Julianne Tarroja
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Julianne Tarroja

Manila, Philippines | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Manila, Philippines | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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At this point, the only people who still insist that OPM is dead are those who aren’t exposed to local independent artists. These harbingers of doom don’t bother going to gigs or going beyond what they see on local TV or hear on their radio stuck on those masa stations.

Further proof that OPM is alive and well: two artists released all-original material just this past week. Both are consummate professionals and refuse to compromise on their artistry, which is why they both released their albums outside of the traditional major label system.

The first is Julianne Tarroja, who was once a fixture on the local gig circuit in the late 2000s before she took an extended break. Once dubbed Manila’s Soul Child, Julianne was the first local artist signed by major label MCA Music, which released her debut album "Grateful" in 2007.


Julianne Tarroja
It took eight years before the singer-songwriter released a follow-up. “I needed to experience life first,” she told a crowd of family, friends and fans at the launch of the sophomore album at 12 Monkeys in Century City in Makati last week. “It was a journey to find hope and courage and beauty in unexpected places.”

With the support of her management team at Manila Genesis, Julianne released the new record, "Ashes To Beauty", independently. It retains much of what I love about her: powerful, expressive vocals; thought-provoking, uplifting lyrics; and mad guitar skills. I used to watch her during gigs around town, assured that I would be witnessing a true artist at work every time. When I saw her up onstage that evening, it was a revelation; she seemed the same, yet somehow, something had changed.

She was radiant, effervescent and graceful, just like she was eight years ago. But this time, there was an edge, a fire, and a sense of urgency. This was a woman that had gone through trials, and lived to tell the tale, or sing about them. “I’ll tell you about a person who went on a journey to find hope, and courage, and beauty in unexpected places,” she said in between songs. “Along the way she encountered broken promises, false hopes, shattered dreams. This woman was me.”

When she sang, it was with the passion of torch singers of old—I was reminded of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Etta James. But it wasn’t all unquestioning devotion: she seemed a bit more skeptical and untrusting. The songs conveyed strength and defiance, channeled through a person who has learned to let go and continue living. “Sometimes we have to go through the darkest places on earth to know what light means,” she said.

Julianne may have built up her defenses somewhat, but she can never hide the positive, vivacious spirit underneath. The cracks show and we see that this isn’t a crusty cynic who has lost all faith in humanity. On the contrary, on songs like “Ikaw Lang,” “Never Far,” and the title track, “Ashes To Beauty,” she’s someone who sees the value in people—the right ones at least—and attempts to reach out to them, inspiring them with her words and melodies.

I bought the CD and listened to it on the drive home. Some of the intensity is lost in the production and I truly feel Julianne is better heard and appreciated live, but it was good to fill the air with her voice and her spirit. It’s a valiant effort from one of the most underrated artists of our time. - PAUL JOHN CAÑA (GMA NEW ONLINE)


MANILA, Philippines - Fresh from a successful tour in Singapore, Julianne Tarroja (photo) launched her latest full-length studio album titled Ashes To Beauty yesterday at 12 Monkeys in Century Mall, Makati City.

Julianne has been in the music industry since 2007, sharing her story through songs around the Philippines and Asia. She made OPM history by bagging the Best New Female Artist and Best Female Recording Artist trophies at the 2008 Awit Awards for her single Grateful, which she composed and was produced by Mike Luis for MCA Universal. Since then, she has been regarded as an inspirational artist, with her music specifically catering to women who identify with her testimonies on inner beauty, hope and courage.

She went on to win the Top 3 slot of Philpop 2013 for Pansamantagal, which she performed and recorded with Sitti. The single also won Best World Music at the 2014 Awit Awards. The singer’s collaboration with Quest for Digmaan, which was produced and arranged by Gab Valenciano, received a nomination for Best Song Collaboration at the 2015 MYX Music Awards.

Ashes To Beauty is Julianne’s long-awaited follow-up album after Grateful’s release eight years ago. The record is composed of 10 originals, which Julianne herself composed. These include the tracks Fly (arranged by Marcus David) and Ikaw Lang, which Julianne also arranged.

The music videos of Fly (directed by Patrick Filart and produced by Marcus Davis and Audioclef) and Ikaw Lang (directed by James Molleta and produced by Julianne herself) can already be viewed on Julianne’s official YouTube channel. “I have yet to find a female singer as gifted as Julie. She is a graphic designer, a singer-songwriter, a music arranger, a cook and baker, and the best singing guitarist I know in this country. We are honored to be part of this season in her life. Her music makes me cry,” says Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano, president of Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management, the team behind Julianne.

“Ashes To Beauty aims to uplift, inspire and encourage women of all ages, from all walks of life through songs that communicate my real-life testimony that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places and that every woman could find beauty even in ashes,” says Julianne. “Women are blessed to transform something like ashes into something so beautiful that they can be proud of and draw strength from.”

At the launch of Ashes To Beauty, fans experienced an intimate evening of beautiful music with Julianne. Former Jam 88.3 DJ Patricia Malay, an advocate of Plump Pinay, which promotes and supports plus-size women and inner beauty, hosted the event. The event also featured special performances by Barbie Almalbis, Acel van Ommen, Monique Lualhati, Katrina Velarde, RJ dela Fuente and Maya’s Cradle.

Ashes To Beauty can also be downloaded on iTunes, Amazon.com and Spotify. For details, visit www.manilagenesis.com and www.juliannetarroja.com, or follow Julianne’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts at @juliannetarroja. - The Philippine Star)


Julianne was one of the first acts to grace the third day of Baybeats 2011. Performing next to a Singaporean acoustic soloist at the Esplanade Concourse, she stunned the audiences of different nationalities with her acoustic jazz licks & soulful voice. It was sheer tremendous energy that kept bursting out from the Philippine artist that I almost dropped my gear while shuffling lenses.

"Candles and flowers set around the stage make for an intimate setting as Filipino songstress Julianne strummed and sang to an enamoured crowd at the Concourse on Sunday night. Supported by her percussionist and bassist, Julianne’s voice soared through the vast hall, drawing the audience in like bees to a honeypot. " -Cathlin - Ian Soliva


JULIANNE TARROJA. In the region, the name is synonymous with the words gifted, inspiring, talented, beautiful, and amazing. A singer-songwriter whose music has already touched the lives of countless, bringing together people of different faiths and even different music, becoming a safe zone for artists and appreciators alike.

Her guitar playing is matched only by her singing and both are well above the rest. A classically-trained pianist, Julianne took that school of music and transferred it into guitar playing, making her style as unique as it is jaw dropping and flawless. She’s regarded as one of the best guitar players in the country and not going unnoticed, she is now an endorser of Maestro guitars, a brand from Singapore.

Of course, she'd be the type to just shrug it all off and disagree. That's what makes her cool. Hers is the area of humility and grace. Her music speaks and sings of higher meaning, better reasons, and the kind of positive messaging that our world and our time sorely needs. Hers is the locality of safety, of faith, of belief in a bigger purpose, a larger scheme. And it's infectious, mind you. Watching her play and listening to what she sings about really gets to you at her gigs, leaving you swaying along to the melodies or nodding your head to the groove.

She released her debut album “Grateful” a few years back and is currently recording her second album with plans to release it this year. I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of the tracks off of the second record and I can honestly say that I’m more than excited for it to be shared to the rest of the world. The guitar playing is phenomenal as always but it’s the songwriting this time around that’ll get you.

A more mature, wiser, more patient Julianne can be heard in the tunes and it’s a sobering thought that someone so good got better.

Julianne has very recently played around the Southeast Asian region and continues to do so, captivating and blessing the international audience with her gifts. She's also busy and back in the studio, recording a much-anticipated brand new release. To follow what Julianne is up to and to keep up to date with all that she’s doing, check out juliannetarroja.com - Pinoytuner.net


MUCH-awarded singer-songwriter Julianne returns victorious from Singapore’s famous alternative independent music festival, Baybeats 2011!

"It was both a blessing and a huge responsibility to be have been given this opportunity to represent our country through music," says Awit Awards’ Best Female and Best New Female Artist of 2009 of her Singapore experience.

As part of the Philippine delegation alongside Wolfgang and Turbogoth, Julianne took charge of the Chillout Stage at the Concourse of the Esplanade last August 21, strumming her way into the hearts of the sizeable audience turnout at the venue. Performing all original material including some of her favorite compositions like "Queen in Me," "Grateful," and her new single "Fly," Julianne proves she is a force to be reckoned with in lyricism and musicianship. Supported by her bassist, RJ Manese and her drummer Benjo Robles, this Philippine representative reminded the international audience that great music still exists. And through Julianne, music is definitely alive and well.

Julianne was featured in the benefit concert last Sept. 3 entitled "Symphonic Passion" by the Manila Symphony Orchestra at the Philam Life Theatre.

Currently she is busy promoting "Nowhere to Run" with Rivermaya, the official song for the Time Horizon Pictures/Star Cinema movie, "Thelma" which will show nationwide this September 7, 2011. - Malaya News Paper


For 2007, MCA Music set itself to launch a new OPM artist who will take things to another level and introduce a brand of music that’s different from the usual fare that we are used to hearing in radio. And MCA did exactly that by releasing the debut album by newcomer Julianne entitled Grateful, featuring the certified hit single “Tulak Ng Bibig,” which is currently hitting different radio charts nationwide.

Her brand of music is a mix of different musical genres and influences; a hybrid of acoustic pop, folk, R & B, jazz and neo-soul. Her album is comprised of nine tracks Julianne wrote herself plus stripped down renditions of “Tulak Ng Bibig” and the title track. Majority of the album was produced by veteran R & B artist and Freestyle member Mike Luis while two standout tracks (“Unsaid” and “Healing”) were produced by Dan Gil of Chillitees. Veteran musicians Mark Escueta, Rommel dela Cruz, Wendell Garcia, Sach Castillo, Daniel Crisologo and Dexter Aguila, among many others contributed their talents to this album. Other favorites in the album include “Empty Chairs,” “Thank You,” “Queen in Me,” “Choose to Believe” and the title track. Julianne started out with different bands and acoustic groups before realizing that she had written promising material on her own as inspired by her dreams and experiences. And now, she is busy promoting her new album on TV, radio and the live circuit. The newly reformatted MTV Philippines will be launching Julianne as their first Rising Star for the month of May. - Clickthecity.com


Discography

STUDIO ALBUMS

  • Ashes To Beauty (2015)
1. Ashes To Beauty [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
2. Buwan [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
3. Fly [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
4. Here And Now [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
5. Ikaw Lang [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
6. Melancholy Moon [Music by: Julianne Tarroja / Lyrics by: Jonmarc De Guzman & Julianne Tarroja]
7. 7000 Miles To Grow [Music by: Julianne Tarroja]
8. Never Far [Music by: Julianne Tarroja / Lyrics by: Jonmarc De Guzman & Julianne Tarroja]
9. One Step [Music by: Julianne Tarroja]
8. Warning Sign [Music by: Julianne Tarroja]

  • Grateful (MCA MUSIC | 2007)

1. Tulak Ng Bibig [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
2. Grateful [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
3. Choose To Believe [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
4. Queen In Me [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
5. Let In Rain [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
6. Unsaid [Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja]
7. Healing [Music by: Julianne Tarroja / Lyrics by: Jonmarc De Guzman & Julianne Tarroja]
8. Empty Chairs [Music by: Julianne Tarroja / Lyrics by: Carisse Escueta & Julianne Tarroja]
9.Thank You [Music by: Julianne Tarroja / Lyrics by: RJ Manese & Julianne Tarroja]


SINGLES

  • "Tulak ng Bibig" (2007)
  • "Grateful" (2007)
  • "Queen In Me (2007)
  • "This is Me" (CAMP ROCK OST | ASIA) (2008)
  • "Liwanag" (2009)
  • "Fly" (2011)
  • "Ikaw Lang" (2012)

Photos

Bio

A captivating, critically-acclaimed, exquisite singer-songwriter from the Philippines, Julianne has effortlessly drawn audiences in through the sheer hypnosis of her soulful phrasing and the unadulterated pleasure that is her voice, stretching vowels artistically, with a focused stillness.  

Julianne’s music is a wonderful blend of technical artistry and melodic accessibility that provides an alluring invitation to stay and dwell a little longer in a musical atmosphere that’s uniquely hers: piercing, soothing and authentic.  

Factor in her solid guitar playing, oozing with jazz tones, an element of folk, and a slight hint of acoustic pop – you have the makings of an artist preordained for world-wide success.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Julianne began singing the age of three. Her parents being musicians themselves ensured that her childhood was filled with wonderful music. Her earliest influences include the Beatles, James Taylor, & standard jazz . As she grew older, Julianne’s artistry on guitar grew as well. Today she is one of the most prolific guitarists in the Philippines, able to create melodies and harmonies that speak volumes of where she is, where she is going and where she has been.

In 2008, she she took home the awards for Best Female Artist and Best New Female Artist at the Awit Awards, the Philippines’ most prestigious music awards in the Philippines. She also  has performed & shared the stage with world-class artists such as Grammy-winner Colbie Callait, Mute Math, Jars Of Clay, Jeremy Passion, Gary Valenciano, Rivermaya to name a few. Julianne has also performed on the international stage, touring with Sing Out Asia & performing in various events & music festivals in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taipei & the United States. 

With her music that carries messages of hope, love, faith, she's been pegged as one of the most inspirational artists of her generation. Evident in her work, she is the founder of Ashes To Beauty Philippines, a movement that shares womens redemption stories. She also part of the core songwriters in Republikha.org. & Joomajam Philipppines, an Non profit organization that produces original music for children.

Julianne continues on with her musical journey with a new album that speak hope, faith & courage. Her new album, Ashes To Beauty was released June of 2015 & is available to download on all online stores. 

Band Members