I first heard about Joslin via Twitter. She was thanking this music production for letting her play during open mic night, her giddiness palpable in her tweet.
As someone who frequents gigs around Metro Manila, I was drawn to her unique name and fresh image, and was interested to know what kind of music she plays. I went to Spotify and found her with a few songs in her profile. I chose to listen to “Pieces”first. My heart broke, and I became an instant fan.
The thing about Joslin is that you wouldn’t guess that her songs would be heartbreaking. She is a sweet and quirky 19-year-old who juggles her music career with her student life in the University of the Philippines—a feat that even she confesses requires a lot of sacrifice and compromise. In the middle of our interview, a few of her friends drop by, and she gives them some clothes that she bought because she thought they would look nice on them. She’s that nice. Her fun and smiling personality contrasts her melancholy tunes—a testament to her skill and talent in storytelling. She’ll make you smile when you meet her, but she’ll also break your heart when you listen to her songs.
The crowd favorite, “Pieces,” perfectly captures that feeling of giving away too much of yourself to someone, only for that love to go to waste in the end, a feeling that a lot of us can relate to. “I wrote ‘Pieces’ when I was nearing the end of a relationship, and every time I perform it live, I always dedicate it to the people who give it their all when they love someone,” Joslin says.
When I ask her about her EP, Virgo, Joslin recalls how she didn’t really plan on writing four songs for just one person. The title itself refers to the zodiac sign of the guy who the songs were written for. The whole EP is the story of the stages of having a crush: from that hopeful kilig of imagining a future with your crush in “Someday (End Game),” to finally having contact with your crush in “09171312020,” and that painful acceptance that some things just aren’t meant to be in “Credits.”
Joslin started writing her own songs when she was just 7 years old. Recently, she decided to share her music with the world, because she felt that it was the right time. In the year she began taking her music career more seriously, her songs have reached over 200,000 streams on Spotify. She also successfully released a four-song EP, and is now a signed artist of Viva Records.
With all her recent success and her increasing fanbase, Joslin remains unfazed by the changing tide of the music industry. She’s content to moving at an easy pace, especially since she is still a full-time student. “If one thing needs more attention than the other, then that’s where I’ll focus first. I’m not making any big decisions right now, I just want to take things slow.”
Follow Joslin on Instagram @joslinicole for updates. You can listen to her new EP Virgo on Spotify.