26 Jan Lee Grane Meet and Greet with a Personal Interview
For the first time in the music history of Cagayan de Oro, Lee Grane, one of the top finalists in season one of The Voice Philippines, held a live acoustic performance at the E-Bar Rooftop Bar of the Pacifico Boutique Hotel last January 22 and 23. This is part of Lee Grane’s “Back to the Heart Tour” that she started last year. The E-Bar and Pacifico Boutique Hotel are located at the corner of Apolinar Velez and Fernandez Streets.
Before the live performance on January 22, Lee Grane had a personal meet-and-greet followed by an interview at the Pacifico Hotel’s Crema Café and Restaurant.
Firstly, she was briefly interviewed by the crew of ABS-CBN Star Patrol.
The actual meet-and-greet and personal interview was conducted by KC Curay, Alvin Curay, and Eugene Kanlapan of the aboutcagayandeoro.com interview team, Mark Llusala from Urban Life Gold Star Daily – Cagayan de Oro, and Victor Naïve from the popular travel blog: victornaive.com/blog.
According to Ms. Lee, she calls her live performances outside of Manila the “Back to the Heart Tour” because she wanted to consolidate all the live performances she started doing since last year in Cebu and abroad, as well as any future live performances she would be randomly doing anywhere in the country this year. Aside from Cagayan de Oro there are no set dates yet for other places. The “Back to the Heart” also emphasizes the 13 years she has been in the music industry but still singing cover and original songs that she likes, rather than what would be more commercially apt.
Ms. Lee admitted that she feels blessed and happy that she got the chance to sing in gigs, bars, and lounges, but there were points in her life that she felt she was doing these nightly singing things as if going to a regular job. Sometimes she felt that she was just there to earn a living rather than enjoying what she was doing. “Back to the heart” then could also mean that she was going back to the roots of what she really loved, “coming back to the heart of who I am.”
Her concept of music is that you can only be a performer if you can “really connect with other people or the ones you are singing to.” She narrated that back in the ancient times music was very basic since it involved groups of people gathered around camp fires to sing songs that “everyone connected with.”
Lee Grane is 29 years old and hails from Batangas City. She stopped schooling to pursue her dreams of being a singer. In college she started out as a guitarist for an all-female band called Damsels in Distress. She came to Manila and has lived there for several years now to do regular gigs at clubs, bars, lounges, even events. Her repertoire of covers are usually popular OPM hits, Filipino and foreign folk songs, and a smattering of a few pop hits as well as being interspersed with her originally composed music.
Her full name is actually Lee Grane Maranan, and she first got public prominence when millions saw her audition on season one of The Voice Philippines, and getting Bamboo Mañalac and Sarah Geronimo to turn their chairs with her own rendition of Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak.” But what mesmerized Bamboo, Sarah G. and even Lea Salonga was her rendering of Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Eyes of an Angel” that turned out even better than “Anak,” proving to Lea that she could croon even better in English. Eventually, Lee Grane chose Bamboo to be her mentor even if Sarah was the first to turn around. According to her, she selected Bamboo even if Sarah was the first to turn around because it seemed that she and Bamboo “really connected.”
She auditioned for The Voice because she believes in highlighting her voice and not be judged by her looks. She also dedicated the “Anak” song to her family.
Check out Lee Grane during The Voice PH 2013 Blind Auditions below in this YouTube Video:
One reason why she had to earn her keep in music is that after her father died she sort of stood as the family’s “proxy father figure” and helped send her siblings to school. She also tries to help in the treatment of her sister’s epilepsy.
Ms. Lee is pleased and flattered when she is compared to Lolita Carbon, Sarah McLachlan, and Regina Spektor, since these singers also started out as “independents.” She is a bit saddened though, that here in the Philippines there is almost no support for independent artists and that musicians are promoted more on “face value” and “commercial value” rather than what they really want to sing and compose. She cited Joey Ayala as an example of an artist who is unique and stayed with his own respective genre that’s why she respects him as an artist.
Last November 2015, she released her debut album entitled “Truth is My Echo.” It is an all-original, all-English 12 track independent album. The songs “Fly” and “Magnificent” are proving to be the album’s favorite among listeners. After this she released a single entitled “U.N.I. that is now streaming online. She decided to go independent and do an online album. She did all the recordings by herself through a recording studio, music mixing apps, and other stuff. It took her a year to finish the album. The 12 songs she chose for the album is part of the thirty-plus original songs that she has written and composed over the years.
Recently, she signed up with International Digital distributing Company then recorded and produced her album independently and for now it is digitally available. She is hoping that her album can reach an international audience that can be her avenue to eventually reach the Filipino audience.
After the interview, Miss Lee even regaled the interviewers with her guitar playing and a couple of original songs like “Bangon,” a song that she wrote for the young soccer team made up of child victims that emerged from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, as well as a Gordon “Sting” Sumner cover.