JMC Songwriting student shares his inspiring story on how he finally took the step to pursue his true passion in music

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Choosing a career path is a personal decision that for most can’t be directed by others. But unfortunately for some, their career path is often shaped by family expectations and what sounds like a high-status profession by their community.

Our international student from the Philippines – Junred “Red” Radaza speaks about the challenges he faced while pursuing a career path that he disliked and how he finally found the courage to pursue his true passion in music.

Explaining his passion, he said, “When I was a kid, I was singing a lot. My family loves music and my dad would always play songs to wake us up in the morning. Music runs in through me, music is in me and I always felt the need to sing since I was young.”

“I taught myself how to play the acoustic guitar at the age of 6 while observing and copying my cousin who often played the acoustic guitar and got better at it over time. I never thought that I would be a vocalist and songwriter until I started singing at karaoke,” he joked.

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His passion for performing arts led him to becoming a professional dancer in the Philippines, but due to family expectations, he went to Brisbane to complete a Diploma in IT and a Diploma in Business. “My parents wanted me to do IT because I would earn a lot of money. My dad works in IT so that was what he wanted me to do,” he recalled.

Red worked in IT for two years while studying his Diploma, and then, he furthered his studies by undertaking a Bachelor’s Degree in IT on the Gold Coast. Halfway through his Bachelor’s program, he began to realise that IT was not the right career path for him. “While studying my IT degree, I was busking as a hobby. People would gather around me to hear my music.”

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“Studying IT made me anxious and depressed. When I was busking, I felt so much better.” “It was hard studying IT as it was not my passion. I just didn’t want to do it. I wanted to pursue something that I can do for a long time and that makes sense to me,” he tells us.

Then he called his parents to let them know about his intentions of switching his career trajectory to music.

When asked about his parents’ reaction, he said, “They didn’t understand. They wanted me to do IT. But they wanted me to be happy so they eventually agreed for me to study music.”

Red now studies Songwriting in the Bachelor of Music at the JMC Melbourne campus. Asked about his experience studying at JMC, he says, “I like the community at JMC. Through this great community, we build lots of connections. Everyone here is so approachable. It’s like a family.”

His advice to others who are thinking of having a career change is - “If that’s what your heart says you should do in life, then follow it. Do what makes you happy.”

“I followed my heart to pursue what I’m passionate in and I couldn’t be happier!”

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