From being a frontman of the band Down by 18 signed under a major record label and finding success topping charts and getting award nominations, Jonn Walter is now opening a new chapter embarking on a solo music career this 2022.
“I'm creative and I see this as the ultimate test: unlocking my potential and learning new things from new people who are part of my days. It’s all a daily learning process. And I get to be responsible and accountable with what I choose to do with my time. It may seem like going solo means working on my own but actually I’m grateful to be working with a team that wants the best for me.”
At age 18, Jonn Walter signed under Viva Records with his then band Down By 18 and led the band on various TV shows and live performances. Their song “Piring” topped the charts on one of the most beloved radio stations in the metro and was nominated at the 2019 PMPC Music Awards. The band’s songs have also been constantly featured in various Spotify playlists. In 2020, Jonn Walter also wrote and performed “Kulay Bahaghari,” featured in the movie Hindi Tayo Pwede.
He recently secured his release from his erthswhile label and his band and sees this as an important push in his career. He misses his band mates but also understands that now is a good time to take this next step.
“It was hard for all of us to meet and make music during the pandemic. And I wish them all the success with whatever they pursue as individuals or as a group. We’re young and I feel I can unlock my potential by embarking on a solo career. We had such a good time together and I actually look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Coming out of the pandemic, Jonn Walter is slowly learning what it means to be a young adult in this new normal. With roots from Leyte, he moved to Manila a few years back to grind for his own dreams. The pandemic allowed him to further hone his craft and come up with new songs, some of which will be released to launch his solo journey.
Jonn shares that most of his songs are songs that he dreams about, “Maybe these were feelings I had unconsciously — sometimes the melody comes first and I just fill it in. Inspiration kicks in at the most random times.” One of these songs is “Ikaw”, his new single which just came out last Friday, June 3.
“The song is about a very interesting individual that captured my heart. It was a very special time in my life — so in short, that song is a real life experience of mine. Hoping she’s out there and she’ll hear this. I owe it to her to do good in what I do. I pray that she is well too. I want her to know that I constantly think of her. What we shared was special enough that I wrote this song.”
As an artist, Jonn exudes a quiet maturity but he admits that he’s really an awkward fellow. He finds himself in his element when performing and when he is in the studio creating, surrounded by good people and, as much as possible, good food, “The best environment for me would be one with good music, good food, and good people. No negative vibes, food for everyone and then I also get serious about making music. So I would say — you would need to experience being with me in the studio because this is where I’m at my best.”
A week before releasing “Ikaw”, Jonn Walter released the song “Ulan'' which he shares actually has an important story behind it.
“I had my management hear some of my compositions and that song stuck with them. We wanted a new way to introduce myself, and we thought about putting out two songs. One, light and happy, and the other one is quite sad. 'Ulan,' being my warm up single - is my gift to my fans. Hopefully they like it and that some people will relate to it. I’m sure we’ve all experienced heartbreak and this is no different.”
Jonn Walter looks forward to writing more songs in the three languages he speaks: Waray, Filipino, and English, He shares “I love speaking in Tagalog, mas ramdam, mas malungkot, mas expressive ako, mas madali sa akin to come up with pop songs using Tagalog. Anganda ng sariling wika natin. Hopefully we can do it like how kpop did it, making bilingual songs popular.”
2022 is poised to be a very promising year musically for Jonn Walter. He dreams not only of making hit songs but also performing in shows like Dubai Expo and other local and international music events. He is also making sure to connect deeper with his fans through digital content and more so that he can take them with him in this journey of turning his dreams into reality, one step at a time.