X-pressions of Em Jay Antonio

EXPRESS. Speak your mind. Don’t water it down and don’t edit your soul. As what John Mayer once said, it is better to say too much than never to say what you need to say. This is quite “au contraire” to many well-favored notions popularized by such proverbial silence dubbed as “better than embarrassment of idiocracy”. That has silenced men for ages, and Mayer begs to object.

So does Em Jay B. Antonio. This dashing young gentleman is quite eloquent enough to nonchalantly speak his mind. Free from fear of awkwardness and shame, Em Jay sees to it that his ideas never go stale. He doesn’t just stop at speaking though. He believes that the finest eloquence is to get things done. He talks the talk, and walks the walk.

Born in November 29, 1993, Em Jay was musically inclined even at a very early age. First, he was into sports and showed promise in playing basketball, but his attention was diverted towards music when he first heard the song “More Than Words” by Extreme. This posed as his inspiration to play the guitar himself. By 6th grade, he started to play the instrument. As his impeccable taste in music expanded, he found himself digging for the sounds of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dream Theater and Paul Gilbert.

In high school, he started performing together with his band. He even played bass guitar inspired by ‘Flea’ of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. With his strength of character and a certain degree of persuasiveness, they were able to book gigs where they earned P300-P500, which seemed quite sufficient at that time. His deep personality is evidenced not just by his taste in music, but also with his choice of movies. He expressed great interest in thought-provoking films such as A Beautiful Mind, The Professor and the Madman, Forrest Gump, The Little Prince, The Machine Gun Preacher, Leon The Professional, Schindler’s Lists, and The Pianist.

This outspoken gentleman is also quite candid as he is straightforward. His forthright persona paved the way for him to earn the title MR. STEP 2009 Champion in the Division Level. STEP stands for Student Technologist and Entrepreneurs of the Philippines. Gaining prestige for his school in the whole province, he proceeded towards the Regional Level, representing Negros Occidental in Region 6. There, he was hailed as MR. STEP 2009 2nd Runner-up . Revved up for pageantry with his wits and articulation, he then won as First Runner-up in Mr. Palaro 2009.

Eventually, he found himself among the ranks of BLACKOUT Models, where he started as one of the Blackout Teens. With such flawless skin, and well-spoken vivacity, he was later elevated among the ranks of The Blackout Models Prime. There, while exploring various fields in modeling from runway to print ad shoots, his verbal skills have yet again proven to be handy especially with multimedia interviews. He also traversed towards becoming a DJ during some of the Blackout fashion shows.

From 2013 to 2016, Em Jay served as Brgy. Councilor in E.B. Magalona. As a public servant, he demonstrated a great deal of eloquence. His straightforward communication skills warranted proper action for the good of his constituents. In 2015, he graduated his Bachelors Degree in Information Technology from the University of Saint LaSalle.

Eventually, Em Jay rekindled his fire for his first love... music! Motivated by videos from “Good Myrhical Morning”, “Watch”, “Mattew Santorro”, and “Best Food Ever Review Show”, he started to make videos of his own in his Instagram account where he plays guitar, usually on fingerstyle.

Expressing his soul through his music, he then collaborated with his fellow Blackout Model, the crooner and 3-time Tawag Ng Tanghalan winner, Kevin Ibañez. Together with Cookie Zamora, Emjay and Kevin formed EMCOIN Acoustics. They performed bosa nova, RnB & 80s music for weddings and hotel lounges. He draws inspiration from artists such as John Mayer and Mateus Asato. Late last year, he attended the concert of his guitar hero Mateus Asato, a Japanese-Brazilian Hollywood-based musician.

When Kevin Ibañez moved to British Columbia last year, a voice from within drove Em Jay to form Sugar Beatz Acoustics together with Cris Noel Bernalde of WISH 107.5, and his long-time partner Yobe Hidalgo. They indulge in playing RnB, OPM, 70s & 80s music. Together with this new band, he was able to perform live at the famous WishBus. As a full-time acoustic guitar player, he prefers the “kahoy” sounds as it is pure and it magnifies his message from within.

If truth be told, Em Jay’s success in the music scene can be attributed to how he expresses his thoughts, his ideas and his beliefs. He speaks his mind upfront while he plays his guitar from the soul. Nevertheless, John Mayer can be right after all. Indeed, it is best to articulate your thoughts than to have a silent scream from within. Simply put, you have to express the voice of your soul, or you will regret not having so. Rest assured, you will definitely hear it from Em Jay.


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