Jessica Cerro, identified onstage as Montaigne, is making ready to constitute Australia on the Eurovision Tune Contest along with her track, ‘Technicolour‘.

Whilst it’ll be her first time acting at the world degree, the 25-year previous art-pop musician from Sydney has been getting native air time since highschool as a finalist on Triple J’s ‘Unearthed’.

SBS Language | Karaoke and ‘sinigang’: How Eurovision artist Montaigne embraces her Filipino heritage

The multi-talented Montaigne hasn’t ever wavered at the supply of a novel artistry that has noticed the Sydney musician development in her making a song occupation.

Jess Gleeson

In 2016, on the age of 21, she received an ARIA Award for Step forward Artist for her album, ‘Wonderful Heights’.

She’s since toured round Australia, collaborated with big-name artists like The Hilltop Hoods, and launched her 2nd album, ‘Advanced’, in 2019.

However earlier than Jessica turned into Montaigne, there was once an upbringing that incorporated Filipino meals and KTV, or Karaoke Tv.

Vegan sinigang

So how Filipino is Montaigne? Now not a lot, but additionally, rather so much.

She comes from a French, Argentinean, Spanish, and Filipino background; however rising up in Australia, it was once her mom’s Filipino facet that stood out.

Montaigne, Maitina, Filipino mum, Pinay

A tender Jessica along with her mom, Maitina, who was once born and raised in Manila

Maitina Cerro

“I grew up with a few of the ones cultures, Filipino predominantly, and somewhat little bit of Argentinian,” she says.

“However most commonly Filipino as a result of my circle of relatives had pals round that have been Filipino in Sydney. My mum was once born and raised in Manila till she was once about 18 or 19.

She confesses that as she by no means discovered the language, she doesn’t really feel that she will relate strongly to Filipino tradition.

“I’m pleased with the place I come from. However I think like I’m nonetheless finding out to connect to it as a result of we weren’t uncovered to it up to I feel lets or will have to had been rising up,” she says.

However for somebody who doesn’t really feel all that Filipino, she speaks with unexpected familiarity concerning the meals.

“Essentially the most tradition I were given from my folks that was once from our origins was once Filipino meals, like ginataan, and sinigang, and adobo,” she says, announcing every dish nearly completely.

Actually, she as soon as tried a meatless model of the well-known Filipino bitter broth, sinigang; which she admits wasn’t simple to do as a working towards vegan.

“[With] sinigang, you wish to have animal fats to make it actually come in combination, and you’ll be able to’t do this while you’re vegan. I feel the tamarind was once somewhat too sturdy. There had to be one thing to steadiness it out somewhat extra,” she says.  

Even supposing admitting her cooking talents aren’t complicated, she says it no doubt received’t be her closing take a look at at vegan Filipino delicacies.  

“At some point, I wish to do a video on adobo. I’m actually intent on that as a result of that was once my favorite.”

The Philippine nationwide past-time

After meals, the following maximum Filipino factor about Montaigne is the presence of karaoke in her adolescence house.

montaigne, Eurovision 2021, singing contest, Filipino culture, karaoke

Jessica’s first piano lesson along with her grandmother.

Maitina Cerro

“My mum used to shop for karaoke DVDs, and I and my sister had, like, two. And we’d simply repeat the similar songs over and over,” she stocks.

“My tio [uncle] has a field with the karaoke books and stuff like that. My prolonged circle of relatives actually loves that stuff, evidently.”

Because it was once her mom who inspired the Philippine nationwide past-time, it is smart that Montaigne credit her because the “largest proponent” in her luck as a musician.

“[When] I used to be a young person, she was once spearheading the entire control tasks, and actually looking to champion me,” she stocks.

“Phase and parcel of why I’m the place I’m now are as a result of I used to be for the reason that elevate proper originally via my mum.”

And isn’t that so very Filipino? In the end, what Pinoy mum wouldn’t need their kid to be a making a song big name?


This time closing yr, Montaigne was once dealt a sour blow. Nonetheless flying top from being decided on to accomplish at Eurovision 2020, the competition was once quickly cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve had my cry,” she posted on a Fb standing, including that she would almost certainly have “much more cries within the subsequent few minutes.”

montaigne, Eurovision 2021, singing contest, Filipino culture, karaoke

Montaigne will compete in Semi Ultimate 1 along with her uplifting and robust anthem Technicolour.

Jess Gleeson

However a yr later, she is in higher shape than ever with a daring, rainbow-dyed buzzcut, and an exuberant new unmarried, ‘Technicolour’.

Closely impressed via pop artists from the early 2000s like Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, Montaigne describes the track as a adventure to discovering your energy thru tricky feelings and adversity.

And this time, now not even an international pandemic goes to prevent Montaigne from functioning at Eurovision 2021. There may be one twist: she received’t be attending the true festival in Rotterdam.

As an alternative, a pre-recorded efficiency shall be broadcasted.

montaigne, Eurovision 2021, singing contest, Filipino culture, karaoke

“I’m very excited to show Technicolour at the “Eurovision degree”! It’s vibrant and glossy and I’m very pleased with it,” stocks Montaigne


She’s now not as disenchanted this time round. “It’s dangerous success, but it surely’s dangerous success that everybody on this planet is enduring, now not simply me.”

After her efficiency hits TV monitors this Might, Jessica Cerro will belong to the arena. However for now, she belongs to Australia and is worked up to be incorporated in its Philippine group.

“Thanks on your beef up, and for figuring out with me, and accepting me as a part of the group as a result of that’s actually necessary to me.

“And yeah, simply a whole lot of love.”


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Jonathan Bennett Manila Creativity