MANILA, Philippines — Sporting a fresh hairstyle and look, Sharlene San Pedro granted The STAR an exclusive Zoom interview detailing her new single Running and updating us with her career since her Goin’ Bulilit days.

First, we took notice of her new blond hair color that pretty much suited her. Although she is a self-confessed Blink, BLACKPINK’s fandom, she revealed it was inspired by Red Velvet’s Wendy.

A week before they filmed her music video for her latest single Running, which was dropped last Friday, Sharlene asked permission from her record label Yellow Room Music if she could change the color of her hair — and so, here we are.

“I told them para lang may bago. Kasi lagi na lang ganito ang itsura ko, para maiba naman,” she told this paper and agreed with comments that she now bore a resemblance to K-pop idols with her new look.

With her striking appearance and musical talent, it was not surprising that she got the attention of fellow artists in the industry, one of them is SB19’s Justin who openly said that Sharlene is her celebrity crush.

Modesty aside, Sharlene is aware that there are P-pop artists who have expressed their admiration for her. She shared, “(May mga) nagsasabi na ako nga daw po ang celebrity crush (nila)… I read it on Twitter… they admire me as an artist.”

Meanwhile, Sharlene has officially launched Running after two years of not releasing any music. She also considers the song as an advanced gift to herself for her birthday, which falls on April 5. Written and produced by Mayonnaise’s Monty Macalino, the song is about “how we respond to life’s various struggles — running through the motions versus running toward one’s hopes and dreams,” as per media release.

Sharlene releases new single Running, written and produced by Mayonnaise’s Monty Macalino under Yellow Room Music.

For Sharlene, Running is about love. “Most of the listeners relate the meaning of the song to love. Like, parang gusto mo na lang mag-stay dun sa memories na meron kayo or sa mga memories na nagawa niyo. You know that you are running out of time. That’s about it. Kumbaga, it’s too late for me now,” she mused.

The 22-year-old’s musical inclination began the moment she met “Sir Monty” during MYX events and shows where she was a VJ before. “Naikuwento ko sa kanya na, ‘Sir, alam niyo po ba na when I was in high school, I used to sing Synesthesia?’ Sabi niya, ‘Talaga? O tara jam tayo sa studio namin,’” she recalled.

Then her first-ever track Paraan came after that. “I thought I was just going to cover it for a content on YouTube but they suddenly released it with the band, (on) Spotify and iTunes. After that, nagtuloy-tuloy na po ang pag-release ko ng tracks with them.” Paraan went on to be nominated as MYX Favorite Remake of the Year and won.

Apart from Mayonnaise, which played a huge part in her music career, the young artist also cited American rock band Paramore and local bands Moonstar88, December Avenue and Silent Sanctuary as her favorites.

She learned to strum the guitar through their family driver who taught her the basic D-A-G-A chords and studied further through watching YouTube videos, “googling” on the Internet and being part of a high school band back then.

Sharlene is a well-rounded individual. Aside from acting and music, she also prioritizes her education. She is a graduating student, taking up Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a video gaming creator on Facebook.

With her hands full, the young artist maintains proper time management to juggle all her interests. She has this gentle reminder for youngsters like her, “Kahit sobrang dami mong ginagawa dapat matuto lang magpahinga. Without proper rest, you will get burned out. So make sure that habang ginagawa mo ‘to lahat, you will make time for yourself to rest.”

Moreover, she also recalled how her stint at Goin’ Bulilit shaped her life and profession. “It did not only create a huge impact on my life but it likewise taught me how to deal with people, aside from acting. Goin’ Bulilit was not only a show, it also functioned like a school. Tinuturuan kami (like) school for work? Sa tingin ko yan ang pinakamalaking naibago at naiambag niya in my life.”

Of course, she also experienced the awkward stage while transitioning to adulthood, particularly while doing the teen series Luv U. “Very thankful ako sa team ni direk Bobot (Mortiz) dahil Goin’ Bulilit pa lang inaalagaan na nila kami. Nung nag-teen kami sa Luv U ay talagang hindi kami pinapabayaan. Medyo mahirap din po, especially magpapayat during that awkward stage,” she admitted.

Nevertheless, Sharlene has managed to stay relevant to this day, especially now that she has released new music. “Feeling ko yun yung gino-goal ko eh, not the big role or project or something successful na magagawa mo. Pero yung kumbaga kung gaano ang itatagal mo at kung gaano ka mag-stay relevant dun sa career na kung saang path ka man naroon. Yun ang importante — the longevity.”

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