‘Unexpected blessing’: Maymay Entrata on being the only PH act nominated for MTV EMA | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Unexpected blessing’: Maymay Entrata on being the only PH act nominated for MTV EMA

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:30 AM November 07, 2022
Maymay Entrata

Maymay Entrata

When the names of nominees and winners for this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) are announced on Nov. 13 at a star-studded ceremony in Dusseldorf, Germany, only one homegrown artist from the Philippines will be singled out: Maymay Entrata.

The 25-year-old singer-actress and former “Pinoy Big Brother” (PBB) winner, who’s nothing short of dazzling in the music videos of “Amakabogera” and the cachet-boosting revival of “Puede Ba,” has certainly made the cut at the EMAs.


In fact, Maymay will be slugging it out with the K-pop boy band Tomorrow X Together (South Korea), the vocal group The Rampage from Exile Tribe (Japan), singer-songwriter Niki (Indonesia) and R&B artist Silvy (Thailand) in the Best Asia Act category.

In our exclusive interview arranged by MTV Asia with Maymay and Star Pop label head Rox Santos (who’s one of the producers of “Amakabogera” and “Puede Ba”), we told the performer how impressed we were by her transformation—from the excitable Cagayan de Oro-raised probinsyana in PBB to the head-turning fashionista she has transmogrified into.


What we find even more disarming is the fact that, while Maymay acquits herself like a seasoned pro these days, she has also managed to keep her feet firmly on the ground. Throughout this interview, we would shuttle among English, Tagalog and Bisaya, especially when she needed to express her hard-to-contain impulses and reactions.

When we asked what Maymay’s thoughts were about being the only Pinoy performer nominated this year, alongside the superstar likes of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Adele, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Blackpink and BTS, Maymay quipped, giggling, “Hala, grabe, uy! Makadako man na ug ulo… dili jud ko (Oh, no! That’s going to make my head swell… but I won’t let that happen)!” How utterly endearing.

Maymay didn’t just say that out of niceness or courtesy, however—she knew whereof she spoke. She said that her enlightenment over her instant popularity eventually led to a sobering realization.

“In fact, there was a time when I almost allowed success to go to my head. I acknowledge that success can be overwhelming… at munktik na po talagang lumaki ang ulo ko,” she admitted. “Because it got to a point where I was surrounded by people who had a negative influence on me. But now, I refuse to let anything spoil me. Ayokong mawala sa sarili ko and lose control again.

Crucial lessons

“I realized later that it was God who gave me the skills to reach for my dreams, so I really can’t take sole credit for all of this. S’ya naman talaga ang nagbigay sa akin ng talent to achieve things. S’ya ang naging tulay ng lahat ng pangarap ko.”

That’s also among the crucial lessons Maymay had learned inside the “Pinoy Big Brother” house. She said that those lessons continue to guide her and help her navigate life in show biz.

“There was one advice from Kuya that I still remember to this day,” she said, reminiscing. “He told me that wherever I go or whatever level of success I reach, I should always be grateful for the blessings that come my way. And that’s what I intend to continue doing.


“So, getting this MTV EMA nomination is unbelievable. It feels like an unexpected blessing, especially because, to be honest, I only learned to sing properly last year.”

We asked Rox what it was about Maymay that convinced Star Music and Star Pop to tap further into the singer-actress’ rich pool of unraveling musical skills.

Maymay Entrata


Rox said, “I was there when Maymay waxed her first ever single under Star Music. Then after that, I already produced her songs. So, I saw her grow into the authentic music artist that she has become… she’s unlike anybody else out there.

“She doesn’t stop until she gets it right. Gusto n’ya, palaging perfect lahat ng ginagawa namin.

“She’s very passionate about her craft at mararamdaman mo ang pagmamahal n’ya sa kanyang ginagawa. She’s ‘very present’ in her artistic endeavors.”

Interjecting, Maymay added, “I must add that Sir Rox never gave up on me. He knew how hard I tried even when I was just starting out, particularly in my ‘Toinks’ heyday… I wanted to ‘find’ my voice and the right sound for me.

Perfect fit

“So, he gave me different musical genres to tackle, so I could find which music would be a perfect fit for me. That’s why I’m so happy to have finally found it with ‘Amakabogera’ and the new songs that we’re working on these days.

“Other than pop, I also want to explore country music, because it feels like country music artists often sing about their lives and tales that people can relate to—they’re good storytellers.

“I want to continue improving. This mindset didn’t just start when I went to study in Canada. When they gave me ‘Amakabogera,’ I realized then that I had to step up… hindi puwedeng pa-tsamba-tsamba lang! I needed to learn well and find where my strengths as a performer would work best.

“So I reached out to my voice coach (Jade Riccio) and realized that if you’re passionate about something, it’ll pay off eventually… kahit paunti-unti lang ang nakikita mong achievement. Then, when you see your hard work bearing fruit, you get addicted to it, and you want to learn even more.

“As far as dream collaborations are concerned, there are three names I’d love to be able to work with—Sarah Geronimo, Gary Valenciano and Regine Velasquez, although I’ve already fulfilled my dream of singing with Ate Reg in a group number in ‘A.S.A.P.,’ kahit paisa-isang linya lang ang part ko (laughs).”

Finding satisfaction

How different is the satisfaction she gets from singing compared to acting?

“One isn’t greater than the other… they work hand in hand,” Maymay pointed out. “That’s why I continue to work hard to get better at each of them. I’m learning about acting in school. In singing, my voice lessons with Ms Jade continue. And in dance, I train with G Force. So, lahat talaga, pinag-aaralan ko. Seeing how I have learned from those brings me satisfaction.”

If her trip to Germany pushes through, which three performers would Maymay like to get selfies with?

She answered, “Aside from those in my category? All of them! Magpapa-picture talaga ako sa kanila… bahala sila kung maiinis sila sa akin (laughs)!”

Noting that the Maymay in the “Puede Ba” video is already a far cry from her “Pinoy Big Brother” days, we asked the performer what she thought the Maymay in PBB would say if she saw the music video.

Without skipping a beat, Maymay gamely said, “Ay, grabe naman ang babaeng ito… wow (laughs)! Aguy, kalami kayo (this is so good). Go, gurl!” INQFans can vote for Maymay at vote.mtvema.com until Nov. 10, at 5:59 a.m. Follow @MTVASIA on Instagram and Facebook for MTV EMA updates.


‘Amakabogera’ Maymay Entrata nominated for Best Asia Act at 2022 MTV EMAs

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