justin surreal solo

‘Cause It’s Real, So Real: justin Is Living His Surreal Life

It's justin's time.

In his latest creative output, justin opens up about his solo debut and what this solo era means to him.

Related: The Present is You: justin and Self-Love in the Social Media Era

justin has worn many hats throughout his career. He’s a singer, dancer, P-pop idol, creative director, artist, business owner, cosplayer, Pokemon enthusiast, and so much more. But being a solo artist may just be one of his most exciting career endeavors yet. For his solo debut, justin turns to imagination and creative expression for surreal, a wholesome and laidback track that reflects the beauty of meaningful coincidences and dreams. 

It’s the kind of song you’d see played in those pivotal scenes in movies, which, funny enough, is one of justin’s goals for his solo era. “I aspire to see my music featured in beautiful movies or films,” he reveals. Led by his charming and soothing vocals, the song captures the vulnerability of someone conveying his thoughts and projections. With a sing-along chorus that’s meant to be sung aloud, surreal feels like moving through a dream and finding that special someone to wander the dream world with. 


While surreal is having its moment now, the seeds for this new chapter were planted long ago. surreal was initially written by justin two years ago, among other songs he penned down. Soon enough, the idea of what the surreal era would become started to grow. But justin’s solo debut wouldn’t start in earnest if it wasn’t for the love and support he got from his community. “Because of the confidence instilled in me by the support of those around me, including my friends and fellow group members,” says justin on why now was the right time for his solo career. 


Just like many of us, the nerves of doing something new alone were real for justin. But proving once again the power of how encouragement can be the greatest ally for anyone, justin found the courage to put his own work where it’s most needed. “Their encouragement, often asking about the release of my song, pushed me to decide. During the little pause in our group’s activities, I took the opportunity to execute my plans.” And just like that, with the visual moodboard in place, which focuses heavily on nature and cottagecore, and production from Radkidz’s PABLO and Josue making the song what it is today, the world of surreal was born. 


So, what exactly does a justin solo era entail? True to who he is, justin is using the moment to express himself as a creative who isn’t held back by inhibitions or rigid standards. “As a solo artist, this is the justin who embraces a carefree spirit, following what his heart says.” Creativity takes center stage here as Justin carves his own lane and identity. It’s an exciting time, no doubt, for the musician, his fans, and listeners in general. And it goes without saying that this is just the beginning. 


At the end of the day, what justin hopes for in his solo era is to have an impact that goes beyond surreal’s four-minute length. He is going for something much deeper. “I hope that my songs will bring joy to many listeners and find a place on their playlists, to be cherished wherever they are.” 

He doesn’t go big not because he can’t reach it, because he certainly can, but because what matters most to him is that he remains fulfilled, knowing he did a good job being who he is. “While I don’t set grand expectations for myself or strive for big achievements, my goal is simply to find happiness and embrace being true to myself.” You really can feel it, and it’s so real. 

This story was first published on the “Just Be” Print Packs series of the NYLON Manila MyZine. You can grab a copy of the complete set of the NYLON Manila MyZine on SariSari.shopping and shop.nylonmanila.com.

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