At the mere age of six, Eris Justin has already exposed himself to the world of guitar strums and drum hits. During his interview with pikapika.ph last Friday, January 17, the singer-music producer recalled the time he fell in love with music, when he saw his older brother’s band practice in their house.
“’Yong kuya ko po, nagba-banda so nagpa-practice sila sa bahay,” he recounted. “And then, ako siguro mga six years old tas nakikita ko sila. After nila mag-practice, magha-hop on ako sa different instruments ta’s gagayahin ko ’yong ginagawa nila.”
That, for Eris, was the beginning of a journey towards what would be a life-long passion. He brought it when he began high school, forming his own band, and when he set foot for the first time, by himself, in Florida, USA. He said it was his time in the Sunshine State where he reinforced his passion for making music.
“Pag dating ko sa US, I didn’t know anyone kaya doon ko pinag-aralan mag-produce [ng music] on my own,” he said. “’Yon ’yong pinaka-foundation. ’Yong pagba-banda ko noong high school, tapos pag dating ko ng US wala akong kakilala so I did it on my own, I guess.”
It took Eris one whole year of trial-and-error when it came to making music. With the help of watching tutorial videos on YouTube, he taught himself how to write songs, compose beat, and even sing.
“Isa siyang buong taon na trial-and-error,” he recalled. “Noong nagba-banda [naman] ako, hindi ako vocalist, hindi ako singer so inisip ko [kung] sino’ng kakanta. If I want to make music, I need somebody to sing so pinag-aralan ko rin kumanta. Una, sa Internet then nag-vocal lesson ako doon. Ngayon, meron akong coach pero sa Internet lang din.”
“Doon ako nag-start na matuto mag-produce,” he added. “[I did everything] basically from scratch. I said ‘I want to make music. How do I do this?’ Ta’s ayun.”
During his year of scratching and clawing, Eris produced five songs, including his hit song “S’ya” which has over 300,000 streams on Spotify.
“Surprisingly, ’yon ’yong nag-hit kasi ’yon ’yong pinaka-simple kong kanta,” he said, chuckling. “Hindi ko siya inisip. Parang, may hawak akong gitara tapos kumakanta lang ako and then naisip ko na, ‘P’wede ’tong kanta!’ and then [...] gawa na ’yong kanta at hinugot ko lang somewhere, tas sinulat ko ’yong kanta, then triny kong gawan ng beat, then ayun.”
“S’ya”, as explained by the Viva singer, is about romantically liking someone who does not like you back. Apart from that, the one you like has eyes for another person who does not like him/her back.
“Doon umiikot ’yong story ng song,” he explained. “Eh, noong panahon na ’yon, hindi ko nga alam kong saan siya nanggaling kasi I was in a relationship noon, at, siyempre, ’yong girlfriend ko noong panahon na ’yon was like ‘Ano ’tong kantang ’to?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know. Hindi ko rin alam.’ Parang emotion lang siya na gusto kong ilabas from the past, tapos ayun, na-produce.”
“Super-bilis ko lang siyang nasulat,” he recalled. “Siguro, 15 minutes lang, gawa na ’yong kanta, and then I made the beat for like 30 minutes tas pag-release ko, I thought this was the one, eto ’yong una, after that long trial-and-error.”
However, Eris’ first emotion at the time he saw his song hitting streams was confusion.
“Parang ’di ko naman kasi in-expect na magugustuhan ng tao, kung paano nila i-take ’yong song,” he said. “Pero masaya nga ako na nagustuhan ng mga tao tapos sinundan ko na lang ng pagiging consistent.”
A surprise came to Eris when he attended a Filipino party back in Florida. The music producer was simply chilling and mingling with peers when a sibling of one of his friends approached him and asked for a photo.
“Parang hindi ko naman in-expect na pati doon sa US [may fans ako],” he said. “Pero pag-uwi ko [sa Pilipinas], meron, I guess. May mga nakakasalubong ako na nagpapa-picture or sinasabing fan sila.”
Yet, Eris admits he gets nervous when people approach him to have their own fan moment because he still does not know how to react to such.
“Hindi ko In-expect na may makakakilala sa akin,” he said. “[Pero], masarap naman sa feeling na may nakakakilala [sa’yo].”
Despite that, his passion when it comes to making music gives him an all-time high, especially when he is in the zone of composing beats and writing lyrics.
“Iba ’yong high niya. [...] Kasi ’pag gumagawa ako ng kanta, wala akong plano,” he admitted. “Wala akong plano how it is with sound right now. Parang, subconsciously lumalabas lahat. Kung ano napi-feel ko at the moment, doon ko malalaman how I was feeling noong panahon na ’yon. After ko gawin ’yong kanta, dire-direcho lang siya. ’Yun ’yong process sa paggawa ko ng music.”
After a year of making magic by producing his own repertoire of songs, Viva Records, through their Artist & Repertoire Officer Burn Mercado, discovered his talent and passion, so they reached out to him.
“May potential ka!” he recalls the mainstream music label saying. With that, they set him an interview with Viva’s Executive Vice President for Music Group Verb Del Rosario who convinced him to sign up with the aforementioned mainstream music label.
“I was releasing music consistently. Like, every month, simula noong end of 2018 hanggang start of 2019, tas ’yon ’yong nakita nila,” he said. “Naka-gather ako ng small fanbase, nagkaroon ng konting streams, then, ayon, nag-reach out sila then I got signed.”
It all came to a shock that successes like being signed to a huge music label like Viva Records came for Eris. However, shock turned to elation for him, turning to his mother and telling him the good news.
With more singles and collaborations with underground rappers this 2020, Eris Justin is ready to conquer the OPM world with his own style of music, and we cannot wait!