Andrew Garcia : Filipino or not?

Andrew Garcia : Filipino or not?

As the Boston University Filipino Student Association’s “ISA: The World is One” event got underway, the event’s featured performer, Andrew Garcia, was in his dressing room, good- naturedly laughing, “I wonder if they know I’m not Filipino?”

Garcia, a singer/songwriter out of Moreno Valley, California and a Top 10 finalist on Season 9 of American Idol, is Hispanic. But for many different reasons, including his YouTube collaborations with many other performers in the APA community, including fellow singer/songwriter and good friend AJ Rafael, he is often mistaken for being Filipino. He takes the mix-
up in stride and is more than willing to praise the community that “adopted him” as one of their own.

“Mexicans and Asians are the same, you know,” said Garcia, whose fiancé is Filipino, “very family-oriented and with a lot of love and support for good talent. It’s really cool to just be embraced by the culture.”

Garcia, who has collaborated with APA performers like AJ Rafael, Cathy Nguyen, and Lydia Paek, credits his network of collaborators to shows featuring YouTube entertainers and sharing connections with his friends. His focus is on the “jamming” and creating fresh music through blending the talents and passions of other performers.

It’s this dedication to the art form, and not necessarily the fame that comes with it, that helped make Garcia successful during his run on American Idol. After the preliminary rounds on the show, Garcia and the other contestants were kept in an “Idol bubble” and were only allowed to practice for their performances and to promote the “Idol” campaign. Because of this policy, he said that it was easy to focus only on the performance and the judges’ reaction, and not the 30 million viewers tuning in each show. He said that it wasn’t until the first time he ran into TMZ snapping pictures of the contestants out shopping that he realized how big of a deal his appearance on the show actually was. He remained focused on making the most of his “crazy” opportunity until his elimination on April 14, 2010.

The effects of that experience, however, are far from over. He is back to collaborating with fellow performers, adding the lessons he learned from “Idol” and the fan base he garnered from the show to the communal jam session. He is also working on his first album, due out on June 7th.

But despite all of this success, he still believes that one of the best parts of being a musician is being able to inspire others with his talent. He welcomes his opportunity to serve as a role model for others – no matter what ethnicity they believe him to be.

“Music has no color,” he said. “Whether people want to bring together different parts of Asia or all different cultures to make good music and have a good time, it really doesn’t matter.”

Andrew Garcia talks about being “adopted” by the APA community

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