The tale of The Juans

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
The tale of The Juans
The band has landed on Billboard Magazine’s Next Big Sound at the very high slot of No. 9.

The Juans is in a celebratory mood. The local band has landed on Billboard Magazine’s Next Big Sound at the very high slot of No. 9. The chart brings attention to the hot young artists around the world as per social media and social streaming platforms.

Last week’s list had Joshua Bassett, star of the TV series High School Musical at No. 1 followed by hip-hop star Erica Banks and K-Pop group Cravity. That means being in the Top 10  is indeed a big deal. Previous Filipino acts who landed on the list were the K-Pop patterned SB-19 in 2019 and Morissette in 2020.

And now we have The Juans. The group made the grade, thanks to the over 62 million streams of the jugular-aimed ballad Hindi Tayo Puede. There is also the excellent performance of the recent release Pangalawang Bitaw with over 800,000 streams on Spotify upon release.

Another reason not to be dismissed is how the four-year-old Istorya became one of last year’s biggest hits, thanks to the cover version by Regine Velasquez. And maybe also because The Juans came up with what must be the most inspiring song about surviving the COVID-19 pandemic in Manalangin.

The Juans is happy and profusely grateful. I am sure that the members are also breathing long sighs of relief and thinking that patience does pay off. This is because The Juans faced a major crisis back in 2017. Their followers dubbed the Juanistas were on the threshold of mourning. It really looked like the end had come for the group.

The Juans was founded back in 2013 as a boy band with a difference. They did not only sing and dance, they played musical instruments. It was made up of Carl Guevarra on keyboards and lead vocals, Japs Mendoza on lead guitar and also lead vocals, Jiad Arroyo on rhythm guitar, Jason de Mesa on bass and Daniel Gorospe on drums.

Their prospects were good. They had the looks and the songs and were serious about working hard to make it to the top. They also had this curious name. They called themselves The Juans after the British boy band One Direction but Juan is also how the Pinoy Everyman is known and being The Juans acquired a deeper meaning.

The hits came, each one bigger than the last. Atin Ang Mundo, Makasama, Prom, Yan Tayo, Eh, Istorya, Balisong and Binibini Sa MRT. But problems arose when Jiad, Jason and Daniel became impatient about a lull in their careers and decided to leave the group to try their luck on other jobs and have a stable future.

Carl and Japs, the vocalists and songwriters, decided to keep going though. They became a duo. They were okay but just that, okay, which in the entertainment business does not amount to much. It was a good thing that they did not stop looking around for new members.

Then as though helped by Divine Intervention, it happened. They found in the choir of the church they regularly attended in Malolos, Bulacan the three guys they needed. They not only had the music in them, they also idolized The Juans.

A year later, Carl and Japs were introducing the new Juans to the media. Chael Adriano, an engineer on bass guitar; Joshua Coronel, who was into marketing, on the drums; and RJ Cruz, then a high school student and who is now studying music in college at St. Benilde’s, playing the acoustic guitar. They turned out to be the perfect fit.

So perfect, in fact that The Juans were soon back on track and creating bigger hits. So big, in fact that they are now on the pages of Billboard.

Patience does pay off. More so when it is combined with drive, tenacity and lots of talent.


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