It’s obvious Angelina Cruz has a bright future ahead. As the daughter of two well-known celebrities, it seems that greatness is embedded in her DNA. Unlike her peers, she’s reserved, understated, and wise beyond her years. More than that, she’s got talent. After picking up an ukulele two years ago, she hasn’t stopped singing since.
“Of course I get pressured that my parents achieved so much at my age. But it just motivates me to achieve a lot more and to make a name for myself.”
Releasing her debut album at just 17, it’s easy to conclude she’s got what it takes to become a star. Apart from a striking elegance and beauty, she happily shares that she got it from her mom who has mentored her every step of the way. She says, “When I started singing, she really guided me and she was there for me through everything because she knew I was new to it. She taught me everything I know.”
But of course, like most celebrity offsprings, she’s determined to carve her own path. Angelina is fixated on not being remembered as just the “daughter of someone famous” but to actually be known on her own merit. Her parents’ success at an early age may be intimidating but she instead draws inspiration from that and uses it to her advantage. She admits, “Of course I get pressured that my parents achieved so much at my age. But it just motivates me to achieve a lot more and to make a name for myself.”
Now a signed artist, the singer is juggling her music career and academics. But she is also seeking to show off her acting chops, something she admits she really enjoys doing, as she’s filming an upcoming movie this summer.
With passion and raw talent, there’s no doubt that we’ll be hearing a lot more from this starlet. Below, the young singer hangs out with us as she talks about what influenced her music, the biggest lesson her mom has taught her, and what it’s like to be a recording artist at 17.
Let’s start things off with your love for music. How did you get into singing? Was it something you always wanted to do?
It was actually my two sisters who were fond of singing. They really liked performing in front of my parents but I never saw myself as a singer before when I was a kid. But two years ago, I bought an ukulele. Recently, I’ve started making covers and uploading them online. I’m starting to have a passion for it. That led to me being noticed by Universal Records and eventually, being signed.
So you went from a normal teenager acing her Math and English classes to a Universal Records-signed artist performing in front thousands of people. How did you manage to deal with the sudden shift? Did you experience any stage fright?
It was really difficult for me because I just started singing. I started getting stage fright, getting really nervous for every performance. But when I perform the actual thing, that’s when I get to release all the energy that just builds up inside of me and I love it when the crowd is really nice, it really just motivates me to become better and improve.
"[Performing] was really difficult for me because I just started singing. I started getting stage fright, getting really nervous for every performance. But when I perform the actual thing, that’s when I get to release all the energy that just builds up inside of me."
What keeps your passion flowing to strive and make a name for yourself?
What I want to do right now is make more songs and maybe start to master my Tagalog because I actually have a movie which I’m filming this summer. That’s what my mom always tells me, if I want to enter the industry and really be known, then I have to master speaking the language. It’s a need. I wanna try acting because I’ve done theater before for projects and I genuinely enjoyed it.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influence as of this moment is Daniel Caesar. When he visited the Philippines for Wanderland Festival, I really grew fond of his music. It really feel like it’s special and it has meaning. Other than that, I really love Boy Pablo and other indie acoustic artists out there.
What’s the biggest advice your mom has given you as a singer?
My mom taught me to never lose my passion and that I should continue doing what I love. Because what’s the point of continuing what I don’t like doing? She also taught me to never stop practicing. Practicing is key, she always reminds me of that.
"My mom taught me to never lose my passion and that I should continue doing what I love. Because what’s the point of continuing what I don’t like doing? She also taught me to never stop practicing. Practicing is key, she always reminds me of that."
How was it like working on your first EP? How was your experience working with award-winning producer Ito Rapadas of Neocolours, emerging songwriter Keiko Necesario, and Iñigo Pascual?
It was great knowing that I was working alongside people who know how to do their thing. Tito Ito is the one who guides me, the one who produces all my songs there except one. He was always there, teaching me to just loosen up and to not be scared. That’s how I became comfortable in recording. Working with Iñigo was also great, he’s a really nice, friendly guy. He’s also great to perform with.
So far, your music has been gearing towards the acoustic side. What other genres are you looking into exploring? What’s your next in terms of your music career?
Right now, I’m still doing acoustic and I’m actually recording songs from an upcoming movie I’m starring in. Maybe after that, I’ll be recording more original songs. I’ve been wanting to do R&B or Soul Indie like Daniel Caesar. I really love his songs. I want to go towards that genre aside from acoustic.
You have an understated sense of style that we really dig. Where do you get your inspiration? Can you tell us about your fashion icons?
I just usually choose what’s comfortable for me. When it comes to inspos, I usually go on Pinterest or I follow hashtags on Instagram. For my fashion icon, I think I like Kaia Gerber, the daughter of Cindy Crawford. I’ve been looking up to her as a model because I can see that she really has a passion for it.
In addition to your style, your skin seems to always have a glow. Spill the tea! What’s your beauty secret?
People keep asking me to reveal my skincare routine and I’m like, I don’t know what to reveal because I don’t have one. Just drink tons of water and always wash your face before you sleep and when you wake up in the morning. A tip that I got from my mom is to avoid touching my face because it’s dirty and when you touch your face a lot, it really affects it. If I get breakouts, I usually use aloe vera and place it on the spots. That’s it, that’s what I do.
What are five beauty products that you always need to bring with you?
I use concealer because my undereyes are super dark. I can’t leave the house without that. Also, a lipstick or lip tint, my brow gel to groom my brows ‘cause they’re kinda bushy, then, highlighter and blush.
"If [the people around me] make me feel comfortable, they make me feel good, that’s when I feel prettiest."
What’s a makeup look you never get tired of?
I really like the sun-kissed look, because I’m pale without makeup so that makes me look healthy. I just apply lip tint or use a blush and apply it over my nose and all over my cheeks.
When would you say you feel the prettiest?
It really depends on my mood and the people I’m with. If they make me feel comfortable, they make me feel good, that’s when I feel prettiest.
Photographed by Kenneth Tangonan
Styled by BC Style Studio
Makeup by Bryan Lim
Hair by Sheryll Chua