By Jani Arnaiz
“I'll be back, Los Angeles! Temporary goodbye,” so says Cezka Mariz Lapurga in LAX International airport as posted on her Facebook account on her way back home in Brisbane on September 19 after an “exciting” recording stint with Andrew Lane.
This Australian-based Maasin native has continued to make her home city proud.
Cezka Mariz Lapurga, 19, has finished recording her own compositions with renowned music producer Andrew Lane from September 4-18, just two years after she was selected by the Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA) to record an eight-track album in Los Angeles.
Although the album with AIPA failed to soar, Cezka is now hoping that an album with Lane will help her break into Hollywood.
But to be invited by Lane, who had worked on platinum-record hits like High School Musical, Hannah Montana and Disneymania 4, was already a blessing, according to Cezka's father, Edgar.
“God is always good,” said Edgar in an online chat with Inquirer. “We are so blessed.”
Cezka is the eldest of three daughters of Edgar, a native of Baguio City, and Marlyn, of Barangay Dongon in Maasin City.
Her two sisters are also performers. Eliza Mae, 17, is also a singer and songwriter while nine-year-old Jazmin Monique has started performing last month.
Cezka was only seven years old when she first performed during a school play at Saint Joseph College in Maasin in 2001.
Since then, she was often invited to sing during Sunday Masses in Barangay Dongon, Maasin City and special gatherings and school program.
In 2002, the entire family migrated to New Zealand after her mother, Marlynn, found a job as a nurse there. Edgar later worked as architectural cad operator.
While in New Zealand, Cezka took private lessons in opera. She also enrolled in Performing Arts School of New Zealand and at Performance.net to hone her singing and dancing skills.
After five years, the family moved to Brisbane, Australia because New Zealand was too cold, said Edgar.
A year later, Cezka, then 14, later enrolled in Bright Stars Performing Arts Academy workshops and took private voice lessons.
On September 2011, then 17-year-old Cezka Mariz was the only Filipino among 15 teenagers from Australia who were selected by the Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA) to record an eight-track album in Los Angeles.
“There's no proper launching or whatsoever to determine its level but the song she wrote and composed (for AIPA) is already available in iTunes,” said Edgar.
He added the album didn't sell well on iTunes because it was not launched properly. The album, he added, was the product of a program to put together all 15 talented singers and songwriters in Australia.
CEZKA's SINGING CONTINUES
But Cezka continued with her singing career.
Cezka was the front act during the concert of Sarah Geronimo in Brisbane, Australia last Aug. 11.
She also sang in concerts for fund raising events as well as in the church choir and church-related activities.
Her composition, “Hey Baby” which she wrote in just 10 minutes, won the annual Quest News/McDonald YoungStar Award of the Pine Rivers Press/Northlakes Times in the Arts & Education category in June 2012.
But last January, Edgar received an email from Mickie Ryan who identified herself as one of the members of a “multicultural” pop girl band.
In the email, Mickie said she learned about Cezka and wanted to speak to him about the possibility of getting her to be the lead singer of their group.
“We are located in Los Angeles California so if she's out of country/state then she would have to be willing to relocate if we all decide to have her sing lead,” she wrote.
Lane, who was identified as primary producer and executive producer of the group, was furnished a copy of the email.
Edgar said the project fell through.
But last April, Lane offered Cezka to record her own album since he was impressed by the young girl's singing talent after seeing her performances that were posted on YouTube.
Lane invited Cezka to go to Los Angeles on September 14 to 18 to record her songs, said Edgar.
In her FaceBook page, Cezka wrote: “Heading to LA next Wednesday! Incredibly nervous but excited at the same time.”
“Cezka Mariz is really talented and her voice is amazing and universal,” Edgar quoted Lane as saying.
Edgar said Lane had promised him that he would take his daughter's singing career far.
“I'll take Cezka to the next level and take her far. We'll make history and will make a hit song,” was Lane's vow to Edgar.
Edgar said his daughter considered this recording with Lane as an opportunity and a possible breakthrough in her music career, especially in Hollywood.
Edgar admitted that after her stint in AIPA, Cezka wanted to go back to Los Angeles and record her own album.
And Lane may just be an answered prayer.