Estimated read time 3 min read


It is unlikely for the optimist singer/songwriter Mae Janelle to name her debut EP, ‘Penumbra’, but she has good reasons for doing so. A partially darkened area of a shadow, Penumbra represents a new take on the “light at the end of the tunnel” metaphor. “Although you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, it’s a reminder that it’s never always the case. Sometimes, the light just dimmed – that’s all,” explains the 22 year old. Penumbra is an acceptance of one’s obstacles and the recognition of revealing one’s hopefulness amidst the struggles, as the song,

LostLustre, portrays. Sonically, the EP reflects this musical yin and yang through the intertwining of dark and somber textures with soft and ambient elements against Mae Janelle’s vulnerability in her vocals. Produced alongside local producers John “Tiny” Joven and  Philynch, with feature producer Gee, Penumbra hints on the vibes of the Toronto urban sound popularized by acts like PartyNextDoor, Drake and others, as heard in the songs Drive Away, If You’re in Love, Jacqueline and Needs, with a unique and personal undertaking.


Born in Manila, Philippines, Mae Janelle began singing at the age of 3 and immigrated to Canada at 10 years old. As her new life experiences and struggles in a foreign country initiated Mae Janelle to start a journal, picking up the guitar and piano in the process, these entries were eventually transformed into songs secretly. Vocally trained in Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts and Centre For Pop Music Philippines, her talents in songwriting came to fruition upon her acceptance at the exclusive Independent Music Production at Seneca College in 2011, where she began to develop as an artist and perform at local venues. In 2013, Mae Janelle continued her artist development through joining Canada’s top music incubators, Coalition Music, in their Artist Entrepeneur Program.

Within the Filipino community, Mae Janelle has opened for Filipino artists Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez, and have also sung for pop star Sarah Geronimo. In 2014, Mae Janelle claimed the grand champion title of multi-awarded Philippine songwriter Vehnee Saturno’s Star Ka Na singing competition in Toronto.

Mae Janelle cites her musical influences from artists Lights, John Legend, Tori Kelly, Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Jhene Aiko, Etta James, Filipino artist Kyla, and is greatly inspired by R&B, OPM, and Soul music.

“Im excited for what’s to come. To use my music as a platform to speak from my own perspective. It’s something nobody can take away.”

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