“Juan Karlos as a solo artist is currently inactive,” said singer-songwriter Juan Karlos “JK” Labajo. He is now the frontman of the six-time Platinum awardee juan karlos.
Signed under MCA Music, juan karlos is composed of Labajo on vocals and guitar, Jeriko Aguilar on guitar, Louise Bayas on bass and Gian Hipolito on drums. As for the band’s name, the frontman candidly shares that it was his record company that decided on it but if it was him, it would have been a totally different thing.
“Having a band is not easy, ilang beses din kami nagpalit ng members (we changed members several times) but now, we’re settled na (already),” Labajo said. The “The Voice Kids Philippines” alumnus revealed that it was only then that he realized that he can actually sing when he already started performing with his band.
“I’m not the best singer but when I perform, I really do give my best,” Labajo said. He grew up in Cebu City, Philippines but found his career in music here in Manila, Philippines. After “The Voice Kids Philippines,”he ventured into acting and a solo career as a singer.
As a solo artist, Labajo released two albums under MCA Music namely “JK” in 2015 and “JKL” in 2017. He then realized that he has to stop settling and commit to what he really wants, which is to write, produce, and perform his own songs the way he hears it in his head and heart and be part of a band.
Labajo’s bandmates in juan karlos are no strangers to the music industry. Aguilar and Hipolito are original Pinoy music legend Freddie Aguilar‘s son and nephew, respectively, while Bayas is the niece of bassist Mike Bayas, who performs with artists like Kitchie Nadal and Aia de Leon.
Given that the juan karlos members have different set of influences ranging from rock, hip hop, funk and blues, they have such good music and personal chemistry making the band work. With Labajo, what currently guides him with his music and sparks his interest are musicians that he has been studying for their singing, songwriting and guitar playing prowess.
“I started collecting my inspirations and choosing the people who would influence me not sound wise but career wise,” Labajo shared. Among his current inspirations are Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Derek Trucks, Ambrosia, Toto, Chicago, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Jeff Buckley.
Ready to move forward from “Buwan” and “Demonyo,” juan karlos just dropped an album on March 20, 2020 titled “Diwa.” Released under MCA Music, it is the band’s debut album and it has 10 tracks including “Sampaguita” featuring rapper Aristotle “Gloc-9” Pollisco, 42.
“I want to be able to make a change, a difference,” Labajo shared. “I want to show people the importance and beauty of music. I’m in music for the art, to earn in order to fund my daily needs and dreams and for the recognition so I can have reach and to be heard.”