Independent singer-songwriter Elloise Mitzi Negado, best known as EMN98 (/ˈeməˌnāt/), talks about her journey getting into the music industry, what her listeners can capture from her music, and why she should be The Next Odd Creature.
Introduced to the wonders of music at the age of nine, EMN98 infers that her acquired musical abilities run in the blood — her grandfather was a full-time musician who traveled across the globe performing at hotel lobbies. Her dad taught her the basics of music.
“Dad ko talaga nagmulat sa akin sa music. Sakanya talaga lahat nanggaling. Lahat ng basic. And then from there, parang tinuruan niya ako mag-gitara hanggang sa natuto ako magsulat ng music,” she shares.
As an artist from a family of musicians, it was likely for EMN98 to anticipate strong encouragement from her family when she decided to pursue a career in the music industry, but her dad opposed the idea.
It was then reaching college when she had more liberty and freedom in making decisions for herself. She then joined various singing events like open mics and battle of the bands. She even tried to become a part of a band but later realized she was meant for a different trajectory.
Later, she joined the music organization in FEU, and there she found her "safe place" wherein she can freely share her music and express her artistic qualities.
EMN98 recalls a particular open mic event to which she describes as one of the turning points in her singing career — apart from performing in countless gigs before the pandemic halted the activities, joining the music organization in FEU, and being one of the finalists in O/C Records' The Next Odd Creature talent search.
"Nabigyan ako ng opportunity to showcase my song kasi nagkaroon ng isang show produced by IAS (Institute of Arts and Sciences in FEU). Nagkaroon sila ng sitcom and then parang kinuha nila ako to perform. 'Yun yung 'Hulog' which is yung pinerform ko for O/C and then dun na nag-start. After nun, sabi ko, try ko kaya mag-live kasi tumama na ‘yung pandemic. Di na ako makapag-gig sa labas," she shares.
She continued sharing her music through digital live streaming, where she found a broader scope of audience and was discovered by a producer from ABS-CBN who encouraged her to join one of the network's singing show — I Can See Your Voice.
As her audience continues to grow, EMN98 aims for them to capture the authenticity of the stories she presents through her music.
"I want them to feel na how 'raw' I write. And gusto ko parang nakikinig sila ng kuwento pag they're listening to my songs," EMN98 explains.
While being an independent artist remains gratifying, for she reckons how she has all the "freedom" to take her own approach to her music — from production to distributing it to the audience, the desire to belong in a particular group of musicians remain. This prompted her to present her music to various record labels, including O/C Records, hoping to get the hunt.
Soon after, the rewards begin to unfold. EMN98's "odd" talent elicits power that she made it to the Top 5 finalists of O/C Records' The Next Odd Creature talent search.
"I'm confident enough na para makita ako ng Pilipinas na mag-perform. I'm not that scared anymore. Parang nagkaroon na ako ng maraming experience with a lot of people, and I think it's time to share my passion with O/C," EMN98 says as she talks about the reason she deserves to be The Next Odd Creature.
So far, EMN98 has released numerous tracks, including the original and remastered version of her most popular single 'Hulog' — a song about an "abusive" and "toxic" relationship she had in college; 'Hintayin,' 'Sakal sa Salamin,' and an EP entitled 'Alon' which consists of tracks such as 'Sigurado,' 'Quaranthings,' 'Papunta,' and more.
O/C Records' The Next Odd Creature talent search was launched in April 2021. The winner gets Php50,000 and a management and recording deal with O/C Records.
For updates on the search for the next odd creature, you can follow O/C Records' socials:
Facebook: O/C Records