All about Jed…and more!

By Nathalie Tomada

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Jed Madela (who headlines the V-Day concert All About Love at the Kia Theatre): I’m very happy and grateful to be in the industry for 15 years now. I’ve seen a lot of artists come and go and somehow, I’m still here.    

MANILA, Philippines — From once getting paid P300 only for doing three hour-long gigs a night to now eliciting standing ovations from world leaders no less for performances in high-profile events like the 2017 ASEAN, Jed Madela has come a long way, indeed.

“Looking back, it’s something that really inspires me, like wow, nakayanan kong kumanta ng tatlong oras every night and being paid this amount, and I was really happy, I was contented and I didn’t mind the money,” Jed recalled to The STAR on the sidelines of the presscon for his Valentine’s Day benefit show All About Love last Wednesday.

“It’s nice to look back to the time when nobody wanted me. People who doubted me, I still remember them na parang they tell you — in your face — ‘Di sisikat yan, kasi probinsyano,’ ‘Mahirap pasikatin yung lalake kaysa sa babae,’ etc. I still remember their names, who they are and they’re still there (laughs)… So many rejections. Back then, it was painful, but thinking about it now, it really helped me to be thick-skinned,” the recording artist added.   

According to Jed, these experiences remind him that “you really have to start from somewhere and from scratch in order for you to appreciate what you have achieved now.”

It was in 2003 when Jed first signed up with Universal Records. Summing up his professional musical journey so far, the singer said, “It’s been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot from this timid probinsyano. I arrived straight from Iloilo to Manila without anything, without any idea what the industry was about.”

He continued, “I didn’t expect to be in showbiz. I came to Manila to look for a job as a flight attendant and then, all of sudden, an opportunity came up. They were looking for a singer for the band Pose. When I applied as a flight attendant, they made me wait because I was too young then. I was only 18 (when I finished college). It was truly a sudden change of plans. The plan to become a flight attendant was forgotten. But singing has always been my first love, (however) never did I expect it to be my job.”

Jed is now turning 15 in the entertainment industry this 2018. Known for his powerful vocal range and anthemic repertoire, Jed is looking to celebrate this milestone year with a Star Records album featuring original compositions, some of which he wrote. He’s also set to mount an orchestra-backed concert towards the end of the year.

His biggest lesson in showbiz, he shared, is that “Everybody is dispensable. Meron talagang darating na mas magaling sayo, mas bata, mas maganda ang katawan, mas pogi, mas mataas boses. It’s just a matter of how you deal with change and how you manage to stay relevant and stay in the industry.

“Me, I’m very happy, grateful and blessed that I’ve been in the industry for 15 years now. I’ve seen a lot of artists come and go and somehow, I’m still here. I think I owe this to fans, to the people who have supported me since Day 1… during my highs and lows, in the industry. They’re the reason I think I’ve lasted this long.”

Before the concert and album, Jed headlines a Valentine’s concert and fundraiser titled All About Love on Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Kia Theatre, Araneta Center. He will be joined by special guests Tim Pavino, US-trained opera singer/newcomer Sarah Faye Bacal and the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) Team Philippines. The latter has been trained by Jed being a WCOPA Hall of Famer. All proceeds of All About Love will go to Ang Mata’y Alagaan Foundation, a non-profit serving persons with disabilities (PWDs), especially the visually impaired.

Jed crowd-sourced ideas for his concert via social media, and a fan, who happens to be a pastor, suggested a show that talks about all kinds of love, thus its title. Song choices range from the classics to boy band hits.

“We didn’t want to center the concept on those who are in love only. There are different kinds of love — love for family, love for a special someone, love for yourself. We also gave importance sa mga walang love or nawalan ng love… There’s that kind of love that’s very overwhelming, the kind of love that you’re looking forward to, the kind of love that’s malabo na, the kind of love that’s everlasting… That’s why we call it All About Love.

Because the concert is all about love, Jed couldn’t escape questions about his personal life as well.

“Ideally, my special someone. Sana meron… A (special someone) who will be there to support you in all your endeavors, who is extra understanding of your time, your fans, di pwede selosa,” he said. “But then, wala pa ngayon. I’m very, very focused on work and I think I would be very unfair, if there would be somebody who’s sharing my time because, you know, this kind of work is not easy. You have to dedicate a lot of time to it. For me, if you want to get into a relationship, you have to give ample time to that also.

“(When I look at couples) nakakainggit, of course. But it’s more of — it’s your time now, my time will also come.”

Just because his love life is non-existent, it doesn’t make him any less qualified to deliver the most emotionally charged of love songs.

He said, “That’s one of the magic of being a performer, you get to find different emotions inside of you, not just from emotions you’re experiencing now, but probably from emotions you’ve experienced before. These emotions are just there, stored somewhere and it’s the same thing with actors, if you need to emote or find some hugot, you’ll just search through your trunk of emotions.

“It’s easier when you really study the song, know its meaning and try to apply it in your life. That’s why whenever I choose songs, that’s also one important factor. I won’t sing a song just because it’s popular, or it’s a hit on the radio. I will sing it because I feel the song or I can relate to it.”

(Tickets are priced from P3,500 to P1,100, and available via http://www.ticketnet.com.ph and at the Kia Theatre.)  

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