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Gulf News live with Morissette

Filipino star talks exclusively to Gulf News #Pinoy about life, OFWs, performing with Duterte, her biggest fears and more

Filipino star Morissette Amon talks exclusively to Gulf News #Pinoy in a digital interview. Watch how the live interview unfolded

Ahead of her gig in Dubai on August 17, Morissette let her hair down to answer Gulf News #Pinoy's and fans' random questions from her dreams to her thoughts about Filipinos in the UAE.

"Asia's Phoenix" and the Mariah Carey of Asia also gave a sample of her unique vocal pitch that helped her win over fans in the Philippines and around the world.

Here are snippets from our exclusive Q&A

If you were an OFW, were would you live and work?

In my career now I've been given all these opportunities to travel and sing for so many OFWs around the world. It's kind of hard [to say]. If I were an OFW where would I put myself? Just hearing different stories of different people they all do different things so I'm not sure where I'd be and where I'd be able to survive because it's no joke what they're going through. But we're really - hands down - we really want to give so much love and respect to all our kababayans, all OFWs who give their all for their families. Mabuhay!

If you were an OFW, what would you put in your balikbayan box and who would you send it to?

Given that I'm the only one in that country and my family is here [in the Philippines] I'd be sending that to my family and friends. What would I put in my balikbayan box? Probably the things that I usually use in that specific country. Like, delicacies. And pictures of course. 

And what food would you miss if you're away from home?

Hmm.. Maybe adobo. Yeah.

When you perform in Cebu later this month it's going to be a homecoming for you. You have performed there before at the opening of the new airport. Were you nervous when you shared the stage with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte?

Actually 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. But I'm very, very proud that he called the new Cebu International Airport one of the best, if not the best airport in the Philippines. That's something I'm very proud of.

The last time you performed here in Dubai was in a much smaller stage.

The last concert I did in Dubai was with fellow artists in the Philippines. Right now this will be a solo concert headlined by me. I'm very excited. There's also pressure but of course that's good pressure. I want to give my best to the audience.

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?

Actually always. 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. Just enjoy. 

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 take 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.

When you were diagnosed with vocal cord nodules did you ever fear not being able to sing again?

Actually yes. I learned I had nodules when  I abused my voice when I did my very first theatre production. I thought then that I was young, I was invinsible, I can sing everything. But it was because of that I learend to take better care of my voice. There was a fear for me and my family that I won't be able to sing songs and hit the same range but it was all good with the help of my mentors and the help of my vocal coaches. We were able to get back on track.

How do you keep yourself in shape?

Everytime I'm not doing shows I ty 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.

First thing you do in the morning.

I stretch. I do a lot of stretching.

What keeps you up at night?

Work. Actually work. I'm very hands on with the things I do and it always keeps me up.

Favourite guilty food

Guilty food? Fried chicken.

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.

Favourite singer

[At the] top of my head, Regine Velasquez.

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 everytime I get to share my original music here and in 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 Filpino 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 on platinumlist.ae

 

With inputs from Ed Clowes, Irish Eden Belleza, Jobannie Tabada, Christian Borbon and Florence Pia Yu

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