No guests in Jed Madela’s concert
For his coming 10th anniversary concert, Jed Madela decided to do away with special guests. It was a bold move, the balladeer noted, but necessary to help change audiences’ mindset of seeing a show, not for the main performer but for the glitzy lineup of celebs expected to share the stage.
“Usually, when we (singers) invite people to our concert, they almost always ask who else would be in it before they even ask when or where it will be held. My concert director Johnny Manahan and I would like to correct that,” Jed told Inquirer.
No rest, either
“With foreign performers, we don’t ask who they are performing with. I wish local artists were treated similarly,” said Jed, adding that his concert will feature songs that matter most to his musical journey.
But having no guest performers also means no rest for him between songs. Known for his exceptional vocal range, Jed is set to sing vocally-demanding pieces for at least two hours straight. That’s a lot of pressure, and he knows it. The concert, he said, would certainly be a test of endurance and stamina for him as well.
“The concert will be tightly-packed; there will be no dull moments. The challenge is for me to sustain my energy and keep the crowd entertained,” he said.
Jed considers the concert, simply titled “X,” the most important in his career. He’s taking every possible precaution to make sure he’s in tiptop shape on Nov. 15 when he goes onstage at the Philippine International Convention Center Plenary Hall.
“I’ve given up sodas, sweets and alcohol. I avoid going out, staying up late and being exposed to smokers. I go to the gym and run almost every day to make sure that I don’t run out of breath quickly,” Jed related. “I follow a strict routine; it really takes a lot of discipline.”
But perhaps the most important thing to do in preparation, he pointed out, was to surround himself with positive energy from his family, friends and people he trusts. If there’s anything he has learned the hard way in the past decade, it’s that letting intrigues get the better of him negatively affects his singing.
“Negativity creates stress,” said Jed, who believes being the grand winner of the 2005 World Championships of Performing Arts—and then being inducted into its hall of fame earlier this year—are his biggest achievements. He also won the Star Awards for Music’s best male recording artist trophies for three straight years (2011 to 2013).
Jed started his music career as lead vocalist for the bands Pose, Dyevest and Prime Council, and was perfectly content doing gigs in bars around Manila and his native Iloilo. Fame, he said, never crossed his mind. But one thing led to another after he joined and was hailed Male Singer of the Year at the 2003 Voice of Asia Song Festival in Kazakhstan.
Soon enough, Jed was thrust into the spotlight, forced to talk not only about his craft, but also his personal life. Some of the most persistent intrigues the 33-year-old has had to parry pertain to his weight and sexual preference.
Dealing with all the malicious gossip on almost a day-to-day basis, Jed said, was still something he’s trying to get used to. “All of a sudden, people are asking about my private life; it was awkward at first. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m a public figure,” Jed explained.
Good or bad
“I used to get affected by the rumors, but now I know that people will always have something to say about you, good or bad,” Jed continued. “But I’ve also learned to channel criticisms into something positive. If someone says I look fat on television, I spend more time in the gym. If people criticize me for something I know isn’t true, I just brush them aside.”
A few other celebrities—Sarah Geronimo, Erik Santos, Enrique Gil and Martin Nievera— are holding concerts this month, but Jed is unfazed. “It’s actually healthy for the local concert scene because the audience gets to have more choices,” Jed said. “If they want to see me perform, then it’s good for me. If people want to see other singers, it’s fine. And as long as they support local music, I’m happy.”