Jed marks ‘10’ with PICC show

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - October 12, 2013 - 12:00am

Without a doubt, Jed Madela is one of the finest singers local music has produced. His powerful vocals have won the respect of even his most talented colleagues in the business.

This year, Jed is celebrating his 10th anniversary with X: The Jed Madela 10th Anniversary Concert at the PICC Plenary Hall on Nov. 15. The former band vocalist feels very blessed to have reached the 10-year mark in a business where competition is very stiff, and new artists roll off the assembly line on an almost daily basis. Not to forget the fact that the already-established artists like Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano are still very much around.

Despite that, Jed realizes that he has a lot to be thankful for, especially when he reflects on his beginnings 10 years ago. “Looking back, ang dami ko na rin pinagdaanan,” he says. Sometimes, he adds, he has to think hard to convince himself it’s really been 10 years since then. “Iniisip ko nga minsan, has it been that long? It feels like yesterday na nilalako ako ng tita ko (his aunt and manager Annie Tajanlangit Mercado of GM Proponents) mag-audition, na iparinig lang ang boses ko sa mga networks, sa mga labels, ganyan — 10 years na pala. It wasn’t easy, but every moment was worth it. Ang dami ko na rin naabot, it passed by so quickly. Ang dami kong na-experience.”

Definitely, says Jed, one of the high points of his career was winning the World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) in 2005. Jed — who made musical history by sweeping the six gold medals up for grabs in the categories he competed in — wasn’t exactly an unknown when he joined the contest, considered the Olympic Games of performers. Before that, he says, “I had been in the business already pero walang pumapansin. When I joined, yon talaga ang naging high point, that’s when everything started to happen.”

His 10-year journey has also been marked by low points. Ironically, for him that came about a year after his triumph at the WCOPA. Acoustic music enjoyed a new surge in popularity, and at that point, Jed began to doubt himself and his place in the industry. He started asking himself some tough questions. “I started to feel na nawawala ako sa circulation. I think that was a year after the world championships and I started to doubt myself, I thought about changing my image, and my genre of music. I was thinking of going acoustic, but my Tita said I should stick to what my image is, and that all this is just a cycle, people will always go back to listening to ballads and love songs.”

His Tita was proven right. Also, with his own considerable talent, Jed has secured his place in the industry. He takes extra effort to make sure he reinvents himself constantly for his audience. “Everytime I come up with an album, I try something different. I just came out with an all-originals album, and there’s a song there that’s very different from what I usually do, it’s an upbeat track na di talaga ine-expect ng tao sa akin, mga panggulat talaga, so in that way, interesado ang mga tao lagi.”

He knows, of course, that competition is ever-present and that every year, and every new singing contest or talent search that comes along brings with it new talent that can become his competition. “But even if may bagong winner na lumalabas, what’s nice is, I’m happy that I’ve made my mark in the business,” says Jed. “Somehow, may tatak na ako na kahit may dumating na bago, I think I’ll always be there. But I’ll try not to stop learning, not to stop coming up with something new. It’s a challenge for us who are already in the industry, and who have been here for sometime, to constantly better our craft. Hindi puwedeng maging lax.”

He is so looking forward to his 10th anniversary show, which will be a journey of his 10 years in the industry. So now he wants to give back, and he plans to do that through this concert of his, which will be for the benefit of Bright Halls Children’s Foundation.

Looking back on his 10-year journey, Jed says that he feels the respect of the fans, the industry and his colleagues, but that’s not a reason to stop now. There is still a small part of him that feels a strong need to prove himself (although he’ll be the first to admit that he doesn’t know what that “something lacking” is) but he is grateful to this business that has made him a better performer and artist. “There’s a lot of things for me, there’s still a long way to go, maraming bagay na magagawa ko pa. But I’m happy, the industry has been really good to me.”

Erratum: The caption in last Thursday’s column should read: With Teach for the Philippines Team members and Principal Co of Kamuning Elementary School. And there are 53 Teacher Fellows, not 54.


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