Why James Reid took a break from acting to focus on music


Posted at Jun 30 2021 03:01 PM

James Reid says he's living the 'dream life'


A post shared by James Reid (@james)

MANILA – James Reid admitted he decided to take a step back from acting and really be hands-on in handling his music label because he wanted to have creative control.

In a conversation with The Juans in their most recent vlog, Reid said he wanted to make the music he likes.

“It was purely because I wanted creative control. I didn’t know it was going to go this far. The first project I did was 'Palm Dreams.' It was my first time to write a whole album, completely original. We weren’t trying to make a number one album, a mainstream album. I was just making music that I like. And then it was funny because when I released it, a lot the tweets were saying, ‘You know I’m not a fan of James Reid but 'Palm Dreams' is lit,’” he shared.

Reid considered this as a good sign that he was doing the right thing and that there was a future in it.

“One thing led to another. I brought [Brett] Jackson, he came onboard as my very first artist. From there, it just grew out. It started out as just friends making music together. Once you share that vision, everything else starts coming together,” he said.

While he already reached a level of fame for doing one job after the other in the past, Reid said “it wasn’t as rewarding as I thought it would be.”

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“What I did crave was artistic expression. I didn’t want people to recognize me for my name or the fame. It was for the things that I did or that I created myself,” he said.

For Reid, it’s very important that he gets his creative juices flowing because “that’s what makes us feel alive.”

“I love acting. But sometimes after doing teleserye after teleserye, it gets repetitive and I felt like kind of robotic. I craved something that came from me, that I can really express. I was just following instructions. It wasn’t feeding my soul. It was difficult for me to step away from all of that because I was in a very good place. But I stepped away from doing that and I chose something more difficult, which is something that I still had to grow in [such as] making music and production, writing songs,” he explained.

When he started making his own music, Reid acknowledged that he wasn’t “the best.” Nonetheless, he stuck with the “more difficult path because it was feeding my soul, because I could express myself creatively.”

When asked if the transition from being a famous actor to someone starting to do his own thing was a difficult process for him, Reid answered both in the negative and affirmative.

“One of the things I had to do was learn how to use what I have like my fame, everything that I’ve done in the past. We have such a great fan base, the JaDine fans. But how to just transition that over into music… I wasn’t starting from scratch. I was lucky enough that I already had the foundations so it wasn’t too hard,” he said.

The hard part, Reid said, was the business aspect of it all.

“At the start, it was just me and my friends doing music. We do one show once a month and we think it’s great. But after a while and you look at the numbers, it’s like oh my God. We need to earn money. We can’t just be doing shows and spending money on this. The hard part was learning how to make it professional. That’s what we spend this year doing, growing up. It was really hard.”

Describing his every day routine nowadays, Reid said: “Since pandemic started, I’ve been waking up at 7 a.m. every day. I start to work at 8. We have a group meeting with the whole team. I finish work at about 8 p.m. That’s Monday to Saturday and then we chill out on Sunday.”

Since everything slowed down because of the pandemic, Reid said he’s been working harder than ever. All of this, however, seems to be paying off because as he describes it, he is living the “dream life right now.” 

Halfway into 2021, the singer and actor said he does not honestly know what’s next for him. 

“I’m focused on a lot of music. I have a new single out called ‘Crazy.’ It came out to Amazon Exclusive. It will be on Amazon exclusively for the next three months. And then I have another song coming out in June called ‘Hello.’ That one is really fun, it’s like funk pop sound. What’s next for me is really seeing these projects through and giving them the best possible run that they could have. Hopefully by the end of the year, I can work on an album.”