Five timeless tracks from Filipino-American songstress Tracy Cruz

In this segment of 5 on 5, we sample five tracks from soul singer-songwriter Tracy Cruz.

Portrait of Tracy Cruz in front of a teal background

Tracy Cruz

Singer-songwriter Tracy Cruz was born in Quezon City on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Later relocating to San Jose, Calif., her foundational years were spent growing up around family, musical mentors and vocal coaches who cultivated a love of music and the arts. Her ears were saturated with a fusion of the indigenous sounds of various Tagalog ballads as well as American pop, soul and R&B music.

1. “Weathered Down” — Tracy Cruz

Prodigiously displaying musical gifts from an early age, Cruz would travel the United States by age 12, winning numerous music competitions. By the time she got to college, she would be an accomplished songwriter and became inspired to begin recording her material as many in her social circle were producing albums and getting booked for performances.

Her first project would be the album Feel’osophy, which gave a glimpse into a singer who could use her voice to touch listeners’ heartstrings.

2. “Love’s Galaxy” – Tracy Cruz

Feel’osophy would send a buzz throughout the indie soul and neo-soul music communities with its timeless feel and focus on uplifting topics such as love, hope and happiness. Her voice would also show great potential as she showed broad range and an intuition that connected with listeners. She would take these sensibilities to another level on her sophomore LP, Universoul Symphony, a project that would explore deeper layers of soul and groove. One of the album’s signature cuts is “Love’s Galaxy;” take a listen.

3. “Your Love’s Everything” – Tracy Cruz

Tracy Cruz has a voice that will melt even the toughest of hearts. Her unique musical and lyrical blend — Bay Area urban soul tinged with the influence of her indigenous Filipino roots — has captured the ears of music lovers around the world. Boasting a vocal range that might be bigger than her, Cruz emanates a classic and timeless feel.

Two full-length albums (Feel’osophy and Universoul Symphony) and four EPs (H3artifacts, Art of Facts, Purple H3artifacts and Illuminate Love) have garnered numerous awards including three Bay Area Black Music Awards for “Best Neo Soul Female,” “Best CD/Recorded Performance” and “Bay Area Rising Star,” two Akademia Awards, two Gran Royale Music Awards, three Muse’s Muse Awards, one Atlas Elite Entertainment Music Award and one Independent Network for the Music Arts Award.

She has supported several established acts including Kenny Lattimore, Pete Escovedo, Bilal and Moonchild. The songstress approaches her music unapologetically and freely, staying true to herself, while her stellar band Instrumentali-T provides a grown and sexy soundtrack for her vocal creations. They completed a 17-venue, 4-month “SOULShine Tour” around California in the summer of 2016. The following summer, Cruz had a sold out dual CD release concert with R&B/soul band Feelosophy at Yoshi’s in Oakland.

4. “Keep Our Soul Alive” – Tracy Cruz

Cruz continues to grow personally and musically, introducing a new chapter into her musical journey. Her newest single, “Losing in Love” is perhaps her most vulnerable composition to date. It is a prelude to the collection of raw emotions captured on H3artifacts. Paired down to only a piano and vocals, the record conveys the ultimate form of musical vulnerability and fragility. Digging deep into a broken heart, the record explores themes of love, loss, pain and hope.

“I wrote ‘Losing in Love’ during a very painful time in my life. I felt like my heart was breaking into a million pieces and I was losing everything all at once. I couldn’t stop crying so I poured out all of my emotions and wrote a song. It was a cathartic release,” shares Cruz. She is fearlessly exposed as she shares her personal journey of reclaiming self-love, perseverance, humility, resilience and healing.

5. “Find a Way” – Tracy Cruz

With her continued success and loyal fan base, this new release will not disappoint. She continues to tour and record as well as remaining a strong presence in her community, working with local youth as a vocal coach and mentor. She encourages them to follow their dreams to sing freely and wholeheartedly.

Most recently, she released her new single, “Keep Our Soul Alive,” produced by Detroit-based, multi-talented, Grammy-nominated producer Brandon Williams, and “My H3art Says to You (Instrumentali-T Version),” her tribute to Grammy Award winner R&B/soul music artist D’Angelo. In addition, she completed her H3artifacts Tour and was featured on “Asian Pacific America” with Robert Handa on NBC Bay Area TV.

For more funky and soulful electronic gems from artists making up the global music underground, tune into The Progressive Underground on Sundays from 8-10 p.m.

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