Jace Roque joins Star Music, drops first full-length album 'Paradiso' after seven years

The album's carrier single, ‘Casual,’ ushered in a new era.

At a glance

  • Jace remembered starting his latest album in 2017. He chose to release the singles from the album before dropping the full album.

Jace Roque - Paradiso (Album Art).jpg
Jace Roque

Singer-songwriter Jace Roque has made a breakthrough into the mainstream with the release of his long-awaited first full-length album "Paradiso" after seven years.

"Going mainstream has always been a dream of mine. The journey I had to go through to get to where I am today was tough. I'm very grateful that I'm now seeing and reaping the fruits of my labor," said Jace during an interview at Borro Restaurant in Quezon City recently.

Jace also said: "Thank you Sir Roxy Liquigan, Sir Jonathan Manalo, Ms. Mela Ballano and the rest of the ABS-CBN Music family for believing in me and welcoming me into your family.

"Becoming a part of the ABS-CBN Music Christmas Station ID soundtrack was also a dream come true; I didn't expect to be included since I just signed a few months ago, but I'm very grateful that I was chosen to be a part of it."

Jace remembered starting his latest album in 2017. He chose to release the singles from the album before dropping the full album.

"Paradiso: The Album’ is seven years in the making. I started building this album in 2017. It is composed of all the singles I've released as an International Artist and the more recent songs included in ‘Inferno: The Mini Album’ (my formal introduction to the local music market). The album will include the high charting hits ‘Sober,’ ‘Day and Night,’ ‘Casual’, and more.

"The strategy has always been to release each track as a single and the project as a whole when the time is right. I've always been told that I was way ahead of my time, but now, my time has finally come.

"The album tackles subjects from love, relationships, and self-worth to taboo topics such as sex, mental health, and Filipino culture," Jace said.

The album's carrier single, ‘Casual,’ ushered in a new era. The rest of the tracklist will be given new life by introducing it to the local music market.

‘Casual’ tackles love and sex. It depicts the early stages of my love life before all the heartaches and heartbreaks. How it all started. It started with a kiss and grew into what it came to be.

"It is light, fun and sexy. Like how the first couple of months of a relationship usually is. This is also a love manifestation track. Encouraging people to stop playing mind games and just get on with it. Admit what you are feeling, don't hold back and allow it to blossom.

"In the single art, you can see a Celtic Love Knot in the background. A symbol that is also tattooed on my hip. It is two interlocking hearts that symbolizes the love between two people and the continuous line represents eternal love," he said.

Jace said the title of the album, "Paradiso," was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, in which he recounts his journey through Heaven and begins his adventure in Eden. 

"Similarly, with my ‘Paradiso’, I am tackling my fall from paradise and my journey back to paradise. The Eden representation is very prominent in the visuals for the Album Art and concept photos. A concept that I created and was brought to life by the talented celebrity photographer Raymond Cauilan. 

"‘Paradiso: The Album’ is divided into four chapters – Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul. The tracklist will take you through those chapters. This is my life's journey. My highs and lows. The beautiful and the ugly. Everything I've kept hidden and bottled up inside. 

"This is my journey to freedom—to express who I am. These are my words, my life, and my story. This is me," Jace said.

On the other influences for his album, Jace said: The album features my signature pop-EDM sound while incorporating my other influences such as dance, disco, R&B, hiphop, trap, latin, reggaeton, retro, and rock.

"I wrote both lyrics and melody, recorded, arranged, and produced all 13 tracks (2 of which I acquired the full rights from the International DJs I have worked with).

"Mixing and mastering was done in collaboration with an industry expert who has worked with big music stars and numerous major record labels in the Philippines," he said.

Jace Roque - Casual (Single Art).jpg

Jace happily discussed the 13 tracks in his latest album.

01 ‘Casual’ is a dance-pop track infused with Latin and reggaeton sounds. It depicts the early stages of my love life before all the heartaches and heartbreaks—how it all started. It started with a kiss and grew into what it came to be. This is also a love manifestation track, encouraging people to stop playing mind games and get on with it. Admit what you feel, don't hold back, and allow it to blossom.

02 ‘Love (Jace’s Version)' is a dance-pop track infused with Latin sounds. It is about offering yourself up and diving deep into love. No one ever said that falling in love was easy. You have to take a chance and don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Cause one day, someone with so much love to give will enter your life and make you believe again.

03 ‘Days With You (Jace’s Version)' is an EDM track with pop and tropical house elements. A close friend about to get married inspired me to write this song. It is about finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

04 ‘Sober (Jace’s Version)' is an EDM track with pop, rock, and trap elements. I initially wrote this song to explain why I don’t drink alcohol anymore, but it evolved into a mental health anthem. It tackles my faith and the darkness I endured to get to where I am.

05 ‘Be Someone (Jace’s Version)' is a mid-tempo pop/R&B track. It is about my struggle to preserve my identity while combating the unrealistic expectations from my family, friends, and the entertainment industry. It talks about the negative impact of being controlled and breaking free from one's ideology of how I should be. I want to be someone that I can be proud of.

06 'Back To The Beginning (Jace’s Version)' is an EDM track with elements of pop, tropical house, and future bass. It is about my struggles growing up and the difficulty of meeting my parents' insatiable demands and expectations. I had to endure double standards and felt like nothing was ever good enough for them. Amidst all that pain and chaos, I want to return to simpler times when everything was not as complicated.

07 ‘Everytime We Touch Pt. 2' is an EDM track with pop and future bass elements. It is about a struggling relationship on the brink of breaking up. Reminding your partner of everything you’ve been through and the love that you shared. 

08 ‘Day and Night (Jace’s Version)' is an EDM track with pop, disco, and dubstep elements. It is about a relationship that brings out the best and worst in each other. No matter how toxic the situation is, the heart wants what it wants, and you still choose to stay.

09 ‘Forever (Jace’s Version)' is a bi-lingual multi-genre dance pop track infused with R&B, Electronica, Latin, and Reggae sounds. It is about creating your destiny and making the active choice to stay together. Forever is not just a dream or concept. It is something that you need to work hard on to achieve it. 

10 'Trust (Jace’s Version)' is a mid-tempo 80s synth/dance track that recalls the confrontation I had when I discovered I was being cheated on. During that time, writing my heartbreak into a song was the only way for me to cope. True to what people say, "Trust takes months and years to build but only seconds to break."

11 'Di Para Sayo (Jace’s Version)' is a Tagalog pop/EDM track that tackles my journey to realizing my self-worth. It is based on a previous relationship, one of the reasons I abruptly went on hiatus in 2021, and the main reason I went to therapy. It is a self-empowerment anthem. It emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries, opening your eyes to the ugly truth, and choosing what's best for your overall well-being. 

12 ‘Living My Life Pt. 2' is a mid-tempo dance track with pop, R&B, and hip-hop elements. It is an anti-bullying and self-empowerment anthem. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less of a person. Know your worth. Fight for what you believe in. Choose your happiness and live your life the way you want to.

13 ‘Keep On Holding On Pt. 2’ is a dance-pop track with elements of Disco and Synth. It is a self-empowerment anthem, reminding myself to never give up on my dreams. I wrote this track when I wanted to quit showbiz and felt like I was going nowhere. I turned my negative emotions into something positive and uplifting. This track opened a lot of doors, and the rest is history.

In 2023, ‘Back To The Beginning’ was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Recording, and Jace was once again nominated for People’s Voice Favorite Male Artist in the 36th Awit Awards.

Jace was also nominated for Philippine Pop Male Soloist of the Year and took home the Philippine Pop Male Star of the Night award at the 8th Philippine Pop - PPOP Awards. 

In 2024, Jace started the year with a bang by receiving a nomination from the 15th PMPC Star Awards for Music as Male R&B Artist of the Year for his single 'Trust'.

Overall, two out of the four singles from Jace's previously released EP, 'INFERNO: The Mini Album,' received recognition from different award-giving bodies.