Nag-umpisa ang showbiz career ng Kapuso singer-actor na si James Wright nang sumali siya sa Anak Ko Yan noong 2013.
Hindi man siya ang nanalo ay kabilang naman siya sa top five ng reality-talent search ng GMA Network hosted by Jennylyn Mercado.
Kuwento niya, “My mom was the one who entered me into this competition, parang she tricked me into doing it.
“She told me, ‘Anak, you just sing a song, what’s your favorite song?’
“Sabi ko, 'Home' ni Michael Buble.
"Sabi niya, ‘You sing that, kunwari home video lang.’
“E, yun pala, she sent it over to Tito Vehnee, he sent it to GMA.
"And GMA said to me, ‘Please come over, we want you to be in the show!’
“So, nung sinabi ng mommy ko, ‘James, you’re going to the Philippines.'
"Sabi ko, ‘Why, Mommy?’
“And she said, ‘I auditioned you for this show and you got in!’
“Speechless lang ako! So I said, ‘Why?’
“'Tapos sabi niya, ‘You just needed a chance.’
“And it just so happened that I had the chance so I took it.
“So dahil sa mommy ko why I’m here today.”
Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si James nang mag-guest at kumanta ito sa grand coronation night ng Lakan at Mutya ng Laguna 2015, sa Pagsanjan City, noong Sabado, March 21.
CLUELESS. Dati raw singer sa isang choir ang mommy ni James at kasamahan nito sa naturang choir si Vehnee Saturno. Matagal na raw magkaibigan ang mga ito.
Wala rin daw anumang alam si James tungkol sa showbiz dito sa Pilipinas.
“I was really clueless about showbiz.”
Nagdesisyon si James na ituloy ang kanyang showbiz career dito sa Pilipinas dahil passion niya ang pagkanta.
Nagsimula na siyang manood ng mga teleserye kaya natuto siya ng wikang Pilipino.
“I just I love doing what I do, I love singing.
“It’s hard to describe in words the feeling when you’re on the stage and you look at those people’s faces.
"And they’re waiting for you to sing and then when you sing, they start clapping and they sing along with you, iba talaga yung feeling.
“It’s nothing money can buy and that’s why I love doing it.
"I get to meet people, the fans, I get to sing, to travel, to taste amazing food and at the same time I’m getting paid.
“So, who am I to complain, 'di ba?
“They say find a job that you love doing so much that it becomes a hobby.
"And I’ve already found that kaya naniniwala ako na sobrang blessed ako.
“Kasi ako naman, ako yung tipo ng tao na pag may chance talaga, tanggapin mo kasi sayang naman, 'di ba?
“Malay mo that’s the only chance in your whole life that you’re ever gonna get, 'tapos sinayang mo lang.
“Kaya sabi ko, sa lahat ng oportunidad na bigay ng Diyos, tatanggapin ko,” sinabi pa ng 19-year-old singer.
POSITIVE. Ikinalungkot daw ni James na hindi siya ang nanalo sa talent search ng GMA, pero positive thinking daw ang pinairal niya.
“Si David Archuleta, he didn’t win but he made it big, Adam Lambert, same situation,” banggit niya tungkol sa mga American Idol runners-up.
“And my mom was next me and she said to me, ‘Anak, good job!’
“And parang to be able to have your mom, hindi on-cam ito, ha, this was already off-cam.
"So, parang I’ve already accomplished something na she was so happy.
"She was so proud that I entered this competition, I made it to the top five without her and I proved to her na kaya kong mag-isa.
“And so, since then, I still live alone...
"I live with my tito and tita and siyempre they’re not really that close to me compared to a mother and father and sister.
“So, iba yung connection namin ng mommy ko, me and my mom.
“Kasi it’s only by Skype, only by Viber, only by Facebook and then sa mga holiday-holiday lang, that’s when she will come to the Philippines."
EMOTIONAL. Pagpapatuloy pang kuwento ni James noong mga sandaling hindi siya nanalo, “Sadly I didn’t win, pero ang magandang kuwento diyan, there was this one part of the show, which was the final five.
"We were on the stage and we were singing 'Wind Beneath My Wings.'
“And it was to our parents. So, sobrang emotional ako nun, na parang intimate moment na you and your mom.
"And you were singing this really heartfelt song to your mom and it was so hard not to cry on camera.
“I almost did, pero sabi ko, gusto kong maging strong para sa mga supporters ko.
"Kasi buong show, wala yung mommy ko, she had to work in Hong Kong.
"What happened, I was left in the competition and ako lang yung mag-isa na contestant.
"Yung mga ibang contestants, mga bata, and may mga same age ko, may magulang sila. May mommy sila.
"So, ako lang mag-isa sa competition.
“So, parang the fans of the show saw this independent young guy and that’s why people were like, inspired.
"They said, ‘You gave me the strength to be more independent.’ Parang inspiration.
“Pero nung time na yun, parang hindi ako naniniwala sa sinasabi nila.
"Kasi nung time na yun, parang hindi ko pa mapaniwalaan na may showbiz talaga.
"Na parang merong this celebrity effect on people, that people would get inspired.
“Pero when you see the look on those people’s faces, and when they sing along to your songs and they know every single word, sobrang nakaka-touch talaga.
“To think I came from such a different background in Hong Kong, from moving in so many places, from having to adapt to so many different lifestyles.
"'Tapos yung lahat ng effort ko, which would be 'Kung Hindi Ikaw' kasi, that was the song I feel that really gave me a name in GMA.
“Because of the master craftsmanship of Vehnee Saturno who is the composer of all the songs of my album.
"It was such huge blessing from God na I have Annabelle Regalado-Borja.
"I have the amazing GMA with me, so parang I’m in such good hands.
"And I am so thankful and just really blessed to be where I am right now.
“Kaya every opportunity I get I take it and bahala na. Let’s see where it takes me."
ABSENT DAD. Australian ang ama ni James at Pilipina ang kanyang ina, at ang buong pamilya niya ay naka-base dati sa Hong Kong. Close din daw siya sa ama niya.
“Pero my dad’s a very... working man, e.
"He likes to keep focused, so he would Skype me from time to time.
"Pero he said, ‘I don’t really have an ear for music and I don’t have the voice for music, so bahala na ang mommy mo! I like to listen to it but music doesn’t like me to sing it.’
"So, sabi niya, 'If there’s any business matters that you need help with, ayun, I'm here for you. Pero in terms of music, just let me listen huwag na lang anything else.’
“So, yung mommy ko talaga...
"The reason why I keep mentioning my mom is 'cause she’s the one who has a musical background.”
Masaya si James na kahit hindi siya ang nanalo sa Anak Ko Yan ay aktibo siya sa showbiz hanggang ngayon, na siya ang sikat.
“I don’t believe in the word fame, it’s just a status kasi."
Mas gusto raw ni James na tratuhin siyang kapatid o kaibigan ng mga tagahanga.
“Kasi tao lang ako, e. So just treat me like any other normal person.
“I’m really thankful that out of all the contestants, I was the most blessed. God has got a plan for everyone kasi, e.
“And maybe it just so happened that this is His plan for me.
“And for the other contestants, baka it’s not their calling, e.
"And that was parang God’s way of saying ‘I don’t think it’s bagay sa iyo.’
“And because I’m the one who made it here, maybe ibig sabihin, I was the one chosen for this path and yung iba, baka sa ibang direction.
“So, yes, I’m very thankful and very blessed.”
PLANS FOR JAMES. Marami raw plano para kay James ang GMA Artist Center.
“It’s a new James Wright talaga.
"Kasi dati, I was a balladeer-crooner, and now I’m being called a pop heartthrob.
“We thought to ourselves, ‘Yes, James Wright can do crooning, he can do Frank Sinatra, he can do Michael Buble, but can he do Ed Sheeran, One Direction or Justin Bieber?’
“And iyon yung maganda diyan.
"Kasi dati I was a balladeer and so, yung technique ko sa singing is very solid na, it’s very hard and grounded.
“So, when I sing these other songs, people are like, ‘Yes, that’s an Ed Sheeran song but I know that’s James Wright is singing it.'”
Ang pagkanta ang first love ni James pero bukas siya sa oportunidad na maging artista in a regular drama series o pelikula.
Kung may offer nga sa kanya na isang gay role, na 'tulad ng ginawa nina Dennis Trillo at Tom Rodriguez sa My Husband’s Lover, ay papayag siya.
“Dahil challenging iyon!” bulalas niya.
Alam din daw ni James na malaki ang nagawa ng MHL sa kasikatan ngayon ni Tom bilang aktor.
“It’s just waiting for the right, perfect moment. I believe it’s just timing and God’s will.”
Kung tatanungin naman siya kung sino ang nais niyang maging leading lady in a project, kung sino raw ang ibigay sa kanya ng GMA ay papayag siya.
Pero nagagandahan daw siya kay Louise delos Reyes.
“She’s beautiful in a very unique way.”
Idolo naman niya si Michael Buble sa pagkanta at si Johnny Depp naman sa pagiging aktor.
Nakaarte na rin si James sa harap ng kamera bilang artista, sa Strawberry Lane at sa My Destiny.
Siya rin ang umawit ng theme song ng My Destiny, ang "Kung Hindi Ikaw" at ng theme song na "Sana’y Ikaw" sa soap opera ni Marian Rivera dati na Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw.
Kasama ang mga kantang ito sa self-titled album ni James na ni-release last year. Ang iba pang mga kanta sa album ay ang "Ikaw ‘Yon," "Ako’y Sa ‘Yo" at "Babe."