By Oliver Carnay
Revisiting the Dance Diva - Jocelyn Enriquez
An exclusive Conversation with Oliver Carnay
From chartering her Billboard signature songs
"Do You Miss Me", "A Little Bit of Ecstasy", "Get Into The Rhythm", through
the Thunderpuss classic "When I Get Close To You" (which also nabbed No.
1 Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart for eight consecutive weeks after it hit
the airwaves in May 2000), and singing for the soundtrack "If You Could Read
My Mind", and also appearing in the movie "Studio 54", she re-emerged singing
another soundtrack "So Fabulous, So Fierce, Freak Out! Le Freak" from the
Disney movie "101 Dalmatians", Jocelyn Enriquez, the Filipina dance diva
who has catapulted into fame more than anybody else in the global recording
industry, is one artist who has remained humble, down to earth, strong and
Jocelyn is busy as ever
Currently, newly released "Fired Up"- The
Best of 90's club scene album (available on Virgin Megastores and
www.musicspace.com) as seen on MTV,
is hitting high marks, in which her tracks "Do You Miss Me" and her other
hits are included in the album, the Filipina Dance Diva is very visible again
since the release of her new hit single "All My Life" under JEM Records (her
own label company, which stands for Jocelyn Enriquez - Macasadia). The Filipina
Dance Diva has been making non-stop appearances all over the country.
Since her first single "All My Life" was released,
it has climbed to the Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Chart, and never ceases
to be on the top 20 top spot. Jocelyn has never been busier since the release
of the single in February 2003. She has been making rounds around major top
club spots, signing autographs and performing live on the road, in big crowds
in several major events. The last one was where she headlined the yearly
multi-cultural 2004 Hollywood Lunar Parade and Festival (February 4, 2004),
where she sang six songs, including a highly-charged dose of two of her new
energetic dance singles "Why" and "No Way, No How", complete with choreographed
infectious dance moves, which she is also known for.
One good reason for revisiting Jocelyn Enriquez
(after years of
my constant interviews with her since she soared high in the dance club scene,
as well as in the Filipino communities in U.S.) is telling the latest
developments on her career --- talking about her new album, her constant
love for God and family, a possibility of making a gospel album, and her
new role as a businesswoman and being the role model for the kids she teaches
"For a while I questioned myself if I still
want to be in the music industry. I realized, after being gone for so long,
that music will be a part of my life forever," said Jocelyn Enriquez, the
only Filipina singer who had hit the Number One Billboard Dance chart on
"Even my son, Matthew (who is now four and
a half years old), I think, loves the fact that I'm being on stage. I couldn't
separate myself from it. And that's why, there is no way - - - no matter
what - - - and how, I will leave the music business. Everything in my life
leads to music. I think I will be in this industry forever".
Jocelyn in full control
Hence the title "No Way, No How", the carrier
single of her new album "All My Life", is an expression and assurance that
Jocelyn Enriquez will never leave her fans, her time with her family and
most of all, praising The Lord. "This album is really spiritually driven.
At one point in someone's life they have to realize that there is an Upper
Person in life. God has blessed me with talented producers and great songwriters
that are easy to work with. The opportunity came, and I couldn't say no.
I've worked with major labels before as well as independent label companies,
and this time, I want to continue what I've learned in the business. I have
great connections with Nix Plateau, which is helping me promoting in radio.
I have full control of my career. If something goes wrong, I don't have to
point fingers. It is fully my responsibility," she mused.
Jocelyn started recording the new album in
August 2002 and in February 2003, it was ready for release. From the tradition
of her mega-hits, fast tracks "All My Life", "No Way, No How" and "Why",
has the makings of repeating the feat of such hits "Do You Miss Me" and "A
Little Bit of Ecstasy". Together with upbeat tempos "It's No Wonder", "Take
My Hand", "Your Touch", "Make Me An Angel", "Walking In The Rain", and the
heart-warming ballads "Miracles" and "You Alone", the album is an indication
of another hit. Also included in the album are bonus tracks "No Way, No How"
(JJ Flores Mix) and "Faith Home and Prayer".
Life is easier working with talented
In choosing the titles, Jocelyn knows what
kind of song and feel of the music she wants. "I like to do positive music
for my fans. For me, I have to believe and feel the songs lyrically and
musically, they go hand in hand. The album took two years in the making and
I've been very blessed to work with the talented Al B. Rich, a well-known
producer in New York. A lot of great talents and companies are helping me
like Epicenter from Modesto, Joe Granberg from Florida and San Francisco.
I want to put out something positive, especially after the 9/11 tragedy."
Jocelyn stated that she is also open to submissions for her next album after
"All My Life" - "anything is possible as long as it has a positive message
and caters to my taste."
Learning the ropes of life
In contrast to the R&B and Hip Hop which
is the current trend in the music industry, Jocelyn is pretty stable and
confident in her music. "It's hard to release dance music because 'the biggest
thing' right now is hip hop and R&B. A lot of record labels are not biting
dance music. It's hard to license dance music internationally, but we still
have them around (Kylie Minogue, etc.). There will always have something
for the dance club scene."
"Some people may think that the music industry
is glamorous, but it's not. I was always on the road. It's hard work, Oliver!
You see your family half the time. Some singers are always on the road. The
true lesson that lies in being in the music industry is, this is only a job.
I'm still nervous that all this can always be taken away by God any moment.
I'm not here to be a Diva, and not to be catered to. I'm here as a performer
for the people, serving for the community, the fans and the listeners. Because
without them, if they did not enjoy what I'm giving them I wouldn't be here.
In the sense I'm actually serving people with the help of the talent that
God has given me. That's why it's important for me to take a break because
I want to make sure that God is always with me and I also could spend time
and see my son who is growing up. That's one of the reasons I decided to
take a break. And this is important for me and my husband when I start hitting
the road again, to balance everything
my love for my family, my music,
my fans, and my relationship with God," Jocelyn explained.
Renewing their vows
Both heavily involved with their church, Jocelyn
and her husband Alain just renewed their vows last January 18, 2004, after
being married in a civil rite on January 18, 1999. With 350 guests and a
simple ceremony, the moment was so memorable with selected friends and relatives.
"We wanted to make sure we were going to do it on our fifth year, or not
at all. This was actually a long planned ceremony. Alain was the one who
was really crying all the time, it's so funny!" teasing her husband Alain
while he looks from afar.
Alain got out of the radio business and started
teaching children where Matthew goes to school.
"Matthew has been going to this gym since he was eleven months and the owner
was impressed with the enthusiasm and development of Matthew since he started
there, and he asked me to be the Director and run another gym. I felt that
it was God's calling for us. We minister three Bible verses every week which
we do for the church. And so, when Jocelyn is on the road, I'll play the
mother and father. It works well because Jocelyn usually works on the weekend,
and when she's free she spends time with us, she also helps me out," Alain
Relationship with God and family
"I teach voice lessons at our church, The
Calvary Chapel of San Diego, which is close to our house, in Chula Vista,"
Jocelyn continued. "I want to give back the graces God has given me, by not
only teaching voice lessons to the kids but, giving the fundamental facts
---that it is not only singing but also worshipping The Lord. My husband
Alain and I really love working with kids. When we see potential in kids,
we make sure they are encouraged positively. We try to be a positive role
model to our son, Matthew, who is now 4 and 1/2 years old."
Son Matthew has an inclination
Talking about Matthew, Jocelyn's son has an
inclination of a good singer. "It's scary because even when he was still
a baby, I would sing notes to him and see if he would copy it --- and amazingly
he could, and he's not out of tune! He may babble his words but he could
send the notes. We don't want to limit him. If he wants to be a singer someday
or whatever he wants to do in life when he grows up it will be up to him.
Like I've said, the music industry has all its ups and downs. If he is in
for the ride, by all means, we will support him if he could take the challenge,
but we will make sure it is for the right moves. What I've learned from my
parents, and what they have instilled in me is --- as long as I believe in
it and am willing to struggle on it, I should go for it. If my parents are
able to support me like they did, I am willing to support him all the way,
too! I'll be a stage mom but it's okay (laughs!)! "
Reconnecting with her roots
In August 2003, her first single "All My Life"
was released in the Philippines under Universal Records. "It's funny because,
my aunt who lives in the Philippines heard the song on the radio. She called
long distance to ask me if that was me on the radio. They are singing and
dancing it on television, too."
In the Philippines, it is really a big step
for Universal to release Jocelyn's album but Jocelyn has a big following
in the Philippines, that's why she is embarking on a concert tour in Manila
after finishing a couple of performances in the east coast and some parts
of United States.
"I love going back home! The last time I performed
in Manila was in December 2002, at the Makati Coliseum. It's so very, very
special to me to perform with our fellow "kababayans". I'm just very grateful
they enjoy my music that much."
Asked if she is willing to do acting on television
sitcoms in the Philippines and in movies, she quickly noted, "Syempre, gusto
ko 'yan! Why not! Although my "Tagalog" is not that fluent, I'm fluent in
Pangasinan, but I could understand "Tagalog"! she quipped.
A positive message and a possibility of
making a Christian album
"I believe that God has put me into this line
of work for a good reason, and I'm here to serve Him. If I have all the
opportunity to serve God and the people through my songs, I'll do it. It
is very possible that I'll do Christian songs. There is so much negativity
in the world and we need all the positive reinforcement in this world. Everything
here is just temporary, and if I could share all my blessings by making positive
music, I'm definitely in for it."
Browse and listen to Jocelyn Enriquez's latest
cuts in the new album at
check out updates for her upcoming tour (Note: On April 14th she will be
singing the National Anthem at the new PETCO PARK in San Diego, California
before the Padres/Dodgers Game) and other personal appearances through her
(All photos by Oliver Carnay except "Jocelyn
with Alain and Matthew", courtesy of Eric Sueyoshi of Audrey Magazine. More
pics from 2004 Lunar Parade at
First L.A. concert in 2004 - an Intimate
Night with Phenomenal Piolo Pascual
The Christmas madness is
over, but the insanity in L.A. is still around the corner. But was it just
because of Piolo Pascual, the phenomenal star (and the most popular among
The Hunks) that triggered the success of the concert held at the 300 capacity
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre last January 3, 2004, which created pandemonium
among concert goers, or the "midas touch" of Vic Perez of V Entertainment
Group which made it to a full house (considering the ticket was strictly
$75 and $65, no more- no less per person)?
Don't mind if L.A. Coucilman Eric Garcetti
did not pay attention to the technical aspects of the small gallery theatre
and instead threw unnecessary efforts in landscaping the so-called "newly
renovated" Gallery, as he was bragging about last October (one would almost
fall into the cliff if you slide a bit more when parking your car, and the
last time we watched 'Dekada '70' at the same theatre, it was as darker than
when I screened "Kristo: The Movie" seven years ago!). The seats were comfortably
new, but they should have paid attention more to the sound and lighting systems
which have irked the performers.
But professionals as they were, front acts
Marilyn Batino and singer/comedian Joseph Gelito, "Three of A Kind" (Gelo
Francisco and Edward Granadosin, minus Annie Nepomuceno, who is having an
extended rendezvous in Manila), with the energetic Rachel Alejandro, and
main star of the show, Piolo Pascual, ensued the venue's shortcomings.
Young and olds, gays and gals, flocked to
see Piolo Pascual and Friends' New Year Special, produced by Maicor Entertainment
(headed by very accommodating Myla Cortez). The intimate atmosphere and Piolo
Pascual's assurance --- "I won't leave after the show until each and everyone
gets an autograph!" was enough to tame the persistent crowd, all trying to
get a close-up look of the main star.
Rachel Alejandro, a good dancer herself, is one hell of a performer!
Give her any song and she'll interpret it with an awesome delightfulness.
I must admit that I wasn't a fan of her, until I saw and heard her rendition
of "What I Did for Love", years ago during GMA 7's Bahaghari Awards, which
I attended in Manila. Through the years, whether she sings ballad, pop, hip-hop,
or any fast song, Rachel has never been better, giving out her 100% best
performance every time I see her onstage, in any big or small venue. With
or without back-up dancers, she fills the stage with so much presence, bravura
Rachel Alejandro deserves a career in the mainstream. And this is why she's
currently focused on embarking a new career in the U.S., her new home-base.
Rachel, who is coming out with a new album soon in Manila (which includes
her signature songs "Kay Tagal", "Nakapagtataka", and "Paalam Na"), will
be recording her first mainstream album in New York.
Rachel introduced Piolo Pascual as the
"mysterious" star of the decade - last year's Best Supporting Actor Grandslam
Winner (for "Dekada '70), and the most successful actor and recording artist
among his contemporaries.
His presence was enough to cheer the crowd,
but one of the best highlights of the show, giving goose bumps and sobs from
the audience, was when Piolo called his mom, Amy, and serenaded her with
his mom's favorite song "Walang Hanggan" ("Dekada '70's theme song popularized
by Wency Cornejo). Of course, tears broke loose! Who could be more proud
and happier, "The most important person in my life is my mom and this song
is for her
I admit I'm a 'mama's boy' --- but I'm not a 'bading'" Piolo
Cheers went on when Piolo assured that there
will be a new television soap series and a new movie together with favorite
partner Judy Ann Santos after the showing of "Milan" (a movie with Claudine
Barretto, which will also have a star-studded Premiere in San Francisco this
Piolo also announced (for the first time)
that he is finally giving in to ABS-CBN Talent Center's insisting demand
of having a big concert in April 2004 (perhaps at the Araneta Coliseum).
He added that he is coming out with a new birthday CD album (his birthday
is January 12, and yes, he's a Capricorn!) when he returns to Manila (he
left Sunday January 4 from L.A.) which will be celebrated at ASAP.
A certified actor, singer,
recording star, matinee idol, commercial model and product endorser, Piolo
Pascual's successful career rose in a short span of time. Piolo Pascual takes
'em all, in any medium of entertainment. Judging from his busy schedules,
Piolo will continue to be one of the most important actor in the Philippines
and take greater heights in his singing career.
If the success of the first Filipino concert
of the year in L.A. is an indication of a more fruitful concert scene, then
it's a good head-start of more upcoming big events for the rest of the year.
Major concerts in line for the first quarter are (in random order): Aga Muhlach
with South Border plus Carol Banawa and Angela Velez on January 17; Vernie
Varga with David Pomeranz on Valentine's Day; Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid
on March 20; Vina Morales and Carlos Agassi on March 13; "Showdown" with
Rachel Alejandro and Geneva Cruz with 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons on February
21; Nora Aunor with Kuh Ledesma; Jessa Zaragoza and Dingdong Avanzado; and
Zsa Zsa Padilla with comedy King Dolphy, to name a few
(More pics by Oliver Carnay, from Piolo Pascual
and Friends concert at
E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)
OLIVER CARNAY regularly writes for BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend
Balita" and "Go4Women Magazine", available online at
PEOPLE'S JOURNAL (circulated in northern and southern part of California),
Philippine and other Asian Headline newspaper circulated in
Sacramento, San Francisco and its vicinities) also published in northern
and southern parts of California. In San Diego, he writes for FAME
Magazine and PHILIPPINES TODAY. In New York, he writes for PLANET
PHILIPPINES, with an online version at
He is a also contributor for BUZZINE Magazine
(www.buzzine.com), AUDREY Magazine
occasional correspondent for
www.siklab.com, PARA TODOS Magazine,
and other L.A. based publications. He is the Los Angeles correspondent of
Global Pinoy Entertainment Corporation (GPEC) which publishes S Magazine
(circulated in Manila, all over the United States and other parts of the
world) and PINOY GAZETTE (published in Hong Kong, Japan, and its
vicinities). He is an active member of the National Press Photography
Association (N.P.P.A.), Press Photography Association of Greater Los
www.ppagla.org for member listings),
and is under the directory list of the Motion Picture Association of
America (M.P.A.A.) covering movie Premieres and other Hollywood events.
More recent news and Photo Galleries of Hollywood and local Fil-Am events
recently covered can be seen at his new web site
Besides being busy maintaining his web site and writing for domestic and
international publications, Oliver Carnay manages Talents, is also a Publicist
and an event organizer. Email him at
email@example.com or at