It's not hard to fall in love with RISE artist and viral sensation Gigi De Lana, what with her angelic face and beautiful voice.
And when we had the chance to get to know her more, we instantly fell for her personality and mindset, knowing the path she treaded before stepping into the limelight.
In an exclusive interview with the 26-year-old singer, Gigi recalled her humble beginnings, from when she discovered her passion for music to finally pursuing her dream.
According to Gigi, the very first song she sang in front of the crowd was the national anthem "Lupang Hinirang" back when she was still a kid.
"Nag-start ako kumanta, batang-bata pa lang ako. Una kong kinanta, 'Lupang Hinirang.' So nag-presinta ako tapos sinabi noong teacher ko sa mama ko. Sabi niya, 'Hindi naman po 'yan nagsasalita, paano 'yan kakanta?' Doon na nag-start na nalaman ng mom ko na nasa tono 'yung boses ko," she recalled.
From there, her mom made her join school contest after school contest, and eventually verging into bigger competitions. Her experience from these contests became her training ground to further enhance her voice.
When she found herself all geared up for bigger opportunities, that's when Gigi decided to sing for weddings as raket.
And while it gave her experience and even funds to keep going, it was only until she became part of her band, The Gigi Vibes, where she felt it's the field she wanted to take for the rest of her career.
"Mas nahasa ako noong kasama ko na sila ['yung banda]. Dito mas nahasa 'yung pagkanta ko, mas na-pursue ko 'yung singing ko. Hindi lang kasi ako basta singer...'yung pag-pursue ko ng pangarap, it's not just about singing, it's not just about fame; it's about who you are and paano mo ilalabas passion mo sa people and how you will inspire others to achieve what they need to achieve as their own," she said.
Fast forward to today, Gigi's slowly building her own fanbase, what with all the love and support she's getting after her “Bakit Nga Ba Mahal Kita” cover went viral last July.
In fact, she's been tapped to sing the "Viral Scandal" theme song, as well as got cast in the iQiyi series "Hello Heart" with Gerald Anderson as her leading man.
She also recently released her debut single "Sakalam," a rock ballad written and composed by Erwin Lacsa and band member Romeo Marquez.
In terms of making their own music, Gigi said they draw inspiration from their collective experiences as a band. "Noong una po, pinilit kami magsulat ng sarili naming songs. And sinabi sa'min may deadline. And 'pag hindi namin nagawa yun, hindi kami magla-live. So ginawa namin 'yung song."
"Pero bago namin gawin 'yung songs, sabi sa'min na gawin niyong inspiration 'yung mga nangyari sa buhay niyo. Doon na kami nag-start magsulat ng kanta," she added.
True enough, "Sakalam" reflects not just only a person's heartbreak, but also the struggles Gigi went through before her road to stardom.
Now, her dreams are starting to unfold right before her eyes, with one of them she recently ticked off her list—a duet with her ultimate idol, The Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez on "ASAP Natin 'To."
"Isa po sa mga natupad na pangarap ko is si Ate Regine na makasama ko siya sa pagkanta sa 'ASAP.' Hopefully maka-collab ko siya na kaming dalawa lang," Gigi shyly admitted.
She also expressed her dream to see Bamboo perform live one of these days and work with rapper Gloc-9. "Gusto kong mapanood live si Bamboo. As in sa harap ko. Si Gloc-9 [din] kasi sobrang gusto ko 'yung music ni Gloc-9. Gustong-gusto ko talaga siya maka-collab," she exclaimed.
But more than wanting her dream collaborations to happen, it's her dream for her band she badly wanted to achieve: to perform on a concert stage anywhere in the world, with their own world tour, hopping from one country to another.
"Anywhere [is our dream concert stage]. 'Yung iikot kami, 'yung magtu-tour kami sa buong mundo. Kahit saan doon basta makapag-perform kami anywhere," Gigi shared.
That dream of performing anywhere is slowly coming true as Gigi and more OPM icons such as Bamboo, Moira dela Torre, BGYO, BINI, and EZ Mil are performing at the 1MX Dubai 2021 concert happening this December 3 at Trade Centre Arena, Dubai World Trade Centre.
For inquiries on tickets, you can send a message on TFC Middle East’s Facebook Page or send a WhatsApp at +971588769771.
You may also purchase tickets directly here.
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