Award-winning singer H.E.R. talks about her Filipino roots

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Oscar and Grammy winner H.E.R. has opened up about how her Filipino upbringing inspired her love for making music.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — Oscar and Grammy winner H.E.R. has opened up about how her Filipino upbringing inspired her love for making music.

Born and raised in the United States to a Filipino mother and an African-American father, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter told CNN Philippines' New Day on Friday how she found her voice growing up in a close-knit family that's supportive of her craft.

"Filipinos are so family-oriented! My family has always supported me. They'll be in the house, pull up the karaoke and be like, come on, sing 'Maging Sino Ka Man.' They always pushed me to hone my talents and gifts," H.E.R. shared.

H.E.R. has won the 2021 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for her single "I Can't Breathe," and the Oscars 2021 winner for Music (Original Song) with the song "Fight For You" from the film "Judas and the Black Messiah."

"I would do music with or without accolades, with or without the recognition because it's part of who I am. You have to love it regardless of how much success," she said on her recent victory.

H.E.R. also noted that her mother always "kept her humble" and reminded her to "always thank God for blessings."

She also shared some other things that kept her connected to her Filipino roots — food and family.

"During the quarantine I learned how to make kare-kare, and that's my favorite," she said.

"I grew up with my grandparents in the house. And one good thing about having a Filipino grandmother is that most immigrants would take care of their parents," H.E.R. added. "I had my uncle, my mother's brother, living in the house. It's always a full house all the time!"

She also noted how she learned to embrace both her Black and Asian roots and put it to her advantage in her career.

"Being Black and Filipino, sometimes I feel too Black for Asian kids or too Asian for the Black kids. It was a hard balance to find," H.E.R. shared.

"I realized not fitting in is my superpower and I wouldn't be here if I tried to fit in."

H.E.R. also thanked her fellow Filipinos for supporting her craft and hoped that she could go back to the country when everything returns to normal.

"My album's coming out soon. Hopefully, touring is coming back soon," she said. "I hope to go back, and hopefully, I can go back to the Philippines and do a show there and travel, do my thing. That's what I'm looking forward to."