Adds Jake Zyrus: ‘You don’t need to accept other people for who they are...’
Jake: Don’t get tired of loving even if it hurts
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 8, 2020 - 12:00am

I’d like to open this one-on-one with a stanza from Love Even If, a cut from Jake Zyrus’ 2019 album Evolution, that could be his most personal song to date.

If hate begins with love

Why do we need to love?

If love’s the answer

Why are there questions unanswered?

Now part of Spotify Playlist, the song was co-written by Jake with Trisha Denise and ABS-CBN creative director Jonathan Manalo, released as a nod to Pride Month.

“With all the negativities around,” said Jake (my inaanak sa binyag when she became Catholic; other godparents include Boy Abunda and Oprah Winfrey), “love is the modest contribution one can offer. Don’t get tired of loving even if it hurts or becomes difficult. Everybody loves you and will remember great things about you anyway when you’re gone.”

The one thing that people will surely remember Jake for is his achievement as the first Asian artist to have a Billboard Top 10 hit and, probably, for his journey from Charice Pempengco to the transgender Jake Zyrus, a life-changing decision chronicled in Jake & Charice, an NHK documentary that won a Gold Camera Award in the US International Film & Video Festival (USIFVF). In that docu, Jake talks about the new challenges he is facing and his courageous effort to find his own voice.

He talked further about similar issues in a candid interview with The STAR.

May problem pa ba sa social acceptance?

“I’ve tried to explain myself before but when I grow older, I realize that whatever you do, people will have something to say. That’s one of the reasons why I refrain myself from using social media. Like I always say, you don’t need to accept other people for who they are, but you can respect them, you can be kind to them. If you have kindness in your heart, love follows.”

Congrats sa pagkakapanalo ng docu mong Jake & Charice. Was it a tell-all docu, didn’t you withhold anything?

“Ever since, I always tell the truth because I want to show the people the real me. I often share my experiences in my interviews to inspire them because no matter what, I know that there is someone who can relate with me and be inspired.

“I even released an autobiography book with the help of my team in 2018 which Japan also has a special edition. The documentary focuses on the challenges and covers the changes in my voice. It premiered in Japan in November 2019. I’ve been experimenting with different genres to see if I am comfortable singing jazz/pop music.”

Are you 100-percent Jake at wala nang natitirang Charice?

“I see myself as Jake ever since. What I have right now are experiences, learnings and pain who mold me for who I am today.”

Are you totally happy and comfortable with who and what you are now?

“With life, I can say that I am happy. I have my beautiful partner inside and out who supports and accepts me wholeheartedly and my fur babies that we treat as family. With work, I will never be contented because my fans deserve the best and I want to give my best effort in whatever I do.”

What, rather who, is the inspiration behind Love Even If?

“Love Even If is available in all digital platforms worldwide and this song that I co-wrote with Trisha Denise and produced by Jonathan Manalo discussed all types of relationships in general. Whether it is for LGBTQIA+, family and friends.”

You did a song called Evolution. How have you evolved as a person and as an artist since your decision to be Jake?

“Evolution is the title of the album. As a person, I can say I tried to be more understanding with what’s happening around me. Trying to look on the bigger picture of a situation. As I just said, as an artist, I’ve been experimenting with different genres due to the transition of my voice which was included in the documentary. My new song will be released soon, titled Miss You in The Moonlight. It is imperative because it is my first jazz/pop music. This is the genre that I know fits my voice and I’m most comfortable with.” (Composed by Gab Tagadtad and also produced by Jonathan Manalo, Missing You in The Moonlight is about someone having difficulties in dealing with a breakup he has caused and that brings on feelings of regret while hoping for a second chance.)

No regrets whatsoever?

(As the lyrics of Love Even If, that’s one question that should remain unanswered. Obvious, isn’t it?)

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

JAKE ZYRUS
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