Jason Farol

From his sweet, dark brown puppy eyes to his deep, rich bluesy vocals and a slight proclivity for weeping, rising artist Jason Farol, is sure to make the music scene swoon. By Mollie McKenzie

When Jason Farol auditioned for the hit, summer singing competition Duets a little over one year ago, he thought it was a long shot that he would get a spot on the reality show, let alone end up on pop star Kelly Clarkson’s team and continue on all the way to the season finale. And yet he did it. Sitting across from the young singer in his garage, which was renovated and redecorated to serve as Farol’s bachelor pad complete with karaoke bar and lounge area, I find it hard to see this laidback, talented guy as anything but the music industry’s next hottest star.

A Southern Californian native, Farol, 24, was born with the dream to sing. Growing up, he listened to jazz, blues, and standards, all of which have seeped into his deep, soulful sound today. But besides his velvety vocals, what makes this SoCal surfer boy truly special is his refreshing sincerity and humility. “I knew that I really liked singing, but I never thought it would be a career that I would have the option of actually [having],” he says of the time before the show. “I just did singing on the side. I never really sang in front of anyone except for my cousins and brothers.”

It’s hard to imagine this guy as a shy, young songster instead of the animated showman who performs live today, but according to Farol, the stage confidence didn’t come easily. “It was very nerve racking,” he reveals when describing his experience performing live on stage with American Idol alum (and season one winner) Kelly Clarkson (posing with Farol, below). “The song I was singing was a sad song, and I got really emotional towards the end. I started to cry. That’s the moment that I knew I wanted to sing.” Even as I chat with him, Farol’s eyes grow a little watery describing the story. Though the tears are blamed on allergy season, it’s endearing to see a young male artist showing a little emotion. Who doesn’t love a tough guy with a soft spot? Apparently the Duets producers were just as enamored with Farol’s sensitive side. “I cried one night, and they stretched it out so it seemed as if I cried the whole season.” His laugh is infectious. “I would just touch my eyes, and they would put sad music to it.”

With or without tears, Farol worked the stage on Duets, singing such songs as “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley. The crowd screamed and danced to his crooning voice, and on July 19, 2012, he won third place during the season finale. Always the humble one, he credits much of his success to his competition mentor, Kelly Clarkson. “She’s super supportive. In the beginning of the show, I was very nervous [but] she just kept praising me. That really helped build up my confidence and helped me believe in myself.”

Since his Duets stint, Farol has performed at the Hollywood Bowl in front of a crowd of 17,000, along with The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Carolina Liar, and John Legend, as well as sung the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Lakers. Many a night you can find him performing live and grooving with his band in a packed out venue in Los Angeles.

Recently, Farol has also taken a deeper interest in his Filipino roots, judging for FilAms Got Talent and performing at the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture. More excitingly, he has signed overseas with Viva Entertainment, one of the top production companies in the Philippines. “I’ve finished about half of my new album right now, and I’m getting ready to fly over [to the Philippines] soon to shoot a music video and just start promoting.” Farol expects one of his two singles to be released any day now. “They’re both ballads, but one is recorded in Tagalog, which is the language they speak in the Philippines, while the other one is a mix of Tagalog and English.”

It’s no surprise that this talented young artist has also been picked up in the states. “I just signed with a PR agency and writers,” he confirmed, smiling with excitement. “The writers are signed to the same company that helped write Kelly’s single, ‘Stronger.’” Although we most likely won’t be hearing anything like Clarkson’s girl-power anthems from Farol, his unique style of funky, old-school soul with a contemporary twist is sure to take the music scene by storm. “I’m a huge fan of Bruno Mars, Miguel, Amy Winehouse, and Duffy, so we’re definitely pulling from that.” While we may have to wait a year until we hear anything from Farol in the U.S., it will most certainly be worth the wait.

With his passion for singing, his charming good looks, and his down-to-earth personality, Farol is sure to go far. “You have to just keep trying and keep singing,” he explains. “If it’s your dream, keep going after it because I’ve been told ‘no’ a lot of times. I just see everything as an opportunity, and you might as well go take it because you never know what might happen.”

As Farol continues to pursue a lifelong career as a music artist, we’re certainly glad that he took another fighting shot at achieving his dream.