Entertainment

The other side of James Reid


Young heartthrob James Reid has made a legitimate name for himself in different creative arenas. Although he is best known for his impressive resume of film and television roles, he also has a quite interesting roster of songs that puts him on the same lane for “double treat” stars.

It’s a fact that people identify James more as an actor rather than a recording star, but how does this ubiquitous matinee idol would really like to be known for?

In an event held at The Brewery at The Palace in Taguig, the 23-yeard-old Viva talent was launched as one of the Manulife ambassadors (joining Sarah Geronimo and Richard Yap) for its financial literacy campaign #StartYourStory. We sat down with the young star and talked about his other passion – music.

Little did many people know that even before he won Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition in 2010, he has had a great passion for music. He learned how to play the guitar and the piano when he was only 12-years old.

“I realized that I can make music when I was young. I would make my own ring tones using my phone. Do you still remember the old phones, which we can make personalized tones? That’s how I started basically,” he shared.

Reid would sit down for hours keying in special codes in his phone to create ring tones. It was the “in thing” before the advent of smart mobile phones and devices. Since then, James has not stopped creating music. In fact, during the Manulife event, he treated the guests and members of the press to a mini concert performing three songs he wrote, one of them was inspired by his best pal Bret Jackson and the other one was dedicated to Nadine Lustre, his real life girlfriend.

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“I have written a few songs for a new album, 10 songs to be exact. We’re supposed to release the album early this year but we ran out of time because I had to tape for a new teleserye. I hope we could release the album really soon,” he said.

He added that five of the songs he wrote for the new album are actually inspired and dedicated to his reel and real life partner, Nadine.

Heavily influenced by R&B, James lists Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake and local recording stars Gary V and Sam Concepcion as the music personalities he looks up to.

“I don’t really sing until PBB. I think I learned how to sing because of Chris Brown. I sing his songs from Fame (Brown’s 2011 album) while in the shower. On the local scene, it’s Sam. He has the most amazing voice and talent in one body that I have ever seen,” he confessed.

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In May, James along with Nadine, was chosen to perform at the MTV Music Evolution, a concert series that featured international acts like pop alternative band OneRepublic, singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha, Korea’s favorite K-pop idol female group Apink, and L.A.-grown electric dance trio Far East Movement. The concert was recorded live for global telecast reaching an international audience of more than three-quarters of a billion.

“At that time I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until afterwards I saw some videos from TV and I said ‘Oh My God.’ We performed after Gary V. It didn’t really hit that we are performing on the same stage with foreign artists until we were already on that stage. I just feel extremely fortunate to be given such opportunity,” James exclaimed.

James is definitely headed in the right direction. His album Reid Alert has just been certified platinum after it sold more than 15,000 copies. The music videos released together with the album also enjoy a good audience on YouTube with the single “Wag Ka Nang Humirit” garnering more than five million views while most of his MVs are viewed at least two million times.

“I had a very fuzzy and blurry stage after PBB. I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. But with the guidance and support of people who cared for me, and who believed in my talent, I think things fell into their proper places. And me being given the chance to take my music to another level is just one of things I’m really thankful for,” James concluded.

PHOTOS BY SONNY ESPIRITU

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