Celebs, just like normal people, grow and evolve in their respective career paths. But if there’s anyone who has reinvented himself while still remaining ineffably cool and creative, it has to be James Reid, a matinee idol-turned recording artist and President of his very own music label Careless.
Fresh from the trade launch and contract signing of their new artists Liza Soberano and Issa Pressman, we caught up with the former Cosmo Bachelor to talk about his journey towards taking that major swing and leaving his successful acting career behind.
“I wasn’t confident at all,” he tells me, as I asked him about what gave him the courage to make the big move. “It’s not that I'm confident that I could make it on my own cause I really wasn’t. I was terrified of managing myself.”
ICYDK, James’ last acting project was ‘Till I Met You in 2017, where he starred opposite his ex-beau Nadine Lustre. It was 2019 when he decided to leave Viva, the management agency that catapulted their loveteam, popularly known as JaDine, into household names. “I just knew in my heart that it wasn’t feeding my soul and it didn’t make me happy. So I’d rather pursue what made me happy.”
Sounding unguarded, he confesses, “It was eating me up on the inside. I know I could be doing more. I know I could be doing things. I just wanna focus on what makes me happy, what makes me scared, what makes me nervous, what challenges me.”
His music has definitely evolved from his early days as a pop artist to the present where he’s constantly experimenting with different genres. “It’s changed a lot over the past years,” he says of his style. “I’ve had a lot of different influences since I started Palm Dreams, very Hip-hop, R&B, Trap song-kind of influence. And uh, as I moved on to the past couple of years pre-pandemic, I was exploring more soul with a lot of funk. Going into the previous year, I’ve been pulling everything together, hoping to land on a sound that shows who I am.”
Counting Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, and Daft Punk as his biggest musical influences, he's slowly coming to terms with his own musical identity. “I made a lot of music that I like to hear versus music that I sound good doing and I noticed that there’s a difference between those two. Ideally, what I’m gonna create is something I sound good doing, but using the sounds that I personally love.”
The 29-year-old multi-hyphenate, clad in a funky jungle print blazer worn with a velvet polo underneath, shows no signs of fatigue, excitedly talking about their big projects in store—including an upcoming world tour. “I just think that there is a place for Asians like us that are becoming citizens of the world. The internet has made the world a smaller space. The goal is to bring together Filipino talents from around the world and represent them on a global stage.”
And as for his acting career, he’s keeping it on hold for now, focusing on where his current opportunities lie. “I don't know. I am waiting for the right projects to come along. I do plan on getting back to making TV shows and movies again. I just don’t feel like now is the right time. I'll know when it is. Right now, I’m really focused on music.”
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.