Fil-Am Jason Farol of ‘Duets’ fame signs with Viva, promotes album in Manila

California-based Filipino-American singer Jason Farol is coming to Manila for the first time to spend a two-month stretch of promoting his debut album and immersing himself in Pinoy culture.

He is scheduled to arrive on Sunday morning, October 13.

The 24-year-old, 6'1" tall power balladeer made waves after he placed 3rd in the reality singing show "Duets" where he was paired with American Idol Kelly Clarkson.

Music in his genes

A distant relative of Pinay singer Claire Dela Fuente, Jason is now a signed artist of Viva Records as his eponymous album intends to showcase his charm as a balladeer.

The track "I Believe In Love Again" is now playing in local radio and MYX channel while a Tagalog piece "Kung Ikaw At Ako" is expected to endear him more to Filipino listeners.

Fans of the 23-year old singer can see him perform in intimate shows scheduled on October 18 (District Cavite), October 20 (Glorietta Mall), October 25 (Trinoma Mall), October 26 (Harbor Point, Subic), and October 27 (Marquee Mall, Pampanga).

Excited to be going home to the Philippines Jason Farol (from the official Jason Farol Facebook page)

Yahoo Philippines OMG! chatted with Jason (via YM) in time for his Philippine arrival and tour that includes being Sarah Geronimo's guest in her upcoming major concert. Here are key excerpts from the conversation.

Can you tell us more about your Filipino roots?

My dad was born in Batangas and my mom was born in Manila. It is my first time coming to the Philippines so I'm really excited to see the culture and where my family grew up. They also tell me that the Philippines has some of the best beaches in the world so I can’t wait to visit.

How are you preparing for your Philippine visit?

I have been doing constant rehearsal getting as comfortable as possible with my songs, especially my Tagalog song. I'm still trying to learn the language so it can be a little tricky at times.

Can you tell us more about that Tagalog song and the experience of recording it?

I recorded the song here in the States, it was produced by Christian De Walden. I knew how to pronounce some of the words, but my mom helped me in translating it so I could get the right emotion for the song. I was lucky enough to have Christian's wife there to help me with the pronunciation as well. Overall, I'm very happy with how the record turned out.

That's cool to hear. How about your guesting at Sarah Geronimo's concert, what can we expect from you there? How familiar are you with Sarah?

I am super excited to have the opportunity to perform with her! She is an amazing vocalist and I'm just in awe of her talent. We are performing a song that I performed on the show "Duets" with Kelly Clarkson. I'm not sure if I’m allowed to say which song, but it's one of my all-time favorites. I was lucky enough to see her in concert when she performed here in Los Angeles and got to meet her after, she's super humble in person which is very admirable.

Let's go to Kelly. What's the best thing you've discovered about her so far?

I always knew she was a great vocalist, but hearing her sing right in front of you was a little daunting. But in person she is so friendly and goofy that it's so easy to work with her and it's a lot of fun.

What's your favorite duet song with Kelly and why?

There were so many that I loved but if I had to pick one it would definitely have to be "Mercy".

Jason Farol with Kelly Clarkson on TV's 'Duets' (from the official Jason Farol Facebook page)

I feel like that was my breakthrough performance on the show where I finally came out of my shell and just had fun. It's also my favorite type of music (throwback soul, doowop). She even let me perform it with her at her concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It's high energy and a lot of fun to perform.

How amazing you ended up third in “Duets” when you were in the bottom two 4 times.

That definitely hurt a lot. I was trying so hard, but for some reason some of the judges didn't like what I did. In the beginning it was very defeating and stressful, but ultimately it made me push myself harder, and I think without all that harsh criticism I wouldn't be where I am now.

If given the chance, would you welcome a showbiz career in the Philippines?

I definitely won't say no, It does seem interesting. I'm sure once I get more experience in the music industry, I eventually will want to branch out into the acting scene.

Jason Farol's Manila tour is supported by Holiday Inn Makati and Ayala Malls in District Cavite, Gloritta Mall, Trinoma, Harbor Point, Subic and Marquee Mall, Pampanga.

Jason is on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Watch him on YouTube and listen to his songs on Soundcloud.

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