“I tried not to, but I couldn’t help it. But, he’s like a living legend, and you can’t believe he’s sitting right in front of you, you know? You grow up listening to him, and he’s got so many great songs, and all those feelings just piled up on me.” Camile Velasco on meeting Elton John
American musician of Filipino, Spanish and Irish lineage Camile Velasco first came to the attention of public as one of the finalist on the third season of the reality talent-search television series “American Idol,” with her trade mark of continuously wearing a three-color Rasta wristband. Since then, she has appeared in numerous shows and events both in American and in her homeland of Philippines, as well as worked with big names like the Grammy-nominated producer Gen Ruben and Filipino legend Martin Niever.
Signing with one of the best labels in the music industry, Motown Records, Velasco is set to release her solo album in the near future.
Apart from singing, Velasco, who considers hip hop artist Lauryn Hill as her biggest musical influence, plays the piano, guitar and writes her songs. She is also very good at crafts and making things with her hands.
Childhood and Family:
Ciara-Camile Roque Velasco, better known as Camile Velasco, was born on September 1, 1985, in Makati City, Philippines. She was raised there until age 8, when her family decided to relocate to Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. She was educated at St. Anthony Senior High School. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Camile is studying music and writing at the Musician Institute in Hollywood, CA.
Camile Velasco’s nickname is Koy. She has four sisters, Tuesday, Divina, Christina, Isabell, and a brother named J.J. While filming American Idol, one of her sisters was living in Japan on Yokosuka Navy Base, with her father William Velasco and her stepmother Imelda Velasco. Camile loves to design clothes, a hobby her mother Rennie West and sister Tuesday also enjoy.
Until You Come Back to Me
Philippines-born, Hawaii-raised Camile Velasco was a besieged composer/ songwriter and worked as a waitress in her family’s International House of Pancakes Restaurant in Kahului before trying her luck to break the music industry by entering audition for American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2003. Offering an impressive version of the chorus and bridge of “Ready or Not,” Velasco was adored by the judges. Simon Cowell mentioned “you’re actually very good.”
In the Hollywood round, Velasco went on to enjoy success by being the Top 32 of the second group of semifinalists, and following her magnificent presentation of Brian McKnight’s “One Last Cry,” she became the top vote-getter in her group. She progressed to the top 12 finals. Subsequently, Velasco was the pride of Hawaii, and small-town Maui in particular.
Sadly, on April 7, 2004, Velasco was eliminated from American Idol, becoming the fourth person to leave American Idol 3. Along with fellow Filipino-American from Hawaii Jasmine Trias, she got the lowest votes during Elton John week, and was requested to perform one last time before the host announced the final result that ended up in Velasco’s departure.
While on the show, Velasco has created a trade mark for herself by always wearing a red, green and yellow Rasta wristband as a good luck charm and as a homage to the reggae movement as well as her idol, the New Jersey hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill. Musically, she has been classified as being hip hop and distinguished herself by assuming a hip-hop version to the various soul, pop and country songs chosen every week.
Despite cruel criticism during the American Idol 3 finals, Velasco’s song on the American Idol Season 3 CD, “Until You Come Back to Me,” was well-received by music reviewers in Los Angeles and New York. It even identified as the best track on the album by many major publications. After Fantasia Barrino won the competition, Valesco went to tour with other finalists throughout the US.
After American Idol, she flew to her motherland of the Philippines to perform at a Christmas concert with veteran Filipino musician Martin Nievera. During her stay, she was also invited to appear in countless TV shows, as well as performed with Billy Crawford, South Border and several other local and intercontinental stars.
Returning to America, Velasco opted to settle in Hollywood to further pursue her music career. She penned a record deal with Motown Records, one of the biggest names in the music industry, and began to work in the studio. In 2005, she launched a single titled “Hangin’ On,” which was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Gen Ruben. She recorded another song,” Set Me Free/Hangin On’ Remix,” with Prakazrel “Pras” Michel of the recently-reunited super band, the Fugees, in New York. Additionally, she headlined numerous events and shows, including the Kababayan Festival in Vallejo, the Fil-Am Unity Jam in Stockton and San Jose, Lumpiapalooza in San Francisco, the 50th State Fair in Hawaii, and many others. Aside from her frantic schedule, Velasco is working assiduously on the studio to build up quality material for her forthcoming debut solo album.