The half-Filipino half-African-American is making her mark
In the early ’90s and the ’00s, The Black Eyed Peas were one of music’s biggest acts. Their hit singles like “Let’s Get It Started,” “Pump It Louder,” and “Where Is The Love?” often still echo on the dance floor or radio, quantified by their 50 million and up album sales.
Though going through several iterations since its conception in 1995, the group’s most well-known members include Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie. But after 18 years with the award-winning group, Fergie made her departure in 2018 to focus on her family. The same year, an unlikely fresh face joined the crew—J.Rey Soul.
Jessica Reynoso, who adopted the stage name J.Rey Soul, is a half-Filipino half-African-American phenom who was born and raised in the Philippines. The San Pedro, Laguna native got her start in showbiz as a contestant on The Voice: Philippines, where Black Eyed Peas member Apl.de.ap, another Filipino musician, was a judge. Their professional relationship began when he turned his chair during one of her performances in the television contest.
Soul and the original Peas trio began working together unofficially the same year that Fergie left. But the collaboration was made official with her debut Black Eyed Peas 2020 album Translation, marking a quiet turnover for the group. Since then, the young singer has been making waves, marking the next era for the music powerhouse.
Her first single with the group “Mamacita” has garnered over 322 million views on Youtube. At the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards, the group won Crossover Artist of The Year, Sales Song of the Year, and Latin Pop Artist of the Year, marking an incredible start to Soul’s career.
The singer often posts about her visits to the Philippines on her Instagram, proudly showing off her Filipino roots. Beyond the stage, she’s now making her way into the fashion scene, having been spotted at exclusive events for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin.
Having only had two years of experience under the spotlight on the global stage, J.Rey Soul is definitely one talent to look out for.