She’s now going on world tours and producing hit music, but at one point, Morissette Amon thought her singing career was over.
“I learned I had nodules [in my vocal cords] when I abused my voice when I did my very first theatre production... There was a fear for me and my family that I won’t be able to sing,” said Amon, who lands in Dubai this week for her first solo concert in the emirate on August 17.
The star told Gulf News tabloid! the experience taught her a lot, and that she managed to “get back on track” with the help of mentors and vocal coaches.
“I thought then that I was young, I was invincible, I can sing everything. But it was because of that I learnt to take better care of my voice,” she said.
The Filipino star is now dubbed Asia’s Phoenix because of her high-flying singing style called “whistling”, the same high-pitched singing style popularised by pop star Mariah Carey.
I always get stage fright, whether it is a big crowd or a small one. The experience is always different as you are performing for different types of people ...”
- MORISSETTE AMON | Singer
It was in the 2013 singing competition The Voice of the Philippines where Amon rose to fame. She became a recording artist the next year; a big leap since her days in her home province of Cebu, Philippines, where she had competed in singing competitions since she was a child.
She returned to Cebu twice this year: for a homecoming concert and as a guest performer for the opening of the country’s first resort airport where she shared the stage with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I wasn’t able to really share a duet with him but I was able to sing in front of Mr Duterte, on the same stage. Of course it was nerve wracking, but he was very, very nice,” she revealed.
What can UAE fans expect from her concert in Dubai? “I’m very excited. There’s also pressure but of course that’s good pressure. I want to give my best to the audience,” she said.
The star shares more in this exclusive interview with Gulf News tabloid! ahead of her gig at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Would you ever trade your career in music for acting?
A lot of people have asked me that. Of course I’m open to doing acting stints whether for movies or soap operas but I’m very, very different when I’m on stage just to share my heart out with music and with my voice. I’ll always be singing. I think I wouldn’t ever trade that.
Do you feel stage fright when performing in front of a large crowd?
I always get stage fright either with a big crowd or a small crowd. The experience is always different and just to know you’re performing for different types of people... Of course when I’m up there I always have to look like nothing’s wrong.
Do you have a ritual to prepare yourself for concerts or public performances?
My ritual would be, of course, I try to drink a lot of water. And this next one is the difference between me and other artists... for me I like to drink coffee before I perform. It’s like my fuel. So I [have] coffee, vocalise and just warm up.
What’s your all-time favourite song?
I think it’s probably one of the hardest questions you could ask a singer because there’s just so many good songs. I don’t know... but at the moment one of my jams, like in the bathroom or anywhere, I like just singing The Middle by Zedd. I like singing that song. It’s a very fun song. A good jam.
How do you keep yourself in shape?
Every time I’m not doing shows I try to work out and I get enough rest. Rest and workout.
Has anyone ever made you an unforgettable romantic proposal?
Hmmm... [chuckles] I’ve had my share but I’m not sure I want to share those experiences. But not really to the point of a proposal. We call it ‘kilig’ moments [exhilaration caused by an exciting or romantic experience].
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I stretch. I do a lot of stretching.
What keeps you up at night?
Work... I’m very hands on with the things I do and it always keeps me up.
What’s the last place you visited for leisure?
Hawaii. We were able to do a show there and I got to extend an extra day just to be able to go around, and my best friend also stays there so she was able to show me more of the island.
Who is your favourite singer?
[Off the] top of my head, Regine Velasquez.
What are your treasures?
I have two dogs that are based here in Manila and are with me. I have a Chow Chow named Zeus and another [dog breed] named Apollo. Very Greek mythology inspired.
How much do you feel you have contributed to the advancement of Original Pilipino Music [OPM]?
I try of course with the original music that I have. Here on the Wish 107.5 bus I do a lot of covers. It was through Secret Love Song that really stepped it up for me. But every time I get to share my original music here and on any other platform, it’s always an honour because I believe that a singer should have their own music; should always be proud of that. And I hope that the Filipino people and our friends will continue to support us and me as well.
Don’t miss it
■ What: Morissette is Made
■ When: August 17, 7.30pm
■ Where: Dubai World Trade Centre, Zabeel Hall 2
■ Tickets: From Dh75 available online