Meet Jose Miguel, PH's Rising Blues and Jazz Virtuoso
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The Beat Manila's Up-and-Coming Artist: Singer-Songwriter Jose Miguel

Meet Jose Miguel P Hs Rising Blues and Jazz Virtuoso

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!

With a talent for singing and a passion for performing, a young crooner discovered his calling for music as early as high school. Fast forward to today, he has emerged as a rising music artist on a mission: to resurrect the enchanting tunes of yesteryears and infuse them with contemporary melodies.

For The Beat Asia’s latest Up-and-Coming Artist series, we spoke with emerging singer-songwriter Jose Miguel and had the chance to discover his unique tunes. Fresh off his solo debut releases, the singer-songwriter dishes on his nostalgia-filled music, process in songwriting, and biggest inspirations, among other details you oughta know!

Read on to find out more about this one-of-a-kind musician.

Hello, Jose Miguel! Can you share with us a brief introduction about yourself?

Hey, The Beat Asia! I’m Jose Miguel, a singer-songwriter based in the south side of Manila. Some say I like to sing the blues; some say I like the jazz, but really, I just love to sing.

What ignited your passion for music? Do you have any particular experience or story that pushed you to pursue a music career?

Well, there are a lot of moments in my life that reassured me that I needed to pursue music. One instance was a show that my band did back when I was in Grade 7. It was a student fundraiser called “Rock for Life.” I saw how our fellow students showed us love that day, which really left an impact on my music career.

Music, as far as I can remember, has been a passion of mine. I have always been drawn to sound and the privilege of being able to play the music that I love is an absolute honor.

Who are your major musical influences, and how do you incorporate their songs into your own?

I listen to quite a bit of that golden age type of music, so, singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, and other cool cats!

If you’re talking about today's music, it would be PREP, HONNE, Laufey, Bruno Major, John Mayer, and some OPM classics. I do also love some ‘70s to ‘80s Japanese city pop. All kinds of fresh sounds, really.

Usually, when I’m in the studio with the team, most of the time with Gabe, my music director, we listen to different sounds before working on the arrangement of the song based on the lyrics and melodies that were written prior. I’m looking forward to you all hearing a mix of sounds in the next songs, influenced by these idols of mine.

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

I would say the fact that I have the privilege to write, record, and play the music that I would like to put out. Also, the opportunity to perform [because there’s] nothing quite as thrilling as performing.

Can you tell us some behind-the-scenes stories from your solo debut release, ‘Is This Love?’

There are two songs on “Is This Love?” — one being “Love Is You” and the other “Free.”

“Love Is You” was written the night after the Laufey concert in Manila. I was inspired by the way she would write her songs and the way that she performed. I immediately called a studio session with friend[s] Mark Enriquez and Gabe Dandan, and we wrote the draft that day.

“Free” was heavily inspired by one of my all-time idols, Jamie Cullum. Most of the lyrics were written on the way home from the city while cruising on the skyway. I recorded voice notes then tackled the song in the studio the next day. “A night out with Jose Miguel,” is what I’d say it is.

What are your two new songs, '5 Star Overthinker' and 'Latest Flame,' all about?

The song "5 Star Overthinker" delves into the concept of embracing our shared humanity, emphasizing that despite our individual differences, we are all part of the same human race with a shared experience somehow. The lyrics explore the common occurrence of overthinking and portraying the internal struggles we face. The intricate vocal layers serve as a metaphor for the conflicting voices in our minds, illustrating that, despite the chaos, we have the power to find harmony and control our thoughts.

Writing the song was a natural process, completed in just 30 minutes, as it draws from personal struggles. "5 Star Overthinker" is a sincere expression meant to resonate with listeners, offering a reflection on shared humanity and the internal battles we all navigate.

The song "Latest Flame" narrates the story of a chance meeting at a party, where two individuals experience a subtle yet powerful connection — love at first sight. Despite just meeting, the songwriter conveys the feeling of playing it cool while secretly being captivated by this person. The lyrics express the idea that the newfound connection has the potential to ignite a positive change within the songwriter, symbolized by the metaphor of lighting a fire. A shared kiss becomes the catalyst for a mutual desire, sparking a flame of interest between them.

The songwriter describes the person they met as someone who has the ability to be the source of inspiration, likening her beauty to something as precious and cool as diamonds. "Latest Flame" was inspired by a real-life encounter where the initial attempt to play it cool led to the unexpected and exciting spark of romance. The song maintains a lighthearted and easygoing tone, familiar to today’s modern sounds.

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

I would love to be able to share the stage with the likes of Laufey, Bruno Major, Jamie Cullum, and Norah Jones. I believe that our voices may match, and I could learn a thing or two from today's greats.

What's next for Jose Miguel? Do you have upcoming gigs or shows that we should look forward to?

Well, with regard to shows... I’ll announce real soon. But before [those], is the release of “5 Star Overthinker” and “Latest Flame” under a double called “Light My Fire,” and then an album early next year, brought to you by Gabe Dandan, Jack Paraiso, Big House Studios, Abbey Road Studios, and yours truly, Jose Miguel.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To know more about Jose Miguel, follow him on Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook. You can also stream his music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.

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