight in a big way.

She just released the album “Here’s My Heart.” It consists of six original tracks, including a song she penned for her kids, and four revivals.

The 41-year-old singer is currently on her 10th year as solo artist. As part of the celebration, she holds her eponymous concert on June 15 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila.

According to her, this concert is “dream come true” as it allows her to sing with an orchestra for the first time. The musical director is Francis Concio.

Joining her as special guests are Jay Durias of Southborder and Martin Nievera.

What makes Juris more excited about the show is the idea of her kids sitting in the audience.

“Coming from a band to becoming a solo artist wasn’t an easy transition for me,” she said. “But my family made it happened. I’m excited to see them support me. Every time I imagine my kids being there, my heart melts. I just feel so blessed.”

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