Ang singer/songwriter/composer mula sa Hawaii na si Jeff James ay nagkaroon ng singing career dito sa Pilipinas sa loob ng humigit-kumulang na isang taon.
Sa panahong inilagi na niya sa Pilipinas, ano ang maituturing niyang life-changing experiences na ang naranasan niya bilang isang performer?
“Before I came to the Philippines, I didn’t know what a ballad song was.
“Because in Hawaii we love to play reggae songs and I wasn’t used to singing a ballad song. But now I’m working on different songs, I like Ogie Alcasid and he has some really good ballads so as a singer, I’ve been pushing my limits to the different styles [of singing].”
Nakausap ng PEP.ph si Jeff sa Seafood Island restaurant sa Robinsons Galleria sa Ortigas para sa launch ng kanyang bagong album.
Ang album ni Jeff na GoGoGo ay released under GMA Records at naglalaman ng mga kantang "1 Mo Love Song", “169 (Feat. Mindy Mcpeek”), “GoGoGoGo”, “Good”, "Hawaiian Girls", “Isa Pang Love Song”, "Let’s Not Pretend (Feat. Jegaan)", "Love Me", "Top Of The World", "Wildside", "Woo Woo Woo (I Think I’m In Love)", at “Love I.”
Tinanong namin si Jeff kung sino ang nakipag-negotiate para ang GMA Records ang mag-release ng album niya.
“I have a few people that are handling me, Mr. Michael Villanueva, Dianne Ong and we’re talking with GMA Records for a few months and it just seemed more comfortable because knowing that GMA Records also has a TV station associated with it, that it seemed like a smarter move than to spend your money somewhere else or to invest your time [elsewhere].”
Ang timbre ng boses at istilo sa pagkanta ni Jeff ay maihahalintulad sa R&B Prince na si Jay-R na napapabalitang umalis na sa GMA-7.
Handa ba si Jeff na palitan ang puwesto ni Jay-R bilang isang singer sa bakuran GMA kung sakali?
“Sure, I mean I’m trying my best just to fit in right now but I have high goals and you know, to be the best that I can.
“Jay-R is one of the most popular R&B [and] ballad singers so I hope to be able to also do that as well, yeah.”
Naging viral sa Youtube ang Tagalog version niya ng kantang 'Happy' kasama ang kaibigan niyang Russian girl na si Anna Rabtsun.
Paano ito nagawa?
“There was a company called Green Mango and they specialize in other viral videos, and they came to me and they said, ‘Jeff, you should do the song ‘Happy.’ It’s positive, it’s uplifting and it can be inspiring.’
“And people’s schedules were very busy and so we didn't end up doing the video with them, but I got together with Anna Rabtsun and Rockman Music Studio and we made some different lyrics with Ray Pineda, he helped us to make the lyrics to fit the Filipino.
“It includes things like adobo and drinking buko juice so we made it appeal to them.
“And we had plans for it to be viral, you know, so it didn’t surprise us but we are definitely happy that people appreciated the ‘Happy’ song.”