Charice has revealed that the challenge of overcoming rejection has made her a stronger person, and that the pain of rejection had almost convinced her to give up singing completely.
In probably the most revealing and wide-ranging interview of her career so far, the Philippine’s biggest international pop and RnB artist talked to Tokyo-based InterFM DJ Guy Perryman about her childhood, “Glee,” her next album, and the pain caused by that occupational hazard, rejection.
Despite her remarkable success over the past two years under the wing of the revered music industry “Hitman,” David Foster, Charice has suffered failures and rejections during her years on the singing contest circuit in the Philippines.
Charice sang in local contests from the age of 7 to earn money for her family’s upkeep. In 2005, at the age of 13, she qualified to appear on the premier season of the Philippine talent show Little Big Star but, despite the voice she is famous for, she was knocked out in the opening round. She was recalled as a wild card and eventually reached the final, finishing third.
The show survived just one more season, but despite coming third, Charice is the only one of the finalists in both seasons to have gone on to international stardom. Ultimately, it was the judges who didn’t vote for her in many of her more than 100 contests, that compelled her to work harder as a professional singer.
“That’s why I want to thank them for doing that to me, actually,” she says, tongue in cheek. “I mean, I’m not mad at all. In fact, I want to thank them. That made me really strong. The rejections. The PAIN! (laughs).
Charice is frank in her description of just how difficult it had become to cope with rejection. She admits that, in the aftermath of that failure and subsequent TV rejections, she suffered a lot of self-doubt and seriously considered giving up singing. Advice from her mother kept her focused.
“It was very hard before I realized that (I could say) ‘okay, moving on.’ It was very hard to move on,” she reveals. “Especially a couple of years ago (when) I got rejected by a lot of contests on TV and I actually thought about giving up.
“That’s why I want to thank my Mom because she’s been there for me. She was there at the time when I thought about giving up. She was like, “you don’t have to give up because they rejected you. If they reject you, you should be more strong, because you (should) think that next time you’re going to do better. So, ‘Okay!’ I moved on.”
In moving on, Charice learned to release herself from some of the debilitating pressures that might otherwise have ruined a career filled with potential. That potential was underlined when the world’s most powerful TV personality, Oprah Winfrey, dubbed her “the most talented girl in the world.”
It’s clear that her potential is now being realized with her overwhelming success on “Glee,” her becoming the only Asian to crack the US with a Top 10 album, her album attaining gold status in Japan, and a growing fanatical global following known as Chasters. In effect, her success dwarfs the accomplishments of many Filipino artists who have gone before her.
Asked if, as a healing force, music is a key thing in her life, Charice didn’t hesitate in pointing out that it was, and added that it is a key theme of her favorite song on her upcoming new album.
“Yes! And, actually, I’m working on my next album now and we did this song called “Saved By A Love Song.” It’s about my life,” she says.
“We were talking about the title and they were talking about Ne-Yo’s “So Sick of Love Songs” (sings), and I was like, ‘well, you know, that’s very negative! (laughs). How about “Saved By A Love Song” – just like me!’ So, I guess that will be my favorite song.”
Charice also offered some advice to aspiring singers.
“Be patient. Don’t rush everything. Everything happens for a reason even if it’s negative or positive. Be positive always, and always love the people who actually help you from the very beginning – don’t forget to thank them. Have faith in God and love your family.”
“Say you wouldn’t believe the changes I’ve been through
Changes that some just don’t make it through
But my sky has changed from dark to blue
Amazing what one love song can do… ”
By Robert Sheen, Charicemania.com