Filipino band juan karlos channels its inner strength with its newest single “BLESS Ü,” which will be out on all digital and streaming worldwide on July 24, 2020 via Island Records Philippines. Released while the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is still ongoing, the pop-R&B track delves into people’s collective toughness of spirit during these challenging times and hopes to ease worries and fears.
juan karlos is the band behind the hit song “Buwan,” which is its second single. The band members are frontman, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Juan Karlos Labajo, lead guitarist Jeriko Aguilar, bassist Louise Bayas and drummer Gian Hipolito.
The uplifting message of “BLESS Ü” was something juan karlos strives to bring forth to the people whenever they are faced with adversity but more so and critically, during a health crisis with seemingly no end in sight right now. Labajo said, “The song, or at least the idea of it, was already made prior to the lockdown.”
“Basically, it was just on standby but when the pandemic happened, all gigs were cancelled,” Labajo continued. “We thought it’d be a good idea to record something different from the music people are already familiar with from us.”
While the circumstances then and now are vastly different, the band’s intentions remain the same, which is finding hope. Labajo sings, “Just hold on tight for in the end of every tunnel, Baby, there’s light.”
The songwriting and recording process for “BLESS Ü” had its fair share of unique, unprecedented challenges as completing it during the lockdown meant adjusting to several limitations and the band welcomed the experience. Labajo explained, “Not all of our members have their own home setup so (doing it separately) was just not feasible but when the lockdown was lifted, we were able to record it properly.”
In just a few years that juan karlos has been making music, the band is not one to shy away from shedding light on critical and necessary topics, often drawing from the members’ own lived experience. Labajo shared, “I’ve experienced depression and anxiety and it’s really frustrating, the feeling of being down all the time,”
With “BLESS Ü,” juan karlos wants to offer people going through the same mental health situation some comfort to “help them feel somehow lighter,” according to Labajo. The band pledged part of the revenue streams of the song to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as hold a special online fundraising concert to support our countrymen and connect with fans virtually.
Also, “BLESS Ü” follows the release of the band’s debut album “Diwa” and the emotionally charged single “Sampaguita” featuring Aristotle “Gloc-9” Pollisco, 42, which emphasizes the hardships faced by overseas Filipino workers. A lot has changed since the album’s release but Labajo’s fearless message on these topics remains embedded in his music.
According to Labajo, his solo music career is currently inactive. Hailing from Cebu, Philippines, he first gained recognition as a finalist on “The Voice Kids Philippines” and went on to pursue a career not only in music but also in acting.
After releasing of albums under MCA Music namely “JK” in 2015 and “JKL” in 2017, Labajo realized that he has to stop settling and commit to what he really wants, which are to write, produce and perform his own songs the way he hears it in his head and heart and be part of a band.
Formed in 2018, juan karlos is a six-time Platinum awardee signed under MCA Music. The band went under several personnel changes and ultimately released its smash hit “Buwan.”
juan karlos aims to dream big or go home and to make a mark in original Pinoy music (OPM) and globally. Labajo said, “I want to be able to make a change, a difference.”
“I want to show people the importance and beauty of music,” Labajo continued. “I’m in music for the art, to earn in order to fund my daily needs and dreams and for recognition so I can have reach and to be heard.”