MANILA, Philippines - Ten years have passed and the name Jed Madela has been synonymous with flawless singing and world-class performances.
“It was not an easy climb for me,” says Jed. “I had to work my way up, but I continue to cherish those early days because they helped me become a better person and singer.”
Jed, who is celebrating his first decade in the industry, chose three songs to recall the momentous events in his unforgettable showbiz journey.
A bold, young, optimistic Jed, amidst strong opposition from some members of his own family, decided to pursue his singing career by joining a band almost 10 years ago.
Asked what song best describes that episode in his life, he quips The Impossible Dream because, “that time, it seemed like it’s really impossible. All I had was this dream to sing and perform. That’s all I got. I fought hard, really hard for it.”
While he was gathering a pretty good following, Universal Records discovered this young guy’s talent, signing him up for a recording deal.
“I was very happy then,” admits Jed. “It was the first step toward my dreams.”
Selling a debut album was hard, most especially to Jed. This was because, even with a strong turnout at his gig venues, he remained anonymous to the general public. His first album I’ll Be Around received lukewarm reception from the public, but it spawned an early hit single Let Me Love You.
“Instead of being disheartened, I decided to work even harder,” enthuses the champion singer. “My theme song for those times? Go the Distance. Because I really want to reach that point where the crowds will cheer when they see me perform.”
Luckily, in 2005, the biggest break in his career came his way – the World Champion of Performing Arts. In the competition, he bested almost 3,000 contestants from 52 countries and was named the Grand Champion of the World, bringing honor not only to himself, but also to the country.
When he returned from the competition, Jed was given a “Hero’s Welcome,” which was in keeping with the Hercules theme song Go The Distance.
“From that time on, my theme song has always been I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” says Jed. “Because that is when I kind of reached my dream and I don’t want to miss anything in this journey.”
He admits, however, that there were some anxious times after that early peak in his career.
Jed recounts that when acoustic became the “in” thing in the music industry, he felt the decline of the number of shows he was doing.
“I really asked my management team if I have to repackage myself as an acoustic act,” he recounts. “But people around me said to stick it out with what I have. That I have to trust my fans, team, so that’s what I did. I am glad I trusted them.”
Proof of the immense support of the public to this balladeer is his track record as an artist. Apart from his debut album I’ll Be Around, which includes the hit Let Me Love You, his other best-selling albums are Songs Rediscovered (Double Platinum), Only Human (Platinum), The Voice of Christmas (Gold), Songs Rediscovered 2 (Platinum) and The Classics Album (recently-awarded Gold).
Jed is set to expand his horizons by taking his first step into the Southeast Asian market, where Jed will be featured in a string of shows starting this June.
A major concert and a new album are also in the works.
He also shares that he dreams of becoming mentor to some of the most promising artists in the country.
“It’s my way of paying it forward,” concludes Jed. “After all, that was also my story. I was just helped by people who ‘paid it forward’ for me.”