CAPELLE AAN DE IJSSEL, The Netherlands - It’s been a hectic two-week for Sheryl Lynn Baas, the 2006 Miss Netherlands, model, DJ, producer and philanthropist. The Dutch-Filipina just came home to visit her family here. Since 2016, she has been based in Manila, launching her career as a DJ in the Philippines.
Back in the Netherlands, Baas is a resident DJ at the Amsterdam Fashion Week, headlines various international events and performs at clubs and hotels.
She said it was a conscious decision to dip into the clubbing scene in the Philippines, as she aims to conquer the whole of Asia and become the best female DJ in the world. While she gets projects in the Netherlands, competition is very high as the country is known as the number one DJ country in the world.
Among the best known Dutch DJs are Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and Hardwell.
“In the Philippines, I was able to move quite quickly. Rather than in the Netherlands, I guess by now I would still be probably an opening DJ. But now, I’m the headliner, for example, in big clubs in Baguio, Angeles City. People would come to see you play. That is something hard to accomplish in the Netherlands for a short period,” she said.
As Baas entered the local clubbing scene in the Philippines, she brought with her the kind of music which she describes as coming from the heart. She trained with the best DJ school and performed with celebrity DJs in the Netherlands. She produces house music, future house, progressive/big room with a touch of trap and future bass. Right now, she concentrates on commercial music to tap the influential music streaming platforms like Spotify.
With Manila becoming one of the coolest cities in Asia with new clubs and a vibrant nightlife, she said it makes it easier to shuttle between Asian cities. This year, she is set to spin in clubs in Japan and China. She is also set to launch her official track (with Danish singer Gregors) under a record label in Manila this month.
Both her parents had an influence on her musical talent. Her mother Susana Paderes hailed from Leyte and came to the Netherlands to work.
“I have been a dancer all my life. My mom wanted me to be a dancer. I wanted to play soccer but my mom told me those legs are not meant for soccer. They’ll get bruised. They’re meant for dancing. My mom was a dancer and my dad was playing in band for a while with his Filipino friends,” she said.
Being in the Philippines now, Sheryl said she is retracing her roots and getting to know more of the Filipino culture. Her mother often brought her back to the Philippines for vacations since she was a child but this is the only time that she is calling Philippines her home, although with a bit of challenges along the way.
“The big difference with the Netherlands is it’s testing my patience,” she laughs as she explains how any island culture is more laid-back. “I’ve actually learned to be more relaxed and it helped me as a person.”
“I am very fortunate to be in the Philippines—to be working in the city and also get away in the province and enjoy the islands,” she says but she's also aware of the fact not many people are as fortunate as her.
“Obviously I am biased but I always tell people that the Philippines is probably the most beautiful country in the world,” she adds.
Besides being a beauty queen and a talented musician, she is also a cum laude graduate in Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University and a philanthropist.
Baas became an ambassador for the Women In Need Foundation and in 2007 she founded Sheryl Lynn Foundation to help impoverished Filipinos through education.
When typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines in 2013, Baas raised more than 30,000 euros for relief and rehabilitation. Her foundation built schools that were totally damaged by the typhoon and continues to support selected schools and students in Leyte, Mindoro and other parts of the country.
This year, they just opened a child-friendly center in Cagbuhangin, Leyte. Also one of the reasons of moving to the Philippines is for her to close to the projects of her foundation.
Although there are things she still needs to adjust like the traffic in Manila, Baas is becoming the true-blue Pinay, at home in her own place.
“My bold dreams are being the number one female DJ in the world, getting international, broaden the work of my foundation, even across the Filipino borders, being an inspiration and to use the international platform to let people see what you can do as an individual,” she ends.