Jake Zyrus opens up about effects of testosterone shots on vocal range

IMAGE Nerisa Almo

Jake Zyrus on change of music preferences, "Masarap na alam mo sa sarili mo na ikaw 'yan, alam mo sa sarili mo na wala kang tinatago."



When Jake Zyrus decided to take testosterone shots as part of his transition to becoming a trans man, he knew that this would greatly affect his voice and his vocal range.

Previously known as the young female singer named Charice, Jake Zyrus used to hit high notes in his performances.

A lot of people are now asking: “Kaya pa ba niyang bumirit?”

Jake Zyrus admitted, “Sa totoo lang, since four months pa lang ako sa testosterone, nandun pa rin ako sa pagbibinata.”

Yes, there have been changes, but Jake is taking it positively.

“Mas nae-enjoy ko siya kasi iba-ibang song ang nae-experiment ko, kaya ko pala 'to," said the singer in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other reporters after the press conference of his upcoming concert I Am Jake Zyrus.

“Kumbaga, lahat ng artista na naririnig ko, tina-try kong kantahin para alam ko ano yung nahihirapan ako, ano yung bagay sa boses ko.

“In that way, alam ko yung iiwasan ko.”

He added, “For example, na-realize ko na ang hirap palang kantahin ang mga kanta ni Ed Sheeran.

“Kapag kinakanta ko siya, ang hirap pala.

“Kasi, the way na kinukuha niya ang boses niya, ang hirap pala. Hindi ko naman ma-explain sa ibang tao.

“For example, bagay pala sa akin ang mga kanta ni Shawn [Mendes] kasi malalim ang boses niya.

“At the same time, medyo mataas na buo, which is noong si Charice pa ako, ganun yung mga kinakanta ko—buo at may pagkanipis.”

Lately, he said, he has been singing a lot of Erik Santos's song.

“Na-realize ko na bagay sa boses ko yung mga kanta ni Erik,” said Jake with enthusiasm.

“Kapag kinakanta ko sa videoke, kumbaga para sa akin, yun ang birit ko talaga.

“Grabe, ang hirap kantahin nung mga kanta ni Kuya Erik at saka Michael Bolton.

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“Ngayon, kapag kinakanta ko, naa-appreciate ko na ang mga hirap nila.

“As in grabe, ang tataas ng boses nila.”

He also mentioned, “Kinanta ko nga rin yung mga kanta ni Tito Gary [Valenciano], sabi ko, 'Ang taas!'

“Kinanta ko ang mga kanta ni Tito Martin [Nievera], sabi ko, 'Grabe!'

“This time, kapag kinakanta ko sila, nae-excite ako.

“Hindi ko pa nata-try si Jed Madela!”

Is he experimenting only with songs performed by a male singers?

Jake disclosed that he still tries to perform songs by female singers.

However, he pointed out, “Kapag babae, halimbawa Ariana Grande, bababaan ko 'tapos gagawan ko ng arrangement para puwede kong makanta.

“Hindi ko naman nire-restrict ang sarili ko na panglalaki lang.”

NO REGRETS. An entertainment editor pointed out to Jake that his voice would become lower as he continues to take testosterone shots.

Jake agreed and said that he's not worried, “Parang kung bumibirit ako as Charice before, bababa siya pero yung idea na birit noon, hindi mawawala yun.

“For example, si Kuya Erik ay bumibirit, definitely nandoon din ang range ko, naaabot ko siya.

“At the same time, yun nga may pinipilian kaya ako nage-experiment.”

Jake does not regret his decision to take male hormones even though it would affect his voice.

He explained, “Parang sa akin, hindi naman dahil sa ayaw ko na bumirit, dahil obviously kahit lumalim na ang boses ko, I still like singing ballad songs.

“Ibang artists nga lang, but I still sing it.

“Hindi ko naman ginawa 'to because I want to leave that area.

“For example, hindi ko siya ginawa para lang hindi na bumirit. This is not about that.

“Siyempre, iisipin nila kaya ko ginawa dahil ayaw ko na.

“We're talking about being who you are, na talagang nakakaapekto na sa sarili mo, emotionally and physically.”

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He continued, “In fact, for example, kung hindi ako transgender, feminine lang na lesbian, malamang bumibirit pa rin ako as a girl.

“Hindi naman yun sa dahil ayaw mong bumirit, e. It's about telling the people na malaman nilang hindi ako yun.

“Iba yung feeling kapag ikaw na talaga, sarili mo na talaga. Kasi before, sobrang hindi ko na gusto yung nakikita ko, naririnig ko.”

He feels more satisfied now when he sings because, “Masarap na alam mo sa sarili mo na ikaw 'yan, alam mo sa sarili mo na wala kang tinatago.”

Jake Zyrus will perform as a trans man for the first time in his upcoming concert to be held on October 6 at the Music Museum.

“Kaya ko ginagawa yung concert.... yung setlist, halimbawa, may ballad songs, may OPM, may mga hugot akong kanta kasi gusto kong ipa-feel sa kanila na this is not about that, e.

“This is not about the boy caught in the birit or anything,” he said.

He also stressed, “Nae-enjoy ko sila kasi I feel good about myself. I don't mind singing it every night kasi mahal ko, gusto ko siya, naa-appreciate ko siya kasi alam kong ako yun."



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