CARESSING, it’s how her voice is described, a voice that has been likened to that of a foreign singer’s. “Definitely not Pinoy,” may often be the comment, and perhaps like the Pied Piper, she can lure in the crowd into the performance venues, like the Kanto Bar and BluGre in Matina Town Square where she has regular gigs. With her looks and fair skin tone, you’d probably think you’re right she's not a local.
Anyone would give an impressive nod upon finding out that the voice belongs to a Filipina. Yes, even amazed that the singer on stage is a young lady, whose timbre and repertoire quite advanced for her age.
Here’s the deal, Gabrielle Gross is Pinay, “I’m a proud Davaoeña,” she’ll declare, and at 16 years old she has found her sound and has composed her own songs, like “A Song Inspired by You” and “Ain’t Bothering You”, and plays the instrument of choice herself—the guitar or the ukulele.
As for her choices of cover songs, she’s a young girl with an old soul. She may have Beyonce and Ariana Grande on the list, but one can’t help but wonder why a 11th grader would fancy Elton John’s ‘Daniel’, Bread’s ‘If’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Ben’ and ‘Smile’, or Diana Ross’s ‘Do You Know Where You’re Going To’.
“I want to give every song I cover my spin to it. I want to sound like me.” Perhaps her liking to a diverse range of songs is due to the exposure to different kinds of music, “I grew up listening to jazz and classical music, to Michael Jackson and Jonny Mathis. My dad really opened my mind to music,” she confessed.
Gabrielle Gross is the daughter of popular balladeer Chad Borja. She says that it’s a bonus to be the daughter of a famous singer, but she has plans of her own. “I want to be known for the things I do and for who I am.”
Daughter and father has had several gigs together but on her own, Gabrielle has performed in front of a large audience appearing as front act at the 2017 Philippine Tour of 70-piece brass band Musikverein Orchestra of Germany and as guest vocalist for One Light Orchestra which performed at a Davao school-for-the-blind foundation, and just recently for Diabetes Awareness Week last July at Festival Mall in Alabang.
It does not come as a surprise that she was signed up by Ivory Music as one of its talents. Quoting Ivory Music, “The record label sees much reason to sign her and launch the brand of music and star aura she has into the mainstream.”
Gabrielle Gross’ debut digital single “A Song Inspired by You" was released last August 18, 2017, and can be downloaded at iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon. It’s a song she wrote herself and delivers a message of universality.
Hit-making tunesmith Jimmy Borja also composed a song for this young talent to record. Entitled “Secret”, the song is about voicing out being one’s self while everybody’s trying to fit in.
“Gabrielle is surely an act to watch. She delivers her take of sweet, laid back music that seamlessly fuses pop, acoustic, R&B, and jazz only a few of her age can truly pull off,” said an Ivory Music official.
From the South to the rest of the archipelago, expect the sweet sound of Gabrielle Gross filling the airwaves.
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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 30, 2017.
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