Jaya celebrates Anniversary with “Memories 25 Years”
She may be seen on television every week via the Sunday show “Sunday All-Stars (SAS)”, but for Jaya nothing beats performing before a concert audience.
“I like doing live shows; I can instantly see the reaction from audience. Singing is fun, but what do you do to keep everyone looking at you? What so you say so you can take away their problems for at least for a few hours? Yun ang ina-achieve ko, every time I perform, I like connecting with the audience” she said.
Although she has been very active on television, Jaya is excited about her anniversary concert entitled “Memories 25 Years” on November 10 at the Solaire Resort and Casino Ballroom. As the title suggests she will take her audience to a musical journey, that somehow chronicles 25 glorious years in the music business. “I actually started performing much, much earlier as a dance artist in the US. But as Jaya, it’s been 25 years,” she said.
She started singing professionally in 1982 as Louise Ramsey. The name “Jaya” came in 1989, given to her by an American producer when she signed a record deal in the United States. In 1995 she was convinced by Pilita Corrales to record an album in Manila, and in 1996 she interpreted the Metro Pop winning song “Sometimes You Just Know” by Danny Tan. From then on it was a life of concerts, recordings and hosting stints with some acting and sitcom roles in between.
Jaya admits being overwhelmed by the whole idea of celebrating her 25 years with a concert. ” I was not excited at first; people tend to expect so much in an anniversary concert. And then I missed the 10th year, di ako nag celebrate ng 15, so why do this? For me everything just went by year by year,” she said.
But looking back at her many blessings topped with a happy career and family life, the country’s queen of soul easily switched to the celebratory mode. “I am thankful that I am working” she said.
Passionate about music since she was 10 years old, initially as a back-up dancer for her mother comedian Elizabeth Ramsey, Jaya knew that her life will revolve around music. And so turning 25 certainly calls for a celebration. “I always knew I would be singing for a long time, I just didn’t know if it will continue up to this point. Kasi may iba, they do their work, and then they hibernate and then they continue. I‘ve been blessed to have it consistent like this, work is nonstop.”
Born to a celebrity mother who knew the right people in the music business Jaya was not spared from the school of hard knocks, literally working as traveling musician, going to places where work was available. She remembers having a suitcase adorned with stickers from the different cities in the US where she has performed. Everything changed for the better when she went to Manila.
The concert “Memories 25 Years” will be an evening filled with love and music. “ It will definitely be an extraordinary journey,” she said. But apart from the music the performer hopes to disclose a part of her that had made the experience unforgettable. “Yes its 25 years of music, but what people do not see are the challenges that go with it, the struggles, the frustration, the tears, and the pressure to cope with the demands of the business. Madali na yung kumanta once you are onstage, but behind the scenes, doon yung feeling. I want to include that in the show.
The concert repertoire will include her hit songs like “Dahil Tanging Ikaw,” “Wala na Bang Pag-ibig” “ Hanggang Ngayo’y Mahal” plus hits of her favorite artists Chaka Khan, Anita Baker and many more.
Joining her in the show are friends Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid and Janno Gibbs. All four used to have a portion called “Back 2 Back 2 Back” in the Sunday noontime show “SOP”. They will attempt to revive it in the concert. “People have been clamoring for it, and so we will do that in the show. These guys are the best I am so humbled they agreed to so this.”
Jaya just finished a couple of shows with her mother comedian Elizabeth Ramsey in the US. At 82 her mother is still active as ever. “She is very much alive and kicking, alas diyes na gabi ngumangawa pa rin, “ she joked. “I am happy I am still able to perform with her”.
Unlike her mother who can easily hold an audience with her hilarious punch lines, for a singer, Jaya was unusually shy during her younger days. “Shy pa talaga ako inside noon, kakanta na lang ako pero no talk. Of course I learned when I started doing concerts. Now, because I am older, I can look you in the eye and I don’t care if you don’t like me. I have become comfortable still nervous.”
Married to rap artist Gary Gotidoc, they have two children Sabriya 8, and Dylan, 5. “Family life is the best,” she said. Her eldest Sabriya is displaying so much interest in music. “She can sing, she can do second voice and she doesn’t falter, which is scary,” she joked.
And while she welcomes another musician in the family, she feels education must be priority. “I always tell my kids, you can do what you want draw, rap, sing, anything as long as you hit the books and go to school. You will learn how to manage whatever business, if you go to school. Kasi nung panahon ko hindi ganun. Sabi ng Nanay ko wag ka na pumasok sayang lang bayad sa jeep,” she said.
Aside from her musical journey, “Memories 25 Years” is Jaya’s way of paying tribute to the Philippine music industry. “It is quite an honor to be part of the industry. I am in the company of some of the best singer and composers, natuto ako just by watching them. This is truly a blessing.”
Other special guests in the concert are Ms. Faith Cuneta, Jonalyn Viray and Kyla. Directed by Robby Tarroza, the concert’s musical director is Marc Lopez. Tickets are available at SM Tickets and TicketWorld, for inquiries call Showbiz Mansion office at 808-8450 or 0939-7985497. Visit FB Page and Twitter of Showbiz Mansion.