Early this year, before the world found itself dealing with a global problem last experienced a hundred years ago, digital pop act Jace Roque advocated mental health through his music and thoughts.
Months later, even musical artists felt the weight of the very issue they hope to help address. Musicians were practically paralyzed by the effects of a world where singers and performers can’t do their thing in front of fans and random audiences.
Jace himself admitted to feeling depressed going through the ordeal of being unable to promote his music the way he used to. Or when doing so proved effective as he had strings of hits prior to pandemic.
He shared, sounding honestly as any artist would, “Before ‘Forever,’ nagkaroon ako ng three consecutive hit singles kaya I had high expectations for my next release. Pero nasira ng pandemic yung release schedule ko kaya I got depressed. I didn’t know what to do. Ang taas ng anxiety ko at the time. When this song didn’t chart, feeling ko doon na magtatapos yung career ko.”
Last Friday, Jace appeared in a zoom presser as a young man who survived with an intact smile and a new do saying, “bring it on.” That he launched his latest music video on a Friday the 13th reflected his stance on the blitzkrieg of troubles 2020 had poured on. Not even the threat of a worst-kind of virus, or a typhoon that jives with it, could stop him from directing his and dancing on his music video. The result blended well to a song that pumps up the blood and grooves to the basic idea of everlasting love.
That song was released last March, at the height of ECQ. But seeing that it didn’t enjoy the kind of run it could have minus the pandemic, he put out an acoustic version last October that gave it an extra bite. The alternate rendition reached No. 20 on iTunes Philippines.
The music video, on the other hand, was shot at SilverMoon Studio, with its proprietor dubbed Mr. Moon allowing Jace to do it for free as a fun ride on the momentum. Mr. Moon apparently was impressed by Jace’s talent that he was handed the privilege.
Mr. Moon noted, “I hope Jace keeps his passion alive because if he does, he’ll surely get through all the hardships that come with being a musician. I believe that all his dreams will come true.”
SilverMoon Studio is the Philippine branch of a popular photo studio in Seoul, South Korea. It was perfect for the K-Pop feel Jace hoped to achieve, with its colorfully stunning backdrops and sets.
Asked what was on his mind as he tried to keep himself afloat in the forever-altered music scene, he said, “Hindi po ako sumuko at nilaban ko pa rin. I did everything I could possibly do under the circumstances. Nag-adapt na lang ako sa situation kasi yun lang yung paraan para maka-move forward to stay relevant.”