Julie Fordham performs at Resorts World Manila on June 22.
Julia Fordham: I walk an hour a day to stay fit
REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2018 - 12:00am

‘Touring is tough and challenging and quite rigorous, so staying fit is vital for any performer.’

Julia Fordham is one of the all-time favorite singers of Filipinos, and she will  connect with her fans on June 22 at Resorts World Manila. Julia started her career in the early ‘80s as a back-up singer, and eventually released her first solo album in 1988 and the rest, as they say, is history.

PHILIPPINE STAR: How did you begin your singing career?

JULIA FORDHAM: In my case, music was already in me. I did not decide to get into it, it just somehow comes through me, to me and then comes out of me in the form of songs that are carried by my voice. My inspirations were really all of the great singer-songwriters, artists like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Sting. I also loved Janis Ian, Joan Armatrading and Rickie Lee Jones. I had a strong calling and mission to get my songs recorded and to try and follow in their footsteps.

Were you ever sports-oriented?

I am not really that into sports. During the World Cup though, for soccer, I do make an exception for that and really enjoy all the different countries coming together and always tune in to the semi-finals and finals. At school in England, there was hockey and netball for girls and even though it was cold, I did enjoy playing those. I now live in sunny Southern California and when I first arrived you couldn’t get me out of the water, I loved boogie boarding, Loved it!

They say that listening to music is healthy and good for the soul, do you believe that?

Well, I guess it depends on what you are listening to! I currently have Deva Premal on a loop at night. Her “Healing Mantras” album has definitely been good for my soul.

Is it important for singers to stay in shape?

I think it depends on what kind of singer you are. I am sure if you are a pop star then being super slim and trim is very important. For the singer/songwriter genre though, I think there is less pressure to be perfect. Touring is tough and challenging and quite rigorous, so staying fit is vital for any performer. I do have a daily routine, after a lovely little pot of Earl Grey and one egg, I put my walking clothes on. I walk for an hour a day. If I have to miss, then I have recently discovered a rather wonderful Gi Gong video clip on Youtube that I am loving. There is a 1O-minute and 2O-minute routine that I like by a chap called Lee Holden: https://youtu.be/pj4qo2KL9f4.

I have also started The 10-minute mind meditation practice that I can highly recommend: https://the10minutemind.com/. I am all about the middle way. When I was younger, I used to jog/run and managed to do one official 5K race. My time is definitely not worth sharing! Basically, I don’t have the competitive, athlete gene, I have the musician DNA, but I do strive to eat well and exercise regularly, I am very healthy. I don’t drink or smoke and I don’t eat deep fried food.

How has your family influenced your life throughout your musical journey?

My parents bought me a guitar when I was about 13. By the time I was 14 I was already singing my own songs in the local folk clubs. I now have a 13-year-old daughter of my own who continues to influence my musical journey. She loves putting playlists together for the school car pool. Her current fave is Cardi B and she likes to rap along at the top of her lungs. She is also into Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and a wonderful young singer songwriter called Billie Elish https://youtu.be/viimfQi_pUw. I have taken her to see Taylor Swift and Julia Michaels. Most of the time that I spend with her is either driving to school or dance class, and that is hours and hours. Then there is also shopping and she loves cafes and eating out! For her 13th birthday I took her for her first facial and she absolutely loved that.

Do you go to the gym?

I am not really a fan of the gym. When I am on tour though, I still maintain my daily walking exercise. While the band is still sleeping I will get a map and explore the city that I am in, it is a wonderful way to combine staying fit and healthy and actually seeing the place that you are lucky enough to be singing in. When I visit Manila next week, it will be very hot and humid, so that is when I will make myself do laps at the swimming pool, and my new Gi Gong video routine along with a few sit ups and stretches. I should probably do a few more of those then I do!

What can people expect from your Manila show?

It will be full of Filipino favorites. I will sing all of the hits and faves: Happy Ever After, Love Moves In Mysterious Ways, Something Right, Invisible War, Girlfriend and more. I will have a Filipino band and my own guitarist, Colin Ryan with me. It is going to be a fantastic evening.

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