From admiring Coldplay all throughout her childhood to now, opening for them at their upcoming Philippine concerts, Jikamarie is living the dream.

Enchanting and alluring, the R&B singer-songwriter is bringing her dreamy love-struck tunes to the Philippine Arena this January, opening for one of the biggest pop bands of this generation. Considerably the greatest milestone of her career so far, Jikamarie shares that it’s been a surreal ride from the moment she got the news until this very moment.

So, ahead of Coldplay’s sold-out Philippine concerts, Billboard Philippines sat down with Jikamarie to ask her 21 questions about her musical aspirations, the Filipino music scene, her favorite karaoke songs, and her upcoming debut album.

1. How would you describe the music that you make?

In terms of the genre, it’s a good mix between R&B and dream-pop. My music is composed of not only my artistic input but also my brother’s — my producer. 

2. Outside of music, what do you enjoying doing?

Art! I love drawing and painting. Whenever I have free time, I spend it making artworks.

3. If there was one song from another artist you wished you wrote, what would it be and why?

“Kailan” by Eraserheads. That was one of the first songs that really moved me to engage with songwriting.

4. Tell us how you got the news you were going to open for Coldplay’s Philippine concerts. Where were you, how did it happen?

I just finished going on Tiktok live, and then I got a call from my label saying I was opening for Coldplay’s Manila concert. I could not believe it — I literally ugly-cried! I bawled so hard. The first time I found out and even until now, the feeling is still surreal.

5. What’s your favorite Coldplay song?

Out of all their songs, my favorite one has to be “Fix You”. I hold the most nostalgia towards that song. When I was very young and didn’t have a phone yet, I would tune in on TV and wait for that song to play all the time.

Jikamarie photographed by Kenneth Clark Ponce, Aurecor Ponce. Courtesy of @jikamarie.

6. What was the first concert you saw? Tell us everything about it.

TXT in Bulacan for Act: Sweet Mirage. I attended the concert with my siblings, it was so so fun! I still remember that concert experience as TXT is one of my favorite K-Pop groups of all time. I almost lost my voice as I was screaming and singing along the entire time.

7. Who or what made you realize you wanted to be an artist?

There wasn’t a specific or notable moment where I said to myself “I want to be an artist”. It was just something I always knew. As a kid, music was one of the first things I could grasp (like many of us). I always sang and listened to music, and I knew that even if I didn’t release any songs, I’d have the same relationship with music.

8. What was it like releasing music after the viral success of ‘Lutang’? Were there any fears or doubts following it up?

Nervewracking. My first release being that “big” put so much pressure on us to put out something that could/should outshine it. I kept overthinking it, but throughout time I just learned to go with whatever flows. I’d do my best to write the songs that I believe in, and hope that people see the charm of the rest of my songs like they did with “lutang”.

9. What’s the biggest dream you have for your music?

My biggest dream/aspiration is for my music to be able to change people or move people to make a change — either in themselves or in whatever they’re surrounded by. Whenever I see someone make even the smallest positive changes because my music inspired them, I think that is the most fulfilling thing my music could ever do.

10. What about the Filipino music scene do you love the most?

The solidarity. It wouldn’t matter what genre an artist is from — when artists meet (like in gigs or events), it warms my heart seeing the support and empathy that artists give to one another in any way they can. 

11. Who is one Filipino artist you think more people should listen to? Why?

Illest Morena. She’s so cool and fun! I love her so much.

Jikamarie Opening For Coldplay

Jikamarie photographed by Kenneth Clark Ponce, Aurecor Ponce. Courtesy of @jikamarie.

12. Who is your dream collaboration?

BTS. Even just meeting them would be like a full-circle moment for me, they inspire me so much to keep creating music.

13. Tell us about the most memorable gig you played at. What happened?

QC Pride in 2022. That was my first big crowd and I felt so anxious, but the people were so supportive and wholesome, they were singing along to my song and that made that gig so unforgettable for me.

14. What do you think your greatest strength as an artist is?

It’s hard to say or claim anything without sounding presumptuous since it’s coming from me, but I think one notable trait I have is that even if I’m not always creating, I’m consuming art. Whether that be music or art, I always find myself drawn to something ‘created’, a product of a person’s mind and heart. That could be just listening to music, watching a movie, admiring a painting, tasting someone’s cooking—basically engaging with any artist and their work—you’re bound to pick up a lesson or two.

15. On the flip side, what do you think you can still improve on as an artist?

Probably my mastery of my own craft. I believe there’s so much more for me to learn, and I’m excited to learn all of those lessons in time as I keep going.

Jikamarie photographed by Kenneth Clark Ponce, Aurecor Ponce. Courtesy of @jikamarie.

16. Give us your go-to karaoke songs.

“Masterpiece” by Jessie J and “Love” by Keyshia Cole.

17. What albums or artists did you listen to most this year?

My top albums this year are SOS by SZA and Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers, but my all-time favorite has to be Blue Neighborhood by Troye Sivan and Noon Time Show by Itchyworms.

18. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about music?

Learning how to have fun. It’s ironic since music is basically a creative endeavor, but while you’re in the midst of creating it, there’s a technical side that you need to be able to grasp but still have fun all while this is happening, because people and listeners could tell from your output if you had fun creating it or not.

19. You mentioned in the past that you’re working on your debut album. How far into the process are you? What’s it been like so far?

I’m in the midst of creating it! For now, I’m releasing an EP (coming this January), but we are in the process of creating my debut album. This is what I’ve been anticipating since I started my journey in music — to be able to create a body of work that I could share with people, to immortalize a moment in time and commemorate an expression of myself, which I’m sure there’s bound to be people that can identify with it. I’m very excited for people to hear it!

20. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

The movie that always makes me cry is Sing Street, I can relate to the protagonist’s struggle with chasing their dream. While the song that always makes me cry is “Adelaide Sky” by Adhitia Sofyan. It just sounds so calm but the pain of saying goodbye hurts so much — such a good song.

21. What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2024?

I hope to be able to release my debut album and throw bits of positivity anywhere I am. Sounds easy for some but it doesn’t come easy as someone who’s struggled with expressing myself. I want to be able to put myself out there more, connect with more people, and spread kindheartedness in any way that I can. I hope to be able to accomplish these!

Jikamarie will be dropping her debut EP, L0VER G!RL this January 12. Until then, listen to her latest single “lito”.