Jake Zyrus: Size of concert venue no longer matters to me
Jake Zyrus will celebrate his 26th birthday during his coming 10th anniversary concert, “Music & Me,” on May 25 at the SM Skydome—a considerably smaller venue than the ones where he held court in the past, during the peak of his popularity as Charice.
But it’s a sensible choice for Jake, who—in a way—sees himself these days as someone just starting out again after deciding to become a trans man.
“Real talk lang. Of course, we will go for something more realistic,” the singer told the Inquirer at a recent press conference.
“The size of a venue doesn’t matter to me as much anymore,” Jake insisted. “To be honest, singing at bigger places actually makes me more nervous and stressed.”
‘A very personal event’
Because the concert is “a very personal” event, Jake would like to feel closer to his fans, which can be achieved easier in a more intimate setting.
“I want the fans to be near me as much as possible. I want to see their reactions, which I’m quite sensitive to—I know when they’re having a good time or not listening,” Jake quipped, adding that his show will be his birthday gift to all his loyal supporters, so it was important to keep things accessible for them.
“I was happy and excited to hear that a lot of my fans will be able to attend,” he added.
The repertoire, Jake related, will reflect the experimenting he has been doing with his deeper voice. As of late, he has been dabbling in jazz, standards and ballads, and listening to such artists as Josh Groban, Martin Nievera and Frank Sinatra.
But the one artist Jake relates to the most at the moment is Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, whose new single, the rock ballad “In My Blood,” touches on his anxiety disorder.
“He’s one of my pegs…And I love the song because Shawn bares his weaknesses and vulnerabilities in it. But still, the message is positive, about not giving up,” Jake related. “So, I thought, I can’t not have this song on my set list.”
Finally fully comfortable
While he has always enjoyed his deepened, raspier tone, it was only recently that Jake finally felt fully comfortable in his body.
During a beach trip in March, Jake uploaded on his Instagram page a photo of him topless while taking a dip in the sea. He knew the selfie would draw mixed reactions—mostly negative—but nonetheless, he posted it on social media, because he believed it would convey a strong, important message, particularly to members of the LGBTQ community.
“Not all people are accepting of people like us, so I knew I would be made fun of when I posted that photo…There are lots of talks of equality, that we’re one and together. But is it really the case? If a straight person can post a photo of him without a shirt on, why can’t I?” he said. “If we want to talk about equality, then we should start treating each other equally.”
“The negative comments didn’t matter, because I also saw people telling me that they were inspired by what I did and that I helped them ease their worries. As long as there are people who feel encouraged by what I do, then I will continue doing it,” he added.
And looking back, that moment on the beach was one of the happiest of his life, Jake recalled, and no amount of hurtful words could take that away from him.
“I knew my body isn’t perfect. And it was my first time swimming in open waters, because the sea used to terrify me. But I said I will give it a try. And it turned out to be one of the happiest days of my life and I just had to share it,” Jake said.
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