Vell Baria

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Vell Baria
Background information
Birth name Vell Retiza Baria
Born March 9, 1995 (age 22)
Flag of the Philippines Pasay City, Philippines
Genre(s) Musical, Pop, RnB, Ballad, Classical, Opera
Occupation(s) Actress (2001-present)
Singer (2002-present)
Student (2002-2015)
Motivational speaker (2015-present)
Instrument(s) Vocals, Piano, Violin, Flute, Drums, Percussion, Harmonica
Voice type(s) Coloratura soprano
Years active 2001–present
Label(s) Unsigned
Associated
acts
Joey Ayala
Thristan Mendoza
Lea Salonga
Christian Bautista

Vell Baria (born on March 9, 1995 in Pasay City, Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino singer, actress, songwriter, advocate, motivational speaker and student with autism.

Vell’s career has been divided between opera and musical theatre, she rose to fame in childhood as a musical and pop singer before branching into opera and classical music in 2011. Her remarkable achievements in the field of performing led numerous musical invitations in the Philippines to hire her as both guest vocal and performer. She began her early career as a musical stage actress in 2002 and performed in numerous autism related shows since November 2002.

She started her career as an actress in 2002 and after as a singer. Baria sang gospel and pop music as a child and verging to classical music at the age of 16. Vell first gained national recognition by winning in 2 Kundiman vocal competitions including the all PWD-based Paligisining Ng Mga Batang May K and the prestigious Kundiman Sa Makati where she was also the only PWD (Persons With Disability) to win the title.

Throughout her singing career, Vell sings mainly in English and Filipino. She has also displayed proficiency in singing in different languages including Latin, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Croatian, Ukrainian, Malaysian, Indonesian, Macedonian, Serbian, Korean and Kazakh. She has also sang in Hebrew, Japanese, Slovenian and Cantonese.

Taking a break from her career to study Diploma of Music Performance in Voice at St. Scholastica's College in Manila and shifted to Continuing Education in Music Performance Major in Voice Principle in the 2nd Quarter of 2015.

She took part of the 2015 Miss Possibilities pageant where Vell won the Miss Congeniality award and was caught by the public eye for her opera singing.

Vell is known for her back to back victory in 2014 and 2016 as a competitive singer.

Contents

Background

Vell Baria was born on March 9, 1995 in Pasay City to middle class working parents.

She has autism spectrum disorder at the age of 3 and was classified as high function by her doctors and currently underwent psychological exams and interviews for assessment. Vell was always alone and does not gather with her siblings at the age of 6 years old. Whilst having this condition, Vell studied at the Behavioral Management for Autistic Children in which she confessed that she had a hard time adjusting to her new environment and explains that she was not only student to given attention but also other students as a student. Whilst coping, she began experiencing various forms of discrimination in relation to her condition. Despite the pain, she remained hopeful and positive. Vell had a passion for theater since she was a young girl. At 7 years old, she learned how to act on stage by her physical therapists before being trained formally.

Vell divided her time in education in the morning and in the afternoon were she was enrolled at the Behavioral Management for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. as her first school then at the private kindergarten school Inner Wheel's Club of the Philippines.

Until her passion for performing sparked after Baria was exposed to artists such as Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez. She began singing at the age of 3 without any formal lessons until at the age of 11. Baria was exposed to Kundiman music in which she is hesitant and used to listen to children’s songs then a mixture of OPM and popular music. In 2002, she had her first public performance at the age of seven. Vell performed for the very first time at the Fil-Indian Convention Center for a seminar about autism with the song "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore. Her singing continues whilst a student at SMASA in which Vell started to sing at events, festivals and presentations of the school where she studied and started joining school choir at her 5th grade. During her summer vacation, Vell studied pop vocal for a month at Center for Pop Music Philippines at the age of 13 before entering 6th Grade.

She was a student at the Inner Wheel's Club of the Philippines and later at the private St. Mary's Academy of Sta. Ana both elementary and high school in which Filipina actress and model Michelle Vito was her former schoolmate. Vell graduated high school at SMASA in 2012 with special awards (Most Active Club Member and Loyalty Award).

Personal life

Vell has 3 siblings and has a twin brother who is not autistic. Vell has other interests including conducting, modelling and languages. Has also express to be a diplomat aside from being a performer on stage.

Throughout her life, Baria was known to be a devout Roman Catholic and attends a Christian denomination church due to her membership in the chancel choir but never forget Catholic liturgies and prayers.

Baria speaks in elementary-reading proficiency in Ukrainian, Russian, Italian, German, French, and Spanish aside from her native English and Filipino.

Other Ventures

Since 2015, Vell works as a motivational speaker for PWD and non-PWd talks where she give talks focusing on her autism in a "family talk" manner. She is also debuted in Canada as workshop presenter where she presented a bilateral workshop with English activist-motivational speaker with autism Joely Colmer who is 2016 INAP Recipient for Community Achievement where Vell presented her worskhop entitled "Stand Up, Speak Up and Fight for the Right" where she discuss autism-related concerns along with "Musical Etiquettes" as side skill workshop.

Career

As an actor

In spite of her condition, she never stops performing as her secret weapon to success and to gain more confidence and motivation. Miss Baria started acting since her elementary years. Vell was also compared by her then Filipino teacher Mme. Botingao that her acting skills was just like Kristine Hermosa's. She took up training in acting during her high school and college years.

She shows her love for the performing arts in acting since at the young age of 7. During her schooling in BMAC (Behavioral Management for Autistic Children), run by Shanti Kilduff. As a young musical actress, Vell starred in many Christmas musical plays run by her special school including The Christmas Story (2002), A Message from Me (2003), Believe the Miracles of Christmas (2004), The Mission (2005) and Disney Princesses (2006). In her 4th year high school year at St. Mary's Academy of Sta. Ana, she starred in an excerpt version of Grease (2011) where she portrayed Frenchy.

In 2012, She attends a theatre club called "Sining Tanghalan" in which her fellow voice major classmate and actor Michael Musa is also a member and made her non musical performance and made her public debut in the ANI Book Launching along with other members under the guidance of Mrs. Jenny Logico-Cruz. In 2013, Vell played Abundantia and chorus in Sining Tanghalan's major production, Ora Et Labora where she also gained numerous response for her singing voice and for improvement in her natural acting. She also took part of the theater guild's skits aside from musical and experimental plays including her final production with the org's In My Mind where she portrays as the teenage pregnancy victim, Anna.

In the 4th quarter of 2014, Baria made a comeback to theater stage now as her first professional theater performance as one of the citizens of Verona and understudy for Lady Capulet on the Kids Acts Philippines Production of Romeo and Juliet: The Musical in which was staged last week of October 2014 and the show will have it's tour from October 26 to February 27, 2015.

As a singer

  • In April of 2009, Vell made her national stage debut where she performed for the 2nd World Autism Awareness Day and was known to the media and has been described as "Birit Queen". She can also be seen in the Reuter articles relating to this event.
  • In January 2010, Whilst a member of nationwide autism related organization Autism Society of the Philippines, she became a member of all-girl vocal band, ASP Divas at the age of 14 were she defined the sound of the group with her angelic flexible soprano singing voice. While with the band, they toured across the metro and the band was best known for performing in such autism-related events in particular the "Angel's Walk for Autism" and left the group in the last quarter of 2011 to fully concentrate on her schooling and solo career.
  • In the final quarter of 2011, Baria took her break from the stage to concentrate on her studies. In June of 2012, Baria remained active on the concert stage particularly performing classical crossover songs and pursued her studies in classical vocal.
  • In January 2012, Vell made her comeback performance and final appearance with ASP at the Angel's Walk 2012 with her song "It's My Time" by Jade Ewen.
  • After a year of vocal improvement, Vell made her surprise performance in January 2013 in which Vell made her first public appearance as both classical and pop singer with her version of Laarni Lozada's "Light Of A Million Mornings" in the key of A♭Major in which was popularized by The Madrigal Singers (Originally sung by Sandy Patty).
  • In 2014, Vell made an ultimate comeback as collaborative artist on January 19, 2014 in which Vell made a collaborative performance with the GS Option House students and with ASP Divas performing the song "The Power Of The Dream" at the Angel's Walk For Autism and wishes to continue performing for the annual "Angel's Walk Series" with passion.
  • In October 2012, Vell performed during the Night Of Music in which she first performed a very tricky song "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton and "I'll Be There" by Jackson 5, Vell made her performance for the event in 2013 with her two Taglish songs "Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita" by Vice Ganda and "Pangako" by Regine Velasquez in which all of them are notable performances by her.
  • On April 2, 2014, Vell made a comeback performance for Autism Society of the Philippines performing at the 7th World Autism Awareness Day where TJ Manotoc was the host in the celebration.
  • In 2015, Vell is considered one of the performers for Angel's Walk for Autism but turned down the offer due to her commitments to her scholarship and school activities. Vell performed for the closing ceremonies of the National Autism Consciousness Week, with Artismo featuring the art of persons with autism JA Tan, Thomas Diaz and the kids of ASP Baguio were Vell performed her winning piece - Mutya Ng Pasig by Nicanor Abelardo, while she performed the pieces during the exhibit - Ang Maya, Ano Kaya Ang Kapalaran and Sa Kabukiran where Vell received standing ovation from the audiences for her clean, dramatic and touching performance.
  • In May 2015, Vell left her audience members surprised from her AVP to her electrifying performance for the benefit concert Reverb: Echoing Awareness through the Arts where Vell showcased her multi-genre attitude by singing in Musical (Let It Go), Kundiman (Mutya Ng Pasig) along with a triple genre combination of Operatic-Pop rock-Classical crossover to the song entitled "Queen of the Night" in the style of Lani Misalucha and was considered to be one of the event’s highlights that brought everyone to the edge of their seats that also gave her a 2 minute standing ovation from the audiences.
  • In 2016, Vell made her international stage at the 7th ANCA World Autism Festival where she performed in the opening ceremony singing Canada's National Anthem with Canada's representative Joshua Cochrane along with her repertoires represented the Americas and Asia "Hotel California" by the Eagles with Turkey's Beryl Zorlu on piano and "Spring In My Heart" by Johanne Strauss with Katarina Simic on piano.

Concerts and tours

As a choir member of the Union Church of Manila Chancel choir, she is also known to be one of the prominent soloists due to her classical music background.

  • In 2015, Vell made her debut with UCM's Hymn Festival Seven Hymns of Revelation where she sang "I Know That my Redeemer Liveth" by G.F. Handel from the oratorio "Messiah"
  • In May 2016, Vell took part in the full oratorio production of "Elijah" by Felix Mendelssohn.

Radio shows

  • In September 2011, Vell made her second interview with DZIQ Inq Radio Clinic Ko and performed opera publicly for the very first time with Giuseppe Verdi's "Sempre Libera" and "Addio Del Pasato" along with "If We Hold On Together" by Diana Ross.
  • In November 2016, Vell (as Lady Capulet understudy) took part of the show "The Other Office" with Atty. Louie Ariola as the host with other of cast members Ms. Josephine Gomez (Lady Capulet), Paula Paguio (Rosaline), Renzel Iglesias (Samson), Gilbert Dupitas (Mercutio) and Nico Emmanuelle (Lady Montague) as part of the promotion of the KAPI-produced play "Romeo and Juliet" with Director Luigi Nacario and Production Manager Marian Alix in attendance where all of the cast members sang their hearts out to their favorite songs. As for Vell's song choices, she sang "I Am Changing" from the musical "Dreamgirls" and "Love Changes Everything" from the musical "Aspects of Love" (in which she also sang as her contest piece for "Autistic Gala Night").

TV appearance

  • On March 2, 2013, Vell appeared in German Moreno's Musical Variety Show, Master Showman, her first National TV performance where she showcased her soprano vocals to "Think of Me".

Trivia

  • Vell was the first Filipino artist to form her own fan club. She was also the first artist to create her own website (established in 2009) and a Facebook fan page (established in 2011).
  • Was a former member of the vocal group ASP Divas and she has stated that if she didn't take part of ASP Divas for 2 years, she would have been to figure skating at the age of 14.
  • She is a fan of Asian films especially Hong Kong films after seeing films from her idols Edison Chen, Charlene Choi and Leehom Wang - wanting to have a film career in Hong Kong due to fast paced style of filming.
  • She is a fan of Homemaking and wants to learn homemaking lifestyle such as cooking and sewing.
  • Besides schooling and performing, she likes spending time by attending different churches and is also spending time in malls.
  • Is sometimes a self educated person when it comes to make ups and hairstyles where she does her own hair and make up and seldom receives a special hair and make up.
  • Is a frugal person when it comes to clothes, most of her clothes are bought from various thrifty stores.
  • She has excellent skills in sight reading pieces especially the choral pieces.
  • Lacking eye contact in real life. In her choral singing career, she never fails to look at the conductor for cues and musical dynamics.
  • Favorite Movies: The Count of Monte Christo, Last Tango in Paris, The Passenger, Macbeth
  • Favorite Colors: Black, Purple, Red, Maroon, Blue
  • Favorite Music Genres: Opera, Dance, Jazz, Show tunes, Torch
  • Favorite Languages: Cantonese, Russian
  • Favorite Sports: Ice skating, Bowling, Gymnastics
  • Favorite Dance: Latin dance, Jazz, Ballroom
  • She is a fan of Vhong Navarro, Maja Salvador and Meryl Davis who dancing she admires. She is also a fan of 90s trendsetting Philippine dance groups UMD (Universal Motion Dancers), Maneuvers and Streetboys.
  • Vell has interest in the foreign politics since 2009.
  • Vell's toughest election moment was in 2012 where she and Clarence Henson who won the Secretary position with 339 points while Vell ended 330 points in which was a closed fight in her alma matter's "Student Council" history where she extremely cried after knowing that she was not elected in the said position.
  • Vell has love for literature and philosophy, she decided to study literature and philosophy aside from voice.

Credits

Television & Radio Guestings

Year Program Song Network
2001 Unang Hirit GMA Network
2009 DZBB Radio - November 13, 2009 Episode Greatest Love Of All
Mornings at ANC When You Believe
ABS CBN Network
2010 Radyo Clinic Ko - December 25, 2010 Segment My Heart Is Yours
All I Want For Christmas
INQ 990 AM
2011 Radyo Clinik Ko - September 24, 2011 Segment Sempre Libera
Addio Del Passato

Theatre Appearances

Year Title Role Co-star/s Notes
2016-17 Romeo and Juliet: The Musical One of the citizens
Understudy Lady Capulet
Seasonal play
2014-15 Romeo and Juliet: The Musical One of the citizens
Understudy Lady Capulet
Seasonal play
2011 In My Mind Anna One act play
2013 Ora Et Labora Abundantia/Chorus School play
2011 Grease Frenchy School play
2005 Disney Princesses Belle Peter Turcotte Directed by Shanti Kilduff
2004 The Mission Choir Member Peter Turcotte, Kathleen Kilduff Directed by Shanti Kilduff
2003 Believe The Miracle's Of Christmas Angel Kathleen Kilduff, Joan Catagbangan Directed by Shanti Kilduff
2002 A Message For Me Student Reny Adrian Agustino Directed by Shanti Kilduff
2001 The Christmas Story Mary Kendrick Cheng, Kathleen Kilduff
Joshua Kilduff
Directed by Shanti Kilduff

Discography

Studio Albums

Year Album Label Notes
2010 Vell Independent pre-demo album

Collaboration Albums

Year Album Label Notes
2010 NTV Angels:
Christmas Carols
DGY
Recording Studio
Christmas album
Tracks 2, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13

Competitions

  • 2009 - Finalist - San Antonio Singing Contest
  • 2009 - Semi Finalist - TotalPopstar
  • 2010 - Finalist - Marian's Got Talent 1
  • 2010 - Runner-up - Marian's Got Talent 2
  • 2012 - Finalist - Marian's Got Talent 3
  • 2014 - 1st Place/Champion - Paligsining ng mga Batang May K - Folk Song Category
  • 2014 - 1st Place/Champion - Kundiman Sa Makati

Links

References