JAMES REID: THE FILIPINO-AUSTRALIAN ARTIST + ACTOR ON: MUSIC, MOVIES + RECORD LABEL MOGULDOM!
BY: COREY GUEVARRA, EDITOR IN CHIEF
PHOTOGRAPHY: CALLUM WALKER HUTCHINSON
STYLING: SKY JT NAVAL
GROOMING: KELLY GOLDSACK
Popularly referred to as Philippines' multi-media prince, James Reid’s star soared soon after winning ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ back in 2010 at just 17 years old! Since then he’s gone on to blockbuster movie making & eventually front running his now, huge music career via his own music label charismatically called “Careless”. Now after over a decade of success including an MTV European Music Award (for Best Southeast Asian Act), a roster of ever-anticipated artists & a loyal fan-base who were rigorously ready for the release of his latest album ‘Lovescene’ James Reid is geared for global takeover with no plans of slowing down! We chatted with the face of Filipino 'R&POP' on everything from success, spare time & foreseeing yourself in your future!
JAMES, FOR ALL OF THE NEW FANS, PLEASE TELL US WHERE YOU’RE FROM & WHERE YOU GREW UP?
I was born and spent most of my early life in Sydney, Australia, but I moved to the Philippines when I was 16!
AS YOU KNOW, WE’RE A US BASED PUBLICATION, IT'S INCREDIBLE HOW TODAY WE CAN PEER INTO THE WORLDS OF POP CULTURE GLOBALLY & HOW NEW FANS GET TO KEEP DISCOVERING ARTISTS LIKE YOURSELF ENDLESSLY! WHAT 6 WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF TO ALL OF YOUR NEW AMERICAN FANS:
JAMES YOU’VE HAD AN INCREDIBLE CAREER IN ACTING WITH HUGE HITS LIKE “ ON THE WINGS OF LOVE “ & TILL I MET YOU “. THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE RÉSUMÉ, WHO HAS BEEN YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CHARACTER TO PLAY & WHY?
It would definitely have to be ‘TOP’ from “Talk back and you’re dead!”
He was kinda larger than life and over the top. A kid tryna be a gang leader [whew]. It’s fun to play a character that’s so far from who you are because it’s like you get to experience things you normally wouldn’t do in real life!
HOW DID YOU PIVOT INTO MUSIC? AND WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THAT WAS YOUR PASSION SO MUCH SO THAT IT LED TO YOU START YOUR OWN LABEL & MAGNIFY OTHER ARTISTS?
Music has always been a part of who I am ever since I was a kid. I learned to sing to Michael Jackson and picked up guitar when I was 10. It wasn’t till the peak of my acting career that I decided to go fully into music. I wanted to do something that I was completely in control of. Music was so liberating for me in a time where I was being heavily controlled by the networks and the audience and felt like my life wasn’t really mine. Music fed my soul in a way that acting didn’t.
CONGRATS ON AN EXCITING START TO 2023 WITH WAVYBABY FESTIVAL AND YOUR FIRST NORTH AMERICAN SOLO TOUR! CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WAVYBABY FESTIVAL AND YOUR SOLO TOUR?
The festival was wild! I can’t wait to run it back next year. But it did take a lot out of me, so I decided to postpone the American tour until later this year. I needed to take a breather after all that craziness and I wanted to make sure that I can give my all when the tour eventually comes.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU’D LAST RELEASED AN ALBUM. NOW WITH LOVESCENE (2022), TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS ON THIS PROJECT & WHICH YOU ARE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO PERFORMING LIVE?
My favorite tracks to perform live are ‘Stay’ and ‘Hold On Tight’ ft. Woosung which we were able perform together on The Rose tour and the Wavy Baby festival. It’s always a good time performing with them.
DO YOU PLAN TO RELEASE MORE MUSIC IN 2023? ANY OTHER BIG RESOLUTIONS OR GOALS FOR 2023?
Yes! I have some more surprises from Lovescene coming out soon and a new single. Hopefully all leading up to a world tour starting in North America like I promised all the fans!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER PROJECTS YOU CAN TEASE OR TELL US ABOUT FOR CARELESS &/OR YOUR SOLO CAREER?
All I can say for now is that there’s a project with a K-pop artist in the works ;-)
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS JAMES?
Success to me means leaving a positive impact in my community. It’s creating music that inspires. It’s breaking boundaries as a Filipino artist. I know it’s a lot but the secret is to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. Positive mindset always. And don’t forget to plan for how much you’re gonna grow when foreseeing for your future! Not a lot of people do that.
"DON’T FORGET TO PLAN FOR HOW MUCH YOU’RE GONNA GROW WHEN FORESEEING FOR YOUR FUTURE"!
WHAT CAN WE FIND YOU DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME JAMES? MAYBE EVEN SOMETHING YOUR FANS WOULD BE COMPLETELY SURPRISED BY?
Climbing mountains, out of town motorcycle rides, island hopping. The Philippines is a beautiful place.
But owning an entertainment company and managing multiple careers doesn’t leave me with a lot of spare time [LOL].
FINALLY OUR LAST QUESTION, OUR STAPLE QUESTION. OVER THE YEARS THE ANSWERS HAVE RANGED FROM FINE CIGARS TO ELEVATE STATES OF MIND. JAMES REID WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF LUXURY?
Peace of mind.