‘Sagip’: Unveiling the Soulful Sounds of Jan Roberts 

Young indie artist Jan Roberts Baloloy, 22, studying Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPeA) at Bicol University College of Arts and Letters (BUCAL), emerged from the humble place of Bacacay, Albay—a melting pot of culture that inevitably seeped into the artist’s musical DNA.

In the vast landscape of indie music, Baloloy is a rising star whose melodies paint emotions on the canvas of sound, creating a symphony that resonates with the soul. He recently gifted the world with a musical masterpiece and heartfelt ballad titled “Sagip,” which translates “to keep someone safe from danger.”

Baloloy birthed Sagip in the quiet of his Manila condo while venturing his soul-searching journey. He envisioned a love song transcending the ordinary, weaving a narrative of love, hope, and the profound desire to be someone’s anchor.

Sagip is an ode to the hero theme that unintentionally became a charming meme between Jan Roberts and his close friend, Jhasmine Villanueva, known by the stage name “Dwta.”

The song transcends being a mere composition; it is a living, breathing entity that captures the raw emotions of love, kindness, and the undying hope that thread through the human experience.

“Ginagawa (ko) is kung ano yung mga natural na nararamdaman ng mga tao, kung sawi sila, so gagawan ko ng sariling perspective ko,” Baloloy said in an interview with BicoldotPH. 

Baloloy hopes that as the notes of Sagip weave through the air, the listeners will be able to yearn and rest as they find themselves in someone’s embrace.

Armed with his passion for singing and writing, Baloloy defined his music as “magical and classic” that deeply narrates the essence of humanity—shared experiences and challenges.

The musical storyteller beyond the lyrics

In the embrace of a musically inclined family and surrounded by the melodic tales of local Filipino artists, Baloloy unearthed an early affinity for articulating emotions through the universal language of music.

The journey of Baloloy in the indie music scene began during the pandemic within the walls of his bedroom. His family influenced him to learn how to play the guitar, and he realized his passion for writing songs at that moment.

In the humble pursuit of a personal connection with music, Baloloy began crafting songs using his guitar and an old phone, where he recorded the raw versions and uploaded them to SoundCloud.

“Parang nagsimula ako (na) ako lang tas nanonood ako ng local gigs hanggang sa nagkaroon din ako ng opportunity under Dawani,” Baloloy said.

Baloloy treats Dawani as his foundation in his journey, where he gets the chance to explore and bond with the group as he gains the support he needs.

Although Baloloy is not inclined much toward listening to international singers, he is inspired by local artists, including Yugen, Bullet Dumas, Ebe Dancel, Dilao, and other artists close to the expression of his genre, such as Dwta, Munimuni, and Syd Hartha.

The local music scene quickly took notice of Baloloy’s distinctive sound, and now he’s getting various offers to perform in intimate venues.

Baloloy is currently affiliated with Warner Music Philippines, where he serves as a distribution artist alongside respected musicians like Dilao and Jason Dhakal.

“Pinaka-proud moments ko no’n is makilala ako ng mga bands na ina-idolize ko (at) nakakasama ko sila and then sumunod eh ‘yong mapunta ako sa recording label,” Baloloy shared. 

Aside from Sagip, he also released soul-stirring tracks “Binibini” and “Patlang” that paint a vivid yet direct-to-the-point message, leaving the soul crying in the bittersweet lyrics and melody.

His entrancing composition “Escolta,” featuring artist Tangi, released back in 2022, has also become a sensation after amassing more than 200 thousand streams and securing a coveted spot in the “OPM on the Rise” playlist on Spotify.

This feat not only speaks to the resonance of his music but also showcases his ability to carve a niche in the competitive indie landscape.

Beyond the digital realm, Baloloy has also shared the spotlight on live stages with Dwta, Zild Benitez, and other notable figures. 

Challenges and Gratitude

In the vibrant world of music, the issue of gatekeeping casts a shadow on the industry’s inclusivity.

Baloloy is a vocal advocate for breaking down these barriers and fostering a more diverse and welcoming space.

The path to artistic expression is rarely without hurdles, and Baloloy has navigated his fair share. As he started his career from scratch, he acknowledged the struggle of penetrating the music scene without adequate resources.

“Kakulangan sa gamit…burnout din siya kapag wala kang masulat kasi di naman lagi productive tayo ganito…saka nakaka-art block siya,” Baloloy said. 

Baloloy asserted that whenever he experiences artist’s block, he watches movies, listens to music, and eats his favorite food to refresh his mind.

His dedication to creating not just songs but emotional landscapes stems from a desire to connect deeply with his audience.

“Long term goal ko is maging consistent sa scene. Gusto ko talagang maging full time musician. As in parang katulad ng mga kantang ‘di lumuluma, kunware mga Apo Hiking, mga ganoong timeless,” Baloloy  expressed.

Although Baloloy is a little bit shy when his listeners recognize him in public, he still feels grateful that a lot of people appreciate his music and fellow Bicolano artists.

“May nakikinig na rin sayo kinakanta na rin nila yung kanta mo, tapos nagugustuhan nila. Parang may nakakakilala na sayo basta-basta randomly…parang sobrang dumami ang artist bigla sa Bicol, na may mga new artist na muli akong nakikita sa other social media…so ‘yon masaya,” Baloloy shared. 

Meanwhile, Baloloy expressed his gratitude for the fans who have been by his side, making his musical endeavors possible.

“Salamat nang marami sa lahat ng nakikinig at patuloy na sumusuporta. As in, paulit-ulit ko sinasabi, salamat. Sobrang salamat dahil hindi ko naman ini-expect na magugustuhan nila yung mga kanta ko na ginagawa ko. Your support means the world to me. It’s your enthusiasm and connection to the music that keep the fire burning,” Baloloy said.

Baloloy advised aspiring musicians to keep practicing writing songs to know exactly what they want. 

“Focus on yourself and also whenever you’re ready, labas ka sa comfort zone mo then explore ka ano ba music gusto mo,” Baloloy added.

As of writing, Baloloy has 11,145 monthly listeners on Spotify, which reflects his prowess and connection with his audience, making every follower not just a statistic but an integral part of his musical expedition.

Baloloy encouraged his audience to keep streaming Sagip where his heartbeat as an artist is felt pouring into every chord and resonating deeply with the soul.

For those who want to experience the magical yet classic world of Baloloy’s music, you may search “Jan Roberts” on various social media and music platforms including Spotify, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. I Kimberly Palenzuela

397240785 1079249546722090 6776975785387623449 n
315599684 514835200662061 9035713490858969082 n

Photos: Jan Roberts