If you’re looking for the perfect summer jam, look no further. We’ve got just the song for you: “Sunflower” from Filipino American singer/songwriter Summer is Live. "Sunflower" is the perfect feel-good tune for a romantic evening, road trip, beach day, or barbecue, and you'll want to play it over and over again. "You're my sunflower/Lighting up the room, always chasing the sun," Summer croons in a soulful, sultry voice. The track is a delightful mix of R&B and pop and a reminder of the power of unconditional love.
Summer also happens to be Samahan’s marketing director, because she’s just that talented. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us about her newest song, what it’s like to pursue a career in the arts, and future projects.
You’re a woman who wears many hats! Samahan marketing director, “Hoy Pinoy” podcast host, marketer for esports, Twitch streamer, and singer/songwriter. How do you manage to balance it all?
"I don’t sleep enough LOL. It takes a lot of prioritization and planning via Google Calendar. I work as a digital marketer full-time in the esports industry and also consult for various brands, but the moment I’m off the clock I’m creating content or music on Twitch. I have the loving support of a community of 'Sumflowers' that keep me motivated when I feel overwhelmed and that has been extremely encouraging especially when I have a lot on my plate."
You write songs in both English and Tagalog. One of my favorite songs ever is your “Cheesy Love Song” which in my opinion is a modern OPM classic. Do you find one language easier to write in than the other?
"It’s definitely more challenging for me to write Tagalog songs, but I still love to try! I plan to release more Tagalog songs that will even resonate with non-Tagalog speakers."
What’s the inspiration behind your newest song, “Sunflower”?
"I’ve always been obsessed with sunflowers. My grandma loves them and her house has always been decorated with sunflowers everywhere. I’ve always loved how cheerful sunflowers look and adored how seeing one simply brightens your day. They are known to chase the sunlight, and it’s a constant reminder to look towards the light and focus on the positive.
At first glance, it seems like it’s purely a song about romance but 'Sunflower' was inspired by so much more than that; it’s a song about unconditional love. Whether it’s from family, friends, or a partner, I hope listeners remember and feel the giddiness, dreaminess, and charm of a sunflower type of love."
You worked with other Filipino creatives for the music video for “Sunflower.” Can you tell us more about that process and the team behind the video?
"I am so proud to say that the team that brought my song to life is a group of amazingly talented Filipinos from all over the world. Joshua Angan, my extremely talented guitarist and producer from the Philippines; ZP3ND, a mixing and sound engineer in Guam who completed my song in record time; Lucky Ducky Productions with Pao Aguirre (Director and MV Producer); Anne Madarang (Asst. Director and Makeup); and Querriel Madarang (BTS and Grip) who created a beautiful visualization of my song to share with everyone.
I’m so happy to have been able to connect and work with Filipinos to create 'Sunflower.'"
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
"I love 'Dancing Queen' by Abba or 'Make You Feel My Love' by Adele."
Is there any info you can give us about upcoming projects? We can’t wait for more music!
I’m currently working on putting out more music on Spotify and on YouTube! I stream regularly on Twitch and viewers can request songs for me to sing live. I have a couple of collaborations in the works but I’m most excited for performing live at in-person events again as things return to normal.
Pursuing a career in the arts is hard, especially for Filipinos in the diaspora who are often urged to follow more “traditional” career paths. What advice do you have for other Pinoy creatives?
"I have been blessed to have amazing support from family and loved ones. They have always encouraged me to pursue my passions even if it meant choosing a less traditional path. I will say though that there have always been naysayers, people who have told me it might be better to 'try something new' or that I need to find a 'real job.' LMAO
Life is way too short to let the opinion of others dictate your life and if God gives you a talent, you better make use of it. My advice is to figure out what makes you truly happy and explore how you can use that to make an impact in the world. When you discover your craft, work towards being excellent at it, if not, the best at it, keep an open mind and learn from others in the craft.
I currently work multiple jobs to be able to create and share my music, knowing fully that nothing good in life comes without sacrifice. Understanding your goals and the necessary steps you need to take to get there will help you stay focused and motivated when you’re faced with doubt or feel discouraged.
Find like-minded individuals who can keep you accountable and connect with other Filipinos who have the same vision. Pursue what you love wholeheartedly and accept that success doesn’t happen overnight."