ADJENG: On a ‘Rollercoaster’ ride that is the music scene

Published April 23, 2022, 8:01 AM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

ADJENG

There are talented young artists who happen to have the complete package and are programmed and guided by specialists to come out at the right place and the right time. And there are independent veteran artists like ADJENG who has a wealth of experience under her belt in the music scene and has a passion for expressing herself through her original songs. While she understands her place in the overpopulated scene and knows how to make it work, she still has the fire of an artist with ambition and the beautiful songs with stories to share that a lot of other people can relate to given the chance. She may have her feet on the ground, but she has eyes (and ears) to the sky.

ADJENG launches her first proper single entitled “Rollercoaster”. The highly-infectious pop-funk-soul romp is about the highs and lows of life, and was mainly inspired by cabin fever in the peak of the pandemic. 

ADJENG is Adrienne Sarmiento Buenaventura, a mom, worship leader, freelance writer, entrepreneur and singer-songwriter. “When I was born my Mom was struggling to get me to sleep at the right time,” Adjeng said. “So she was cooing me to sleep saying, ‘Adrienne, adjeng, adjeng, adjeng…’, so the nickname stuck (laughs). It became quite unique because you don’t hear a name like that everyday. Kesa naman yung full name ko itatanong pa kung pano i-pronounce and how it’s spelled, so Adjeng na lang para mas madaling maalala.”

Straight out of Miriam College in 2002, she first paid her dues as a frontwoman for showbands managed by Randy and Jun Santiago. Eventually, she released two professional albums as a recording artist with bands Sipol and Wink both under GMA Records, and eight digital music singles as a solo artist, all from her vault of compositions originally submitted for national songwriting competitions. ADJENG has also had a wealth of professional experience as a TV and events host, model, and theater actress. 

She faced one of the biggest challenges in her life when her doctor found a cyst on her left vocal cord. After an endoscopy, she was recommended to have surgery, but after a well-disciplined period of vocal rest and constant praying, her doctor was amazed to find out that the cyst miraculously disappeared on its own. If that’s not a sign that she was meant to be a singer, we don’t know what is. 

After releasing songs from her catalog from the years past in 2021, Adjeng is excited to have a fresh new start of sorts with new songs she wrote since January of last year. The pandemic gave her plenty of free time and stimuli to finally write songs from her own perspective, compared to her previous material written for songwriting competitions. 

“Now with ‘Rollercoaster’ and my other new compositions, heto na talaga yung what represents me and who I am as a singer and songwriter,” Adjeng shared. “Kasi with those two songs, ako lang talaga nagsulat nun, unlike yung before I had a lot of help from co-songwriters. If you notice, talagang mas fresh ang sound and I definitely know where I want to be vocally. Kasi those songs I released last year were written for songwriting contests. So now, yung totoong ako naman ang maririnig nila.”

“‘Rollercoaster’ was written during the pandemic and nararamdaman ko na yung cabin fever,” she bared. “2020 kasi I planned to take my annual solo trip to New York sana to ease my mind. Pero biglang nag-pandemic, so medyo na-disheartened ako. But I realized nung time na when the melody and the lyrics came to me, it felt like a very hopeful thing. Na-excite ako knowing that kahit pandemic, there’s still an opportunity to choose whether to focus on the negative or the positive. The melody just came to me, and since I don’t play the piano or the guitar to perform, I called my 13-year-old daughter to get the chords for me since she plays the piano beautifully. After that I just finished the song and I approached my bandmate to do the final arrangement. We got hold of Krina Cayabyab of Baihana to do the vocal arrangements, because she’s the one who does their vocal arrangements. I like their sound and I like her way of doing vocal arrangements, so I tapped her to do the background vocals. Up to now, it’s still my driving song every time I feel disheartened about things. Gumagaan talaga loob ko whenever I play it. I also let some friends listen to the song, and I’m happy to share that gumagaan din yung vibe nila because of it.” 

And with ADJENG realizing that the digital landscape has provided an even playing field for independent forward-thinking artists like her, she is more than ready to take on the wild “Rollercoaster” of music!

“Rollercoaster” is out now on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and all digital streaming platforms. Visit and follow ADJENG socials at @adjengvsb

 
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