Aug 252014

SAN FRANCISCO, California—Fil-Am singer Ellona Santiago instantly became the pride of Filipinos worldwide after her solo debut on the Fox Channel hit music television competition, “X Factor.”

Her passion for music, upbeat performances and strong vocals gained her international attention as she worked her way deeper into the competition. But this teen singing sensation did not happen over night.  Her music abilities have been honed since she could barely walk.

“I’ve been singing since I was about two-and-a-half years old. I would perform at various events like birthdays, weddings and fiestas,” Ellona recalls. “My dad was actually the one who has been with me from the start. He would always play songs on our stereo machine and everywhere we go so I would listen to it and one day I started to sing through our karaoke machine. My family thought I could read but I really just memorized the song.”

The “X Factor” stage was no mystery to Ellona, who had competed previously. Taking a big step and moving into a solo career, she competed for the second time and won the hearts of not only the audience, but judges as well.  Her time on “X Factor” has given her the experience, exposure and opportunity to further her music and move towards a more serious singing career.

“I’ve always been so passionate with music especially because my whole family is musically inclined,” Ellona explains. “I’ve always wanted to inspire others through my singing and performance. My favorite part is actually performing on the stage because I feel so at home, and I am meant to be there to pour my whole entire heart into it.”

Ellona has inspired Fil-Ams and Filipinos alike despite her unexpected elimination from the singing contest.  She believes her biggest inspiration is Beyoncé, the epitome of perfection in her eyes.

Ellona idolizes Beyoncé for her success in all aspects of the entertainment industry like singing, dancing, performing and acting.  She notes that her role model is passionate in everything she does, and she aspires to have that same passion in her personal career.

After graduating high school, Ellona plans to continue her education while still living her dream in the entertainment industry. “’My XFactor’ journey was an amazing experience for me. It was like a nonstop roller coaster ride!” she exclaims.

“There was a lot of stress, but at the same time it was fun working with such honorable people in the music industry.  Since the ‘X Factor’ show ended I’ve been getting invited to various events. I’ve been promoting my concerts and upcoming shows in and outside US. I’ve also started to write my own music, but I’m still in the process of working with producers to produce my first song.”

When choosing pieces to perform, Ellona selects songs that have important meaning to her and bring out the best tone of her voice.  To make the performance unique and bring individuality to the songs, she adds her own style and spin to the music.

After her time on “X Factor,” Ellona still believes in working hard and continuing to develop and create a name for herself.  “I think I am still trying to strive for my “breaking point,” she says. “All my life I’ve been trying to hustle to find my breaking point. That mindset helps me to work harder.”

One of her upcoming performance will be on September 20 in San Leandro, California, along with special guests.

 Leave a Reply