Iñigo Pascual on how he ended up performing in Jo Koy’s Netflix special
It’s never easy to follow in the footsteps of a superstar parent, but Iñigo Pascual hasn’t been doing badly on his own—both as a singer (the irresistible “Dahil Sa ‘Yo”) and actor (“Relaks, It’s Just Pag-ibig,” “I’m Ellenya L.”). He’s forging his own path and creating opportunities for himself—with a little help from Papa P (Piolo Pascual), of course.
But his participation in “Jo Koy: In His Elements,” the popular Fil-Am stand-up comedian’s third Netflix special that debuted last Friday, is another opportunity for the 22-year-old singer-actor to expand his fan base and pursue a performing career beyond Philippine shores.
It’s a fine performance that gives Iñigo a wide platform to show off a considerable chunk of his triple-threat skills and prove for all the world to see that he’s more than just his famous father’s son. OK, not “all” the world, but 180 countries is nothing to scoff at, right?
More than that, his “Catching Feelings” production number lent a hip and homegrown millennial feel and flavor to the Netflix special.
We caught up with Iñigo over the weekend to talk about his coveted appearance in “Jo Koy: In His Elements”:
Your participation in Jo Koy’s latest special is a pleasant surprise. How did this come about?
I met Kuya Jo for the very first time in one of his shows in Los Angeles. After the show, when I finally got to meet him backstage, I kept asking him, “Kuya Jo, when’s your next Netflix special going to come out? I’ve been waiting for it.” And as he was telling me a little bit about it, he said, “I’m actually going to shoot it in the Philippines.”
I got excited because I wasn’t able to catch his show in the Philippines the last time he went there because I was working. I told him, “Make sure to let me know the dates right away, so I can have it blocked off and I can catch it.”
After a month, he gave me a call. He was like, “Yo, Iñigo, I want you to be part of the show.” I was like, “How’s that gonna work? I’m not a comedian.” And he’s like, “No, I want you to perform one of your songs.” And I was like, “Alright, yeah, sure, let’s do this!”
At first, I got nervous because I was like, “How are people going to react to this, you know? Like, I’m a performer during this whole thing. But Kuya Jo, he always told me, “I’m going to make sure that this is gonna be dope. It’s going to look good.”
Then, he explained to me how he wants to feature other Filipino acts. It was just so nice seeing someone like Kuya Jo putting up something like this—to not make the show all about him, but to share the stage with other Filipino acts.
As a performer, it inspired me as an artist to want to do something like that in the future. I guess the best part about this whole thing is just seeing and meeting Kuya Jo and seeing how he is with people, how he interacts with them, and how he genuinely cares about the people around him.
I never once felt this kind of celebrity vibe from him. He was always just like this kuya who wanted to share anything he could.
Even with its distinct Pinoy musicality and sensibility, your music has always sounded like it could cater to a more global audience. How do you think your exposure in Jo Koy’s show could help expand the audience for it?
When Kuya Jo told me he wanted me to be part of this Netflix special, I got nervous because I was like, non-Filipinos—other nationalities, other countries—are going to see this! I know so many people who are not even Filipino who love Jo Koy.
So I said, if I’m in one of his shows, I’m like, “This is going to be big!” Honestly, I got nervous at first. But this is definitely a big opportunity to be able to promote my music and to hopefully share what I’ve made to other audiences. I’d honestly say this is a really big chance for me to do just that.
You’ve created a sound that is very different from your heartthrob father, Piolo Pascual. But in what way has your dad influenced you as an artist? Does he have a say in your artistic decisions and choices?
My dad lets me be myself with everything that I do. Ever since I started, he’s just been guiding me. He tells me what things I should stay away from, and what things I should take seriously. He tells me how to do things, and gives me tips on how I can make myself better.
But in terms of artistry and how I do my music, he lets me be myself. He lets me explore and have my own experiences. And he lets me learn on my own. If ever I make mistakes, I always know that he’s going to be there to guide me and talk me through it.
Then, in terms of creating who I am, he lets me go through with life and create whatever I can come up with. I guess that’s also the best part about him because, you know, he may seem like he would be the type to make me do something because he’s already done it before, but he just lets me take my own direction and forge my own path.
It challenges me because every time I share with him some of my work, I want to make sure that it makes him proud and happy. And that’s one of the many things I really like about my dad.