“Who entertains Ylona Garcia nowadays?”
That was my break-the-ice question to the 19-year-old singer and songwriter during a virtual junket for her single “Entertain Me,” a new song launched in partnership with popular video game Valorant.
“In an amazing way?” she responded with another question.
“Besides books and movies,” she paused with a laugh, “My family and my fans. I’m very grateful that my family is here so that’s quite entertaining. With my fans, although I don’t get to see them in person, they’ve been entertaining me a lot. They’re very supportive and very kind. And there are many people joining the fandom, which I find really cool.”
Speaking to Manila Standard Entertainment, Ylona shared that she has moved to the United States. She is staying now in Los Angeles for good. And she admitted that it feels like she’s starting again from scratch.
“I’m starting a career here. Well, it’s always been my dream to launch an international career,” Ylona shared.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Ylona went back to her hometown in Australia to live with her parents. At one point, she went viral on social media after posting a photo where she shared in the caption that she had started working in fast food. That prompted fans to think that she’s decided to leave her showbiz career behind.
“It sounds interesting but it’s been my dream, too, to work there,” she admitted.
Now in LA, Ylona reiterates that her goal is to make music that global audiences can appreciate. True enough, she’s determined to achieve this goal by working with key people who can help her launch an international career
Hot on the heels of her sensational performance at the Head in the Clouds festival, Ylona opened the new year with a big bang with her much-anticipated brand new single, “Entertain Me” via Paradise Rising/88rising Music.
Produced by DNA and written by Ylona herself together with David Musumeci and Antonio Egizii, “Entertain Me” is an anthemic synth-pop number about female empowerment. Characterized by a soaring backbeat and an infectious chorus, the song finds Ylona asserting her independence and dispelling the notion that she can be fooled and controlled by anyone.
“This song was created during lockdown back in Australia. To be specific, it was created Feb. 10, 2021, at 7:54 p.m. Basically I was blessed to catch up with my childhood friends in Sydney. And catching up with them inspired me to write the song,” she recalled.
“I was 18 when I wrote the song. We’re all of the age. And I feel that it’s the time that we’re supposed to be adults, feeling independent, feeling strong but we didn’t feel like that at all, which is really sad, therefore, I ended up writing the song,” she carried on.
Coinciding with the single’s release is the launch of a new playable character in Riot Games’ wildly-popular video game, Valorant. The new character named Neon, who in teasers has been described as hailing from Manila, speaks Tagalog language and is described as one of the youngest agents “who can outpace the rest of the roster, shocking the competition, and sliding straight into the fight.”
The launch of the character Neon perfectly complements the empowered persona Ylona exudes in “Entertain Me.” The single’s release and official lyric video premiere will coincide with Valorant’s trailer launch with sync on Jan. 5 while the music video of “Entertain Me’ will drop soon.
“It was nice to put myself and be like in a sort of character when I performed ‘Entertain Me.’ When I made that song, I felt really, really cool. And Valorant thought that would be a great match to Neon. So, I felt very, very honored by that. But Neon is very cool. Very opposite to how I feel about myself sometimes, but it’s okay. She’s somebody that I want to be,” she said.
Ylona currently has over 4.1 million followers on Instagram and nearly 1 million followers on TikTok in addition to over 265,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 150,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel.
Ylona Garcia’s music is released by 88rising’s sister label Paradise Rising, which was launched in 2020 to help bring Filipino music to the forefront of culture.