When Zia sizzles
By JASER A. MARASIGAN
Photos by PAOLO SY
styled by JP DICHE
MakeUp by RHINA MONTEMAYOR
Hair by KLICK VICTORIA
Clothes from FOREVER21
MANILA, Philippines — Just last year, Zia Quizon was a typical college girl – walking around campus in jeans and shirt, sans makeup, thick glasses, really the nerdy type of gal. She was even a consistent dean’s lister, a junior taking up Literature at De La Salle University.
Zia always knew she was bound to do music, but was a tad too shy to perform in front of huge crowds. So she just contented herself to singing in the shower or the glee club. Besides, having the King of Comedy Dolphy and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla for parents, she knew there will always be comparisons.
“I’ve always loved music ever since I can remember. Usually, I only perform for my friends who have bands. When I started doing TV guestings, the feedback was just really positive, to the way I sing or the way I carry myself, or my type of music. So I was encouraged to start in the industry,” she says.
“I also saw that OPM music was changing, a lot more originals are coming out. And I wanted to be a part of that, of changing the landscape of this industry somehow. However I could, how humbly I could,” continues Zia.
Her jazzy vibe is a a breather to those who have grown tired of young female belters and it seems going against a style that is past her generation is working well for her. The result: a self-titled debut album under PolyEast records containing three remakes, including her dad’s favorite song of all-time “Smile”, her mom’s popular 80s ditty “Mambobola” and three originals, her own composition “Simple Girl”, the hit debut single “Ako na Lang”, and her latest single “Dear Lonely”.
“I was a bit hesitant because I didn’t know how people would react to the album, and I didn’t know what I was getting into. I think it was a good experience. I’m also really blessed because I have my parents with me, and everyone in the family, my sister Karylle, all my brothers, they’re just so full of advice. It’s coming from a place of genuine care,” she says.
COMING OUT OF HER SHELL
Now that Zia has accepted her destiny, so to speak, her mother Zsa Zsa is proving to be a bit of a stage mom while Dolphy, a proud dad.
Zia says her parents were more excited for her when she decided to enter showbusiness, mainly because finally, she has come out of her shell.
“I’m really shy, painfully so. I don’t really know how or why it happened. Maybe because my parents are really known people so I tended to just be introverted. They know how hard it is for me to step out of my comfort zone, which is cool because they were proud, too. And in a sense because I’m coming out of my shell. I’m becoming my own person. Besides, you don’t know when opportunities are going to come, you just have to strike and go for it,” says Zia.
Comparisons with sister Karylle couldn’t be helped, but Zia insists a sibling rivalry does not exist. “We’re just really supportive of each other because we didn’t really grow up together. Now we’re kind of making up for lost time especially that we’re in the same industry. We’re bonding a lot, finding things out about each other. She would literally go out of her way even if she’s so busy,” adds Zia.
PASSION FOR MUSIC
Zia’s taste in music was greatly shaped by her parents’ musical influences – ballad, pop, R&B from her mom, jazz, standards and the classics particularly by artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra from her dad.
“I think I got my passion for music from dad because my type of music is really the oldies-centered type of music, the more classical music. From my mom, I got her outlook in life, her views, and how she deals with problems but without letting it get to you. That’s why I also write songs just to let it out and be done with that feeling,” shares Zia, who finds herself in the company of her guitar composing songs when sad or heartbroken.
She learned how to play the guitar on her own with a little help from her brothers and the internet.
Zia wants music to be something she enjoys doing, and not something that she has to do for a living. “I took up Literature because in a way they’re related. Literature can help me in writing songs. I would prefer that music be my passion and not my work.”
Although Zia once dreamt of becoming a journalist, she has realized that making music is really what she wants to do for the rest of her life.
“I was always really scared to be in showbiz because I was different. I wasn’t what people would expect from a singer, especially not here where being different isn’t exactly a good thing in our industry. I guess also because I was here at the right time, that people are looking for something different.”
While Zia recognizes that her famous parents will always be a part of who she is, she likewise aspires to make her own mark in the industry.
“Getting awards would be nice. Not really for bragging rights, but because it is just very validating for a musician. And it could come from either a fellow musician who praises you or your work, or the fans. But if this doesn’t take off, I will not force it. This is why I’m still in school. Maybe that’s why I guess it would be nice to get an award,” she ends.
Special thanks to Manila Bulletin- Students and Campuses Section
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and to Forever 21