There are still three weeks to go before Christmas but Charice has been doing the yule-tide circuit with aplomb over the last week. So much so, in fact, that it would be hard to believe if not everyone in the US had managed to catch a performance of hers yet.
Not only did she produce yet more acclaimed performances in Los Angeles, at the Citadel Outlet’s 9th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and at The Grove, but she also wooed the audience at the Rockefeller Center in New York last Tuesday night . And she still managed to squeeze an impromptu performance at The Darby restaurant on Long Island, New York, on November 27.
For all true Chasters then, the question is a simple one: “how well the Laguna-born teenager is handling it all.” The music industry is ruthless and demanding, on an artist’s time if not their voice, and crisscrossing the US and Canada is certain to take its toll. Even if she is 18 years old, can Charice roll with the punches?
The answer was provided by her appearance on Billboard.com’s Q&A session on Monday, with presenter Ty Comer. It was one of the most revealing interview sessions with the Filipino songstress, with more than simply a few kind queries sent her way.
Behind-the-scenes footage reveal a working girl that seems to be taking it all in her stride. Arriving at the Billboard offices, she is seen to be upbeat, hugging hellos and smiling thank-yous to those who greeted her, dancing through the corridors and even taking in a little time to sing a goosebump-inducing, gospel-sounding version of “Happy Birthday To You” to an unsuspecting recipient.
Billboard Behind-the-scenes footage
During the Q&A session itself, Charice showed all of the wit and charisma for which she’s known. She laughed off Comer’s introduction where he described his special guest as ‘small in stature but she’s got a huge voice’. “I just love that introduction. Thank you so much,” she chuckled.
She also had to deal with probing questions from fans relating to a love-life that the media has already signed over to David Archuleta, who she had shared the stage with at The Grove. In truth, it’s a fair question, since she has described her experience singing with Archuleta on EXTRA as “perfect”, but Charice deflected the delicate matter with a commandingly diplomatic response, stressing Archuleta’s singing talents and his “greatness” as a guy.
EXTRA at The Grove
She spoke confidently of her recent recording work, revealing her new album to be different to her first. She also admitted she is collaborating with some of dance and RnB’s best producers and artists, but refused to name any of them. She also confirmed she would be returning to Glee, with recording starting “maybe in January”. She even admitted to finding singing in a recording studio to be harder than singing on stage.
These may seem to be normal, run-of-the-mill responses to give in an interview, but what strikes me is the notable quality in her reactions was her cool control. Charice exudes a maturity that doesn’t reflect her tender years.
At 18, we might expect her to be quiet and hesitant. As a teenager, we can forgive her for fielding questions of romance with red-faced coyness. As a newbie in a dog-eat-dog-and-its-owner world, we could be excused for expecting her to show signs of uncertainty. Instead, we see a teenage newbie that has taken to the limelight and control of her public appearances like a seasoned veteran, through the strength of her performance.
What does this mean? Most probably a lengthy and healthy music career that will see her attain the same stature – musically if not in size – as her idols, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. According to Charice herself, she is already in the middle of recording a second album, is preparing to launch another single, is set to begin recording a second series on ‘Glee’ in January, and has dates secured for a Japan tour in February, 2011.
Weary and overwhelmed are two words that can’t be associated with the Laguna teenager, despite the hectic schedule she’s living by, which can only add to her growing reputation as one of the hardest-working and positively motivated starlets under David Foster’s wings.
2011 will bring us more of this hard-working, forever-smiling, street-smart Charice, who may be small in stature and huge in voice but is equally small in naivity and big in charm.
By Robert Sheen, Chricemania.com
Grown-Up Christmas List EP is Now Available on Amazon
- Grown-Up Christmas List – Originally released in 1990 by Natalie Cole and composed by non other than Charice’s mentor David Foster. Charice new rendition is deeply soul searching. Her voice brings a fresh life to one of the most underrated holiday classics in recent years.
- Jingle Bell Rock – Charice has recorded 5 holiday songs. So far, “Jingle Bell Rock” has the liveliest beat, appropriately expressing Charice’s natural cheerful and playful self in this own rendition.
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – Charice has grown leap in bounds in the past 3 years. Her voice is getting lovelier and lovelier each day. She sound more confident and relaxed in this John Lennon’s Chritmas classic.