At his 20th-year concert, Jed Madela turns the spotlight on fans

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
At his 20th-year concert, Jed Madela turns the spotlight on fans
One important thing that Jed Madela, who’s staging his 20th-anniversary show tomorrow (Dec. 10, 8 p.m.) at Solaire’s The Theatre, learned in his two-decade music career is the power of ‘thank you’: ‘Never ever forget people who help you, always remember to say thank you and be appreciative. You just don’t know how a simple thank you can change a person’s life, that you will appreciate what they’re doing for you.’

MANILA, Philippines — Jed Madela never imagined he would stay in the industry long enough to hold a 20th-anniversary concert titled Here & Now tomorrow, Dec. 10, at Solaire’s The Theatre, produced by CreaZion Studios.

“It’s overwhelming because I really didn’t plan on becoming a singer as a career. I went to Manila to become a flight attendant. I applied but for some weird twist of fate, I was heard singing and I was discovered, and the rest is history,” the proud Ilonggo balladeer said.

“Being in the industry for 20 years, it’s such a feat because there are a lot of great artists. I’ve seen a lot of amazing artists come and go but I’m still here so I’m very, very blessed and very, very grateful.”

One thing he learned in his two-decade singing career is to have a grateful heart. “Never ever forget people who help you, always remember to say thank you and be appreciative. You just don’t know how a simple thank you can change a person’s life, that you will appreciate what they’re doing for you.”

Nevertheless, the Forevermore hitmaker admitted that he wasn’t spared from experiencing low moments, admitting to The STAR that he had contemplated quitting the music business.

“There have been many times that I thought of finding another job. The reason is… in this industry, honestly, it’s not very secure and sometimes, I have doubts and I still question myself,” he shared.

“There was a time — may mga uso kasi, mga fad music and styles of singing, and people didn’t want to hear ballads anymore, they didn’t want to hear mga birit-birit — I started to question myself if I was still relevant to people, if people still wanted to hear me sing kasi parang wala ng kumukuha pa sa akin sa mga gigs and projects.

“But then again, I surrounded myself with the right people. People who reminded me to not doubt myself, that we are here for you.

“You don’t need a lot of people to make you feel you are loved or supported. They may not be many but if they are true supporters, you have all the reasons to go on.”

That’s why in Here & Now, it’s about his supporters. In contrast to his past shows celebrating milestone years, which were more of a throwback of his journey as a singer, and were more focused on the songs he used to sing and enjoy singing, in his latest concert, he’s turning the spotlight on his fans.

“We thought that this is not just a celebration of my 20 years in the industry, it’s also a celebration of the 20 years that I’ve been supported by fans and people listening to my music,” he said. 

“So my producers are not just producing the concert for my sake… We came up with this idea of calling it Here & Now, and ang naka-tagline is ‘Your stories, my music,’ because we’ve realized and noticed that in the past 20 years, there have been at least one, two or three songs that became the personal theme songs of supporters.

“I got them from their stories, how my song became a theme song when they were boyfriend-girlfriend, as husband and wife, when they broke up, things like that. That’s the main core of Here & Now, the concert.”

In light of his 20th year, The STAR also asked Jed to name his Top 3 career highlights.

“No. 1, I think yung pag-babanda ko. That was my training ground kung saan ko talaga natutunan ang lahat ng mga bagay-bagay when it comes to singing and performing. Because before I went to mainstream showbiz, I started out as a band singer. I owe a lot of my training to my band days,” he began. 

“And as a person, I’m really shy. Being in the band scene, I really learned how to talk to the audience, how to interact with them. Before there was no social media and online bashers, but there were already hecklers so I also learned how to deal with them,

“No. 2 was when I won in 2005 the WCOPA (World Championships of Performing Arts) because I think that was when lumabas talaga yung name na Jed Madela. And No. 3 Probably, every moment that I’m given the opportunity to mentor and teach new artists. Those are highlights for me because it kind of gives me this feeling that I made it, not just as a singer, but somebody people will listen to.

“In one way or another, I try to pass on or pay it forward to the new artists, kung ano gusto nila matutunan, ano gusto nila malaman, how to make it in the business.”

Jed, who has been mentor in Your Face Sounds Familiar and judge in It’s Showtime Tawag ng Tanghalan, shared the advice he tells newbie artists whenever he gets the opportunity to do so.

“What I always tell them, No. 1, talent is very important in the business. That’s going to establish you to make people notice you in the industry. Talent can bring you places. That’s the initial thing.

“Next is surround yourself with the right people because these people are the ones who will either make you or break you. You do not have to have an entire army of people supporting you, kahit three or four, as long as you know they’re sincere in their support for you, they don’t abuse you or take advantage of you. And they will be there to support you in your lowest times.

“Aside from that, work ethic is very important. Marunong makisama, marunong magpasalamat, marunong tumulong at mag-pay forward din. Sinasabi ko sa kanila kahit anong galing mo, kung mahirap kang katrabaho, people will not work with you anymore. People would rather work with artists who would have so-so talent but they’re fun to work with, they share the same passion. You have to be a people-person,” he concluded. 

(Concert starts at 8 p.m. and features new artist Chelle and very special guests Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. It’s directed by Floy Quintos with musical direction by Gino Cruz. Tickets are still available at ticketworld.com.ph.)

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