Interviews

Published on October 1st, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Rising International Super Star Iñigo Pascual Makes It Happen on Wax and the Big Screen

Photo credit Anthony Macadaeg

Best known across Asia as the twenty-something heartthrob with a voice like Justin Beiber, a babyface like Shawn Mendes, and BTS level star power; singer, songwriter, & actor Iñigo Pascual is the latest in Asian crossover talent poised to make waves around the world. Coming off of the commercial success of his 2019 international single, “Catching Feelings” and a successful collaboration with Australia’s #1 YouTuber and Chinese/ Australian star Wengie for the song “Mr. Nice Guy.” Two premieres in September 2019 in music and film, he released “Adios” with Singaporean R&B artist Akasha while also starring in the film  I’M ELENA L with plans for his debut solo American album launch titled “Options” due in late 2019; featuring two singles produced by Justin Bieber’s tour director and producer Bernard “Harv” Harvey.

A Los Angeles native, Iñigo left the US in his early teens to pursue an entertainment career in the Philippines following in his legendary superstar father Piolo Pascual’s footsteps. His last Asian single “Dahil Sa’Yo,” blew up the charts and broke records on YouTube, with the lyric video alone amassing 90M streams; despite him being a relatively new artist. Apart from being a chart topper, the tune also took home numerous awards such as Billboard Philippines’ First Chart Topper Artist, Alta Media Icon Awards’ Song of the Year, and the 30th Awit Awards’ Song of the Year, while also touring extensively across Australia, Japan, the States.

This quadruple threat has fans worldwide, with audiences recognizing him from the popular performance show ASAP TV (similar to The Voice) and as the host of  the hit TV show Music Popssss, a music & lifestyle show currently in its 7th season, that has become an international destination media stop for up & coming touring artists looking to expand their own global thump print.

Photo credit Anthony Macadaeg

The Hype Magazine caught up with Iñigo for an exclusive Q&A…check it out!

From the outside looking in, who is the artist, Iñigo? 

Iñigo: I’m honestly just a simple, fun, loving & really thankful person. I’m here to enjoy every moment and really love giving back and using the talent that was given to me to spread love and positivity. I’m grateful that I have the people that I have behind me. I’m very proud of being Filipino. I’ve always loved music, and to share what we have in the Philippines while sharing my love for music has always been my dream. I love being able to create and being able to share it. 

What brought you to the entertainment industry and music, specifically? 

IñigoWhen I was younger, it was always a part of my interest to do music, to be on stage. But I guess what really pushed me to be in the music industry was song writing. I’ll would always find myself writing songs as a kid, and I always loved sharing it to my friends and my family. I’ve always believed that music can connect people, and it became my way of expressing who I was as a person. It was very natural for me, coming from a very musically inclined family and surrounding, it was very natural for me to gravitate towards music.

What do you get from making music?

IñigoHappiness, pure joy and the feeling of satisfaction.

What song of yours would you pick as an introduction to you as an artist?

Iñigo:  Definitely, Catching Feelings.

Why?

IñigoComing from the Philippines, it’s a perfect song that has Island vibes and sound. It’s a song that’s is very positive and has a good beat. I wrote the original song and that’s why it makes it more personal, I’ve worked hard on this song and are happy that people are enjoying it too, it’s nearing 1M streams on Spotify in less than a month from around the world.

Tell us a bit about your work and passions outside of music. 

IñigoActually, that’s a good question, I like reading books and I like working out, as much as I can I like to be outdoors doing a physical activity, even when traveling. For example I’ll go surfing or hiking in Hawaii or run the streets of Toronto or London on my limited down time. I love trying new food & traveling, even though it could get tiring sometimes. I love meeting people and I’m very passionate about promoting the Philippines and encouraging others to help clean up the streets and the waters of the country.

The Hype audience wants to know, what’s been your craziest moment recently? 

Iñigo: There has definitely a lot recently, but specifically in LA, it was the very first time I encountered someone who approached me, who was not a Filipino and asked for a picture and that was very different. Usually, that person is with someone who’s Filipino or is at a Filipino event. I was not at a show that I just performed at, but walking around an Urban Outfitters and a Chinese boy came up to me to ask for a photo in the store and I jokingly mentioned to him, “Wow, you’re not even Filipino” and he mentioned to me that one of his friends had introduced him to my music. It means that we’re able to get our music out there outside of our own community and I love seeing that music is a universal language. 

Tell us about your latest film,  “I’m Ellenya L” co-starring alongside Maris Racal?

Iñigo: Working on this film was a lot of fun with Maris, the cast, & Director Boy 2 Quizon. The title itself is a wordplay on the phrase “I’m millennial” that tells the story of a girl named Ellenya L. (Maris), that is on a mission to be an influential blogger/vlogger. I play the role of her best friend Stephen/Peng that goes above and beyond to help her with her dream but also face reality. It’s a movie people of all ages can enjoy, especially in this generation where people will do “anything for the gram.” 

Reading the positive reviews that this film is something people haven’t seen in Philippines cinema or the fact that it was an entry to this year’s “Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino” film festival, playing in over 150+ theaters, has been a blessing. I love being in the theaters and hearing people laugh and having a good time at a film that is so relatable, not just to millennials, but their parents and grandparents as well. 

What was filming that like, do you want to do more acting? 

Iñigo: I enjoy acting and getting to play different characters in these different films or TV shows, and I will always keep that door open for new opportunities, but right now I’m looking to focus more on my music and loved the reaction we have been receiving on songs I wrote like “Catching Feelings” that will hit 1 million streams soon on Spotify in less than one month. 

You perform at various cultural events relevant to your Filipino heritage, including the upcoming Festival Kultura in Sydney, why is this important to you? 

Iñigo: I love performing for Filipinos across the world, including those that are abroad at community festivals and events in places I just performed recently like LA, Toronto, London, Honolulu, Dubai, Tokyo & Sydney, that help them remember what it feels like to be back in the Philippines with their favorite food & music with their local friends/family. There are also those that have migrated to other countries or those that work abroad as OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), living far away from their families just so they can send money back home. It’s been a blessing to be able to help our community feel at home though my music, wherever they are in the world.

You perform with your father from time to time, with dates coming up in November 2019, what is it like sharing the stage?

Iñigo: It’s an honor to share the stage with my father, he’s a big reason why I wanted to take the stage in the first place. Being at one of his concerts in New York when I was younger, I realized what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Together on stage is fun because we both love performing but what’s also memorable is the time we get to spend together traveling and having fun off stage as well, with the people we tour with and meeting the fans together.

You do so much, what are you excited about that is coming up? Any news you can share with our readers? 

Iñigo: I’m excited to perform at the legendary Staples Center in LA on November 18, 2019 during halftime at Filipino Heritage Night during the Clippers game. I’ve always dreamed of performing there when I was a kid and would drive by in the car and now it’s coming true. I’ve also never been to Rome, Italy, and can’t wait to perform there for the “ASAP Natin To” tour November 16, 2019 with the rest of the cast & crew. I‘m really thankful for these experiences across the world, getting to know new cultures and I’m really looking forward to releasing more music & touring throughout 2019/2020. 

 


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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