‘Idol’ audition inspires local singer to set music career in motion


By Claire Harlin

After making it into the top 200 contestants on “American Idol” in 2010, Julianne Manalo said she was really down and discouraged when didn’t advance to the next round. But what seemed like failure to her was actually a jump start to her budding career as a vocalist.

“That’s what really pushed me to start singing original music instead of covers to define myself as a musician,” said the Del Mar native. “I’ve always wanted to write my own music, but that pushed me to work harder.”

Soon after her audition, the 20-year-old San Diego State University student started writing her first album. She then joined forces with a producer, and her efforts are starting to come to fruition. She recently released her first single, “The Afterparty,” which is available on iTunes and Amazon. A demo album is also in the works, and Manalo has been keeping herself busy performing around San Diego. On Sept. 12, she sang the national anthem for about 2,000 spectators at a convention center conference and, in November, she’ll be performing locally at the Asian American Music Festival.

She said her album defines her as a pop artist — a few ballads mixed in with mainly “fun and dandy” tracks. The inspiration behind her recent single is “letting go and letting the music take over,” she said.

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