A big voice in her own right, Jessica Sanchez will be back to perform with an edgier look and a sound that is entirely her own. Catch up with the powerhouse voice on 10 November in her self-entitled concert “Jessica Sanchez with special guest Martin Nievera” happening at The Theatre at Solaire.
Her story is one that begins when a shy 16-year old girl dominated the stage with a voice that can go head-to-head with some of history’s icons. It may seem like she was dealt a lucky card, but behind the curtains, it couldn’t be anywhere near the truth. “I was so young when American Idol happened,” she says. “I learned so much from the show, the people, and the experience afterwards. It prepared me for what was to come, the constant hustle and hard work.”
Born to immigrant parents who had established their lives in the United States and having made it to one of the world’s most watched singing competitions, many Filipinos said Jessica Sanchez was living the American dream.
Some argued, however, that she was too American to be celebrated by Filipinos, adding the fact that she had never set foot in the Philippines prior her AI stint. But it was this opportunity that helped her touch base with a part of her identity that she had yet to fully discover. “My first time being in the Philippines was for the Idol tour. I was so excited for my first trip to my mom’s homeland. It all happened so fast, but I remember it being full of amazing food, amazing people and amazing moments,” Jessica recalls.
The impact of the memories has not evaded her. In the years that followed, the Philippines saw Jessica perform on local television programs, radio shows and a concert for her freshman album.
Jessica shares, “I try to visit at least once a year. I’m half-Filipino so I’m always wanting to learn and experience more of the culture.”
She says that times have changed, and minds are more open, especially in the business of entertainment. Truly, Hollywood has seen an influx of Filipino heritage talents gracing its regal red carpets. Apl de Ap of the popular group Black Eyed Peas — someone who Jessica considers as a friend — has made a dent in the once highly exclusive music industry. “It’s been harder in the past for Asian Americans to make a name in the industry, but I feel that now, it isn’t impossible.”
Believing that Filipino talent knows no impossibilities, Solaire’s director for Entertainment Audie Gemora shares what’s special about this concert, “We were all witness to how Jessica rose above every challenge she had to face in the cutthroat Hollywood scene. Although she has found her footing in the United States, this concert will represent rediscovering her Filipino roots and bringing her beloved Filipino fans with her in that journey. The night’s performances will speak of every Filipino artist’s hustle that each must go through to make it in the music industry, and more importantly, the potential to become a global sensation.”
Now 23, Jessica has kept the momentum going, but at her own pace, “These past years have been filled with traveling internationally for events, concerts and recordings, but I’ve also taken some time to step back and find myself as an artist.”
Her upcoming concert will show her evolution and versatility as an artist with songs that are deemed as Filipino favorites such as “I Will Always Love You,” “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “I Have Nothing,” which are coincidentally, among her Idol performance repertoire. This night will also see a new Jessica that’s bolder and grittier as she sings R&B songs alike that speak of her edge and vibrancy.
It has been seven years since her almost-victory. Bittersweet as it may sound, Jessica still feels blessed. “I am able to live my life doing what I love. I was given a platform on Idol when I was 16 and have accomplished things I’ve dreamed of,” she says.
Even with the dominant Western look and feel brought by the land that cradled her, she continues to beat blood in her veins that epitomizes what the Filipino talent can reach and the kind of stage that it deserves.
For tickets to “Jessica Sanchez with Special Guest Martin Nievera” concert, call TicketWorld at 891-9999.