Jed Baruelo Talks About TikTok-Viral Hit ‘Nahuhulog’ & More
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The Beat Manila’s Up-and-Coming Artist: Rising Pop-Rock Act Jed Baruelo

Jed Baruelo Talks About Tik Tok Viral Hit Nahuhulog More

The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming is a series where we feature rising talented artists from the Philippines, giving them a platform to share what they’re passionate about and to promote the music they (and us too!) would love for the world to hear. Do you want or know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at [email protected] or slide through our DMs on Facebook or Instagram!

From chart-topping hits to overnight sensations, TikTok has become the epicenter of viral music trends, helping obscure or even year-old tracks get into the public's attention. Thanks to it, one budding artist is stepping into the limelight through the viral hit “Nahuhulog.” If you read alternate universe (AU) fictions on TikTok, you might know who we are talking about.

For this month’s Up-and-Coming Artist series, The Beat Asia had the chance to talk to young Filipino pop rock act Jed Baruelo about the story behind his popular track, his beginnings, aspirations, and more.

With a gift for music and a knack for writing, he has become one of the must-watch-out artists in today’s music scene. Read on to get to know the 20-year-old crooner beyond the “Nahuhulog” phenomenon!

Hi Jed! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music?

Hi! I am Jed Baruelo. I am a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Manila. Music [has been] a part of my everyday life since I was a kid, mainly because of the influence of my father, who is a musician and the lead guitarist of the bands that he joined.

How was creating your first song like? Any stories or challenges about it you would like to share?

Creating my first single, “Back When We Were Sixteen,” was enjoyable but also tough. I’d written that song during the pandemic, so I explored how to record songs by myself during that time using GarageBand. Of course, as a starting recording artist, it was challenging because I had to figure things out on my own in terms of the technicalities [of] producing the music, promoting a song during a pandemic, etc.

Nonetheless, after all those things, it was really fulfilling. Being able to express yourself to the world through your music is a surreal feeling.

My first single is about a girl that I used to like; however, she went to a different school after high school. It was my 16-year-old self who was screaming and singing in frustration at the song.

You have great keyboard and guitar skills! Who taught you/where did you learn how to play these instruments?

I got my guitar skills from my father. He had already been teaching me how to play [the] guitar and bass since I was seven years old. I also used to take piano lessons when I was in 6th grade.

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

I really love to perform my music live in front of many audiences, and I’ve been dreaming of that since high school. And now that I’ve got to experience it, I guess the best feeling is when you witness how people connect to you through your music and how they appreciate your craft, which makes you wonder that you are doing something right, perhaps inspiring or motivating other people, or helping them to get through a tough time.

Let's talk about your hit song, 'Nahuhulog.' What was the story behind it? Did you expect its viral success, especially on TikTok?

Nahuhulog” is one of the songs that I’ve written that I can say, “Hey, that’s me, and I’ve experienced that feeling first-hand.” It really started in a very weird place. Me, in front of the kitchen sink, washing the dishes. I started humming the melody, which came out of nowhere, played it afterwards using my keyboard, and then I wrote the lyrics. I was really in love at that time. I really felt that the relationship I had was not complicated and that I was being loved and treated right. That’s why my favorite line in the song is “Bakit gan’to kababaw ang palaisipan ko? Kahit na umaapaw ang pag-ibig ko.”

Also, I wrote that song during the pandemic; that’s why I wrote the lines, “’Di ko hangad na agad nang matapos ‘to. Kailan ba mauulit ‘to? Ayoko nang kumawala sa’yo,” which literally explains how hard it was at that time to see your loved one.

A year after releasing the song, I was surprised because it significantly gained traction on social media. It was really unexpected since matagal nang nakatengga yung kanta (It was unexpected since the song was long overdue).

Thanks to TikTok and its users, who also used my song to create AU content, my song was acknowledged by many.

Congratulations on the release of your new track, 'Totoo!' Can you share with us what the song is about and how it came to be?

I’ve been working on my dream album that I’m hoping to release soon. “Totoo” is the latest song that I wrote and produced during my album recording process. I would say that it was an impulsive decision for me to release this song, but the reason for this is that I want my listeners to have an alternative song to listen to besides “Nahuhulog.” I also want my listeners to know that my sound is flexible.

About the new track, it is one of the songs that was not based on my own experience. I wrote it because my friends, who [were] also a couple, recently broke up. I [wrote] the lines inspired by the things that I have heard about what went wrong with their relationship.

The song generally conveys the importance of good communication, compromise, and openness when you are in a relationship. It also ironically expresses that we do not have to endure a relationship that circles around a below bare minimum treatment. And mainly, the song encourages couples to always tell the truth, so that misunderstandings and confusions can be avoided.

What do you enjoy most about performing and being a musician?

Probably the interaction from the crowd. The feeling is different. It’s very surreal when I see the audience singing along with me. It’s very heartwarming.

If you could collaborate with another artist, locally or internationally, who would it be and why?

IV OF SPADES! Kidding aside, I would really love to work with my fellow Sony Music artists like Ben&Ben, Ace Banzuelo, etc.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Stay tuned for Jed Baruelo’s upcoming gigs and album by following him on Instagram and Facebook, or stream his music on Spotify or YouTube.

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