In her TikTok series, How I Wrote For…, Jayda shifts her focus as a singer and lets us in on her impressive skill in songwriting.
In the realm of music, just as with any fragment of the modern world that subsists and survives on social connections, there isn’t a more central and crucial relationship as that between a singer and a songwriter. Hits, classics, and soundtracks don’t write themselves, and at this point, it is a fairly known fact that the artist essaying the song would be nowhere near any rigor of success without the mind, heart, and musicality of a composer and lyricist. Yes, there are those who are so attuned to their creativity and prolific with their passion that they function as both, the hybrid we have come to know and love as the singer-songwriter. (Hello, Taylor Swift.) However, even the greatest needs help or at the very least, expand their musical point-of-view by collaborating with other artists.
Leafing through the discographies of some of our favorites, one will be surprised to know who is behind the music that has been on streaming heavy rotation and become mainstays of our playlists, essentially becoming near and dear to our hearts, as well as of our deafening 3:00 AM thoughts. From Bruno Mars helping pen Adele’s All I Ask in all its gut-wrenching glory, Lady Gaga laying down the melancholic mid-tempo revelation that is Quicksand for Britney Spears, Jessie J redirecting Party In The USA to Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson giving up her own Tell Me A Lie for One Direction, and Harry Styles having a hand at Ariana Grande’s aching Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart, we begin to understand the symbiosis that exists in the ecosystem of music.
They weren’t kidding when they said that it takes a village to make great things happen. And for the likes of Belle Mariano and Maymay Entrata, they have Jayda to thank for some of their most powerful tracks.
This Is Jayda, The Songwriter
Striking out on her own, independent of the intimidating reputation set by her parents, Jayda Avanzado has been slowly, surely, and steadily been singing her way to the consciousness of many ever since breaking out in the industry a few years back. With such hits as Happy For You, Perfectly Imperfect, Sana Tayo Na, Heal, and Paano Naging Tayo (which won Best Music Video at the International Film Festival Manhattan for her directorial debut), the promising artist has proven herself more than just her pedigree in show business. A fascinating contrast to her sweet, angelic face is a vibrant voice that is both charming as it is commanding. Compelling in nature, boasting of complexity and comprehension that belies her age, the musicality of Jayda goes beyond singing and threads itself to an apparent great skill in songwriting.
While it is safe to assume that Jayda has written for herself as a singer-songwriter, especially with her recent all-Filipino full length release, Bahagi, the rising force in Filipino music has already been contributing to the body of work of her contemporaries namely Maymay Entrata and Belle Mariano. On TikTok, Jayda has introduced a series entitled, How I Wrote…, where she details how we she, well, wrote these tracks that are well on their way to become hits on their own accord.
How She Wrote For: Maymay Entrata And Belle Mariano
“So, I was asked to write for Maymay’s EP, Mpowered. Naturally, I said yes,” Jayda begins on TikTok, professing how she’d love to write a song for her. “So, eto na nga ‘yun. Bilang ako ay isang dakilang hugotera, paano ko ilalagay ‘yung konsepto na ‘to sa isang self-empowering na kanta? Ate May really just [wows] with empowering songs: ‘Di Kawalan, Amakabogera. What does that sound like? What chord should I use?”
Re-enacting the process of creating what would eventually become, Huling Hugot, Jayda briskly takes us through carving out a melody and figuring out lyrics from her own vault of hirits such as “wagas niyang pangako na napako na nakakapagod.” Transitioning from the initial verse, this informed the chorus of the buoyant guitar-backed track, which picks up to an aggressive strumming that opens up to a cresting of vocal that ends with the bold declaration many have uttered in the past, “Huling hugot na lamang ito.”
@jedijayda here’s how i wrote #hulinghugot, one of @maymayentrata’s newest songs from her new EP “#MPOWERED”! #fyp #songwriter #music #maymayentrata ♬ Huling Hugot – Maymay Entrata
Much like a dissection in the similar scope as the Behind The Music documentary series, Jayda chronicles her own work in her How I Wrote… TikToks, offering insight and inspiration to what are essentially efforts of catharsis written in song.
“Ang pinaka una kong ginawa when I was asked to write a song for Belle’s album was to do a little bit of research on her. Siyempre, mas maigi as a singer-songwriter to know more about the artist you’re writing for, so I’m able about themes that are relevant to them,” shares Jayda, deep-diving into the requested story behind Rise by Belle Mariano. “So, after doing the said research, I was able to know more of her story and I thought to myself, sobrang inspiring ng kwento ng buhay niya…lahat ng mga pinagdaanan niya to get to where she is now. And I thought to myself, the best way to describe her is that she’s on the rise.”
She’s On The Rise
Examining the journey it took to get to the special song for Belle Mariano’s album, Daylight, Jayda specifies the actual songwriting part. “Nung ginagawa ko ‘yung overall melody nung kanta, ginawa kong basehan ‘yung performance ni Belle sa He’s Into Her Benison Ball concert. I studied her vocal range, and I noticed three things about her voice: number 1.) she has a nice tone, number 2.) she has a head voice, and number 3.) she has a nice vibrato. Those are all three things I could work with,” she says.
@jedijayda as requested! here’s how i wrote the song “Rise” from @bellemariano_’s debut album; daylight! #fyp #bellemariano #hesintoher #belledaylightalbum ♬ Rise – Belle Mariano
So, she got on her piano and started riffing on potential melodies, which were revealed in three-second to a minute-and-a-half of voice notes dated around July 2021. Despite it being it in the early stages of experimenting, it already was sounding exceptional. Further carving out of the sound and sentiment of the song would ultimately become the soaring ballad that is Rise, which Belle Mariano brought to life to poignant perfection. After all, this wasn’t just a bunch of words and notes handed to her, it was her life’s memories encapsulated in moving melodies.
Thrilling, as it is tender and thoughtful, the song is a testament to how universal music can be, especially in the authentic emphasis of the creator and the performer. “I’m on the rise / right before their eyes / No limit to the sky/ I’m ready to take flight,” and so goes the song, which is not only a fitting parallelism to the ascent of Belle Mariano, but that of Jayda as well. Much like the progression of chords and the sessions of writing, the inevitable creative block included, it’s all but upward swing for Jayda, because from here on out, as she continues to observe and write about the human condition and hugot, there’s only more experiences, emotions, and empathy to inform the music she will be making for others, and most importantly, herself.