Photos by: Nickie Wang
English singer and songwriter Jessie J returned to Manila on Dec. 10 and performed live at the jam-packed Kia Theater in Quezon City.
The dynamic chanteuse enthralled and amused thousands of concertgoers with her hits, which she performed in rapid succession. She invoked more laughter in between breaks when she engaged the audience and asked them to put their phones back in their pockets.
“I don’t calculate my performance – I talk a lot, I sing, and I sing live. I try to engage the audience as much as I can. There are audiences that are very quiet and don’t want to be involved so I make them involved,” she told The Standard in an interview prior to the concert.
True enough, concertgoers sang along and immediately became willing to go wherever Jessie J wanted to take them – whether an instruction to throw their hands up in the air or simply repeat the verses in her songs.
One of the most applauded numbers of the night was her cover of Whitney Houston classic, “I Have Nothing.” The 27-year-old English singer sang an acoustic version of the power ballad culled from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album (1993).
“She (Whitney Houston) is the reason why I am confident as a singer, you know…to have a big mouth while singing,” she quipped.
Ten years ago, the “Flashlight” singer auditioned for the girl band and “I Have Nothing” was her audition song. That’s the reason why she considers the late pop diva as her musical inspiration. And like Whitney, who was known for her power vocals, Jessie J also wanted to be remembered for her ability to sing.
“First and foremost, I don’t want to be remembered other than my voice. I’d like people to leave my show saying…Oh, she loves singing!” she told the author.
The singer also wants to inspire people with her music. In a concert she staged in Manila last year, she read out a letter from a fan detailing how her music saved him from committing suicide.
“I started writing music because I am a complicated person, and I think I attract complicated people. And if I can help anybody kind of understand the feeling in their life that they don’t understand, it makes me I feel like I have the reason as to why I have do this (write songs),” Jessie J said.
Jessie J also told The Standard that she is not working on a new material at the moment. After her Manila concert she plans on taking a break.
“I’ve been releasing music nonstop. I am going to finish this year and then I am going be human – stay in one place, travel places and actually see them.”
“I haven’t had a break longer than two weeks for six years, I realize that I have been around for ages. I need to inspire myself. I cannot inspire others if I’m not inspired myself, we’ll I am not saying I am not inspired but I feel that I need to step back and refuel the love of music. No, I am not worked out it’s just feels like it’s the right time,” she explained.
In the same interview, the famous singer also commended Filipino music fans, who she considers as “hardcore.”
“I don’t come here as much as I do in America or in the UK or Germany. But I can remember how hardcore they (Filipino fans) are, how loud and devoted they are. Coming back here is always like Christmas, it’s like a big event. Everyone makes you feel that they are very excited,” she beamed.
The Jessie J 2015 Manila concert was staged by Smart Communications as part of its Smart Life campaign. It’s a free show exclusive to loyal subscribers of the telco.