JR Richards holds a series of shows in Manila this February.
How music keeps Dishwalla frontman JR Richards sane and healthy
REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Looking back at 2019, it was a banner year for music since numerous bands and singers made a stop in the country, and we are hoping that 2020 will be even better.

Right off the bat, JR Richards, the frontman for Dishwalla, will be performing all over the country in February.

Let’s learn more about JR in this STAR exclusive.

Philippine Star: How did you get into music?

JR Richards: I got into music because of my father. He was a musician, a singer and a songwriter and started teaching me to play the piano at age five. So I guess I am the apple that does not fall far from the tree.

Are you into sports?

I played water polo in high school, but once I graduated I started doing martial arts and have done so ever since. I have studied both Kenpo, as well as Wai Lum Pai Northern Praying Mantis Kungfu. I find that it helps with the stress of being an artist. In terms of watching sports, I enjoy watching MMA, as well as the occasional Manny (Pacquiao) fight.

They say that listening to music is healthy and good for the soul.

Absolutely! For me it not only saved my life, but it continues to keep me sane.

Do you make it a point to stay in shape?

Yes. It is absolutely crucial to stay in good shape and be healthy in both mind and body. I have been studying Bel Canto Opera technique since I was 20, so I know for a fact that when you are unhealthy or sick, it shows up in the voice first. I warm up and exercise my voice every day. I work out in the gym as well at least three days a week and work on my martial arts. When I am touring, I warm my voice when I wake up, before show time and then cool down my voice after the show.

Has your family been supportive throughout your journey?

My mother and father were always hugely supportive of my desire to be a musician. I know not all parents are like that and instead prefer that you do things that are more traditional and easier to succeed in. But they believed that it was important that did something that I loved. Nowadays, it is my wife Min who is hugely supportive and very much involved in my music. She is an amazing film director in her own right and has filmed quite a few music videos for me. I am a lucky man.

Do you make it a point to exercise even while you are traveling?

I travel quite a bit and learned that I must exercise even when I am busy traveling. It’s either that, or I feel horrible. The stress and lack of sleep can be brutal. So, I do my best to stay at hotels that have a gym and when that fails, I will push the furniture aside in my hotel room so I can at least run through my kata’s, do sit-ups, pushups and stretch.

What can people expect from your show in Manila?

Well, first off this will be a full band rock show. So it will be full of energy. Song wise, I will be performing both songs I wrote while in Dishwalla, as well as some of my solo material with a few covers thrown in. I am also going to have a fantastic guest star join me on Angels or Devils, but for now that is a surprise in waiting.

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Tickets for the Feb. 14 show at MetroTent are via Ticketworld online or send a message at JR Richards Philippine Tour Facebook page for the Feb. 15 show at Smoque Bistro in Bohol; Feb. 16 show at Waterfront Hotel, Cebu; and Feb. 22 show at ALFU Gym, Cabanatuan City.

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Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @anthonysuntay.

JR RICHARDS
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