When Julianne Tarroja made her debut ten years ago, everyone knew there was something in her worth looking out for. Her soulful voice paired with the strums of an acoustic guitar demanded your attention, even up to this day, as she carries on down The Road Ahead.

In celebration of her 10th anniversary in the business, the “Tulak Ng Bibig” singer announced her bar tour series aptly called The Road Ahead. Beginning on Tuesday (Aug. 15) at 12 Monkeys in Ortigas, Julianne will share the stage with her contemporaries, her heroes, and a select new breed of young artists who currently rule the local scene.

Check out our interview with Julianne below.

Congratulations on the upcoming anniversary tour! Tell us, how does it make you feel you’ve been doing music for so long?

Thank you so much! It’s insane how time flew by so fast. I actually have been doing music since early 2000, but this year marks my 10th year as “Julianne,” [the] solo artist. It’s been quite the ride! I’ve learned so much and the learning never stops. Really feel blessed that I’ve been given opportunities to do what I do. But I didn’t do it alone, so thankful for everyone that’s journeyed with me so far.

You’ve been traveling quite a lot lately. Was the name The Road Ahead inspired by your travels?

Travel has always been one of my passions. It’s been essential to keep my sanity (laughs)–I’m not a city girl believe it or not. But yes, celebrating a little over a decade in the music industry, I guess you could say that because I’ve come thus far, the name The Road Ahead just means that the journey continues on, and I look forward to what’s ahead.

Would you say that traveling has made a big impact on your artistry?

It definitely has been a huge source of inspiration, influencing more than just my music. It really did shape a big part of who I am. I’ve been so fortunate to have been given quite a handful of opportunities to go outside of the Philippines to perform early on. I’ve said this more than once before, that music really is such a gift from God and the universal language. I still believe It is one of the most powerful tools we have to cause change.

I remember a few memorable experiences, performing in Japan, singing “Grateful” to an audience that could barely comprehend basic English thinking to myself, “I probably lost them mid-song because they didn’t understand it anyway.” But after the show, people approached me, and with the help of a translator, told them the story behind the song. Another one [was] at a high school in Jakarta, Indonesia. I sang “Liwanag” which obviously was in Filipino, and to my surprise after singing the chorus once, they started trying to sing along as if they heard it before. Experiences like those made it clear to me the kind of music I wanted to create from the start. More than a catchy tune that would sell fast or some profound lyrics that would catch critics’ attentions, I knew I wanted to make music that moved people. Music that spoke life into people’s souls.

Julianne Tarroja | Photo by Dix Perez, styled by Jessica Cabuay, makeup by Hennessy Del Rosario

When do you plan on unveiling the other dates on this tour?

We’re in the process of finalizing the tour dates that will go on ’til end of September. Hopefully we’ll announce the other dates and details in the days to come.

Tell us about the roles your supporting acts Barbie Almalbis, Kat Agarrado, Urbandub, and Autotelic have in your musical career. How did these artists become involved in The Road Ahead?

Going on this tour, celebrating the past ten years, I simply just wanted to share the stage with artists that I respect and admire. Because before everything, I was first and foremost a fan. Some of them have been with me from start. I remember one of my early fangirl moments, the first time I jammed with Barbie was in Capones along Valero, Makati way back 2006. Then I met Gabby and the rest of Urbandub the following year and ended up under the same label. Sinosikat was also another band that I’ve walked with, thanks to Kat who I know spearheaded the Pinoy Soul Movement that I was blessed to be a part of. Autotelic on the other hand for me represents the new breed of artists and how exciting the future is in the music industry. This is just the first two shows. There’s more coming up and we’ll have a different roster for every venue.

When you announced the bar tour, you mentioned “looking back and moving forward.” Can we expect to hear our favorite Julianne songs and some new ones at the shows?

This tour is my homage to what was, so yes I will be performing songs from my old albums. But this is also my way of ushering in some new ones as well.

What are your plans following the tour? What’s on the road ahead?

Towards the end of the tour, we’re planning to release a new single.

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