Jed on 10-year career: Close to perfect

Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - If there’s anything to describe his decade-long career, Jed Madela says it’s “close to perfect.”

“My career, it’s not perfect. There have been highs and lows in the industry. I’ve been rejected by people and not welcomed into their circle. But, on the other hand, what makes it perfect is learning from those experiences in the past. So, looking back, it’s close to perfect.” 

One of those invaluable lessons is learning to go with the flow and let people speak their mind.

This is what he applies when issues, like on his sexuality, are being raised. 

Jed shows no discomfort or the slightest irritation when asked to address the perennial question, saying:  â€œFor anybody who steps into the world of showbiz, there are always questions about (your) sexual preference, family background, upbringing.”

He adds that practically everything about anyone who is in the public eye gets pried into. 

“And you can’t say one thing to put a period to it because whatever you say, something else will be said about you,” he explains. 

What matters to Jed more is what people have to say about his performances. 

“As long as I’m doing my job well, as long as I’m making people enjoy through my voice and performances, that’s what matters,” he says. 

Jed is celebrating his 10 years in the business with a concert on Nov. 15 at the PICC Plenary Hall (8 p.m.) that speaks of his musical journey. It’s no joke to have lasted this long what with talents seemingly discovered by the minute through reality shows, singing contests and social media platforms. 

The Iloilo native started out as a band singer, even releasing his debut album in 2003, but his showbiz break came after becoming the first Filipino to win the grand champion title of the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in the US in 2005. He has since collected numerous and well-deserved awards for his performances and albums, the latest of which was the Best Male Recording Artist recognition (three years in a row!) from the Philippine Movie Press Club or PMPC Star Awards for Music for his newest album All Original under Star Records. He is also Aliw Awards’ Concert of the Year awardee for two consecutive years.

For his work to be appreciated and acknowledged again and again through the years are what he considers the highlights of his decade-long career. “Every album that I do is not just for the heck of recording an album. The purpose is to support OPM as well as inspire artists to come up with new material.”

Because the songs he had popularized in the past were mostly covers, he made it a point to do all originals for his latest record “to help start the ball rolling and bring back original OPM.”

According to Jed, “For the past nine years, I didn’t have an identity as a singer so I really pushed hard to come up with all originals. When I moved to Star Records, I was really happy when they allowed me to do this dream project of mine.”

For All Originals, he worked with some of the best composers in the industry like Trina Belamide, Soc Villanueva, Jungee Marcelo, Kiko Salazar and Jonathan Manalo as the album producer. All Originals showcases not only Jed’s famous power vocals but also the impressive range of his musicality so much so you’d be surprised how many surprises Jed still has up his sleeves.

Surprises will also come aplenty in his concert on Nov. 15 at the PICC Plenary Hall, which will be directed by Star Magic founder Johnny “Mr. M” Manahan with the musical direction of Mel Villena. What’s admiring about it is that 100 percent of the proceeds of the concert will benefit the Bright Halls Children’s Foundation, an NGO dedicated to take care of infants below three years old who are orphaned, abandoned and neglected.

“The concert will be an evening full of surprises and music. It’s my way of giving back to everybody who supported me by sharing the blessings of the last 10 years,” Jed says.

Truly, Jed couldn’t be more grateful for his singing career even as he confesses that he nearly quit on his dreams.

“When I was starting, it was hard to penetrate the industry,” shares Jed, recalling that when he entered showbiz, reality shows were sprouting all over, and it was tough competing for a place in an already crowded world, especially against those who had built-in network support or ready TV exposure. 

Nevertheless, Jed persisted many thanks also to the support of people who have always believed in what he could offer to the music industry. â€œI was lucky enough to be surrounded by a handful of people who believe so much in me that even if I would feel like giving up already, they were there to push me. They were my strength behind my temporary weakness.”

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