Sydney-based Filipino artist collaborates with well-known local music producer Oliver Gadista in Christmas album.

Sydney-based Filipino artist Jojo Sebastian is a man of many talents. When he's not looking after the nation as a frontliner, he is also known in the local community as an award-winning emcee and standout performer. This year, to commemorate the festive season, he released a four-track album featuring three Christmas classics - Hark the Herald Angel Sing, Silent Night and O Holy Night

And the title track 'Christmas ain't Christmas without you' holds a personal meaning. The Australian Filipina interviews the singer to find out more.

You can listen or buy the album on Bandcamp.

Q. What inspired you to release the album?

Besides always dreaming of having my own Christmas album, the album was inspired by my realisation this year that the holiday season will definitely be different. I was in talk with maestro Oliver Gadista after the “Heroes of the World” Album Project for the Frontliners of the 2019 Australian Bushfire and I expressed my desire to pursue my dream to have a Christmas Album. He then suggested for me to sing an original song that he would write and arrange. 'Christmas Aint Christmas without you is specifically written after our conversation regarding my dad’s passing away and Christmas has never been the same.

Q. Tell us more about your family tradition over Christmas.

My Dad (Jaime Sebastian) and Mom (Josephine Sebastian) had always reminded me and my siblings the importance of celebrating Christmas with family. Every year since I moved to Australia in 2010, I have always spent the Christmas season in Hawaii with them except this year. So this has been an early Christmas Present for my family specially for my mom.

Q. How do you find the time to pursue your passion in music despite your hectic frontlines schedule?

For me, music is an escape. A beautiful escape into a world where I can express and convey all my emotion. It has helped me through challenges, trials, and triumphant. I learned that I must always make time for all my passion which both includes music and nursing. For me it goes hand in hand.

Q. What do you miss about celebrating pasko in Philippines?

What I miss the most is having to celebrate Christmas with my neighbours. All of us kids from our street (Santa Cruz St, South City Homes in Binan Laguna) gather together after dinner from December 1st to go around our subdivision to do caroling. Afterwhich, we partake on the pamasko that we collect.

The simple things we do during Christmas is what I miss the most.

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