‘Asian Dream’ judge Morissette gushes over Pinoy bet Karl Zarate: ‘Grabe ang vocal range niya!’

Morissette and Karl Zarate

Amid pandemic, Morissette remains a force to reckon with not only in the Philippine music scene but internationally too.

The Filipina singer is on “Asian Dream,” a reality-singing competition hosted by multi-Grammy winner Michael Bolton and where she sits as one of the judges. They worked together on “Bolt Of Talent” three years ago, which gave the crown to Filipino bet Lance Busa.

Since joining show business at age 14, Morissette has won at least 30 awards, including Artist of the Year and Pop Song of the Year. On “Asian Dream,” she guides the contestants to become well-rounded, versatile and captivating performers.

In an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment, Morissette talked about the show, her music, her musings on the current entertainment landscape, and then some.

How did you prepare for your role as judge on the show?

“I think it’s just going back to how I started as a kontesera. It’s going back to remembering that feeling (na habang nasa stage ka). As mentor sa ‘Asian Dream,’ parang gusto ko lang din ma-feel ng mga contestants na they are able to relate to me.”

What can you tell us about the six contestants? How and where did the search begin?

“The show is produced by a car company and they are very supportive of talent. We have representative from the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Hongkong. Iba-iba talaga silang anim, they are very diverse even in personality and syempre in culture.”

How did finding talents change compared to, say, five years ago?

“Just right now, there are different platforms na available for everyone. Like what Adam Lambert said na dati the only way para mapansin ka is getting on a TV show or pure luck

“Now, the availability of the internet is working as advantage to talents. Everyone can access it; everyone can just upload their videos, shot in the comfort of their homes. Hindi na lang exposure sa TV, in fact, I know some singers na hindi ko naman nakikita on TV but they have really huge following because of the internet.”

What are the chances of a Filipino contestant winning on ‘Asian Dream?’

“Karl Zarate is our representative on the show. I’d never met him in the Philippines, we only met in Singapore. Grabe ang vocal range niya. Very raw, very warm. I’m very very proud of him for just stepping out of his comfort zone.”

What makes the Pinoy singer unique? 

“Filipinos are really known for their musicality. In fact, Filipinos are known to make a mark not just in music, but also in other aspects. Literal na iba talaga ang Pinoy. We’re very unique like we were made to standout kasi we’re very hardworking din naman talaga.”

Is range still a factor in winning a competition?

“We all witnessed how music evolves but I guess, it’s an advantage if you still have that range. Nevertheless, one of the keys din siguro is to work towards your strength and how to use that strength in delivering your performances.” 

What do you admire the most about Michael Bolton as a singer, songwriter, host and person?

“Nu’ng first time na na-meet ko siya, totoong intimidating siya. Hindi siya magsasalita unless necessary. He’s very straightforward. But he’s open to sharing advice. He’s a big artist but still very down to earth and that should be an example to everybody.”

What is your favorite Michael Bolton song?

“Go The Distance.”

What qualities do you look for in a singer?

“Confidence talaga. I understand na at first nahihiya sila, there are people na iba ang personality on stage and off stage. Pag kausap mo sobrang chill, pag nagperform alam naman niya ang ginagawa niya. Sabi nga nila, always perform like it’s your last. Always give your heart out.”

Do you have rituals before performing?

“Wala po eh. Rest lang po talaga ang ginagawa ko.”

What advice would you give to singers who are getting discouraged to pursue a career in music in this pandemic?

“Sa totoo lang po, mas may advantage ang artists ngayon. There are so many ways para maibigay mo sa mga tao ‘yung music mo. It’s just a matter of finding the audience. It opens other possibilities na hindi pa na gagawa like ‘yung pag-a-upload ng mga music and all through YouTube and other platforms. I suggest let’s make the most out of the internet and I think it’s more encouraging time for artists.”

If you’re going to do “Asian Dream” all over again, what tip would you advise to increase the chances of winning of the contestants?

“Give your best in all performances.”

The world has changed. What do you think is the true essence of a star these times?

“The true essence of a star is keeping yourself authentic.

“OPM alone is evolving from the standard birit songs to what OPM is today. But I will not market myself kung ano ‘yung mga uso ngayon kasi hindi po ako yan eh. Authenticity is very important. Kung ano ‘yung strength mo, ‘yung ‘yung pagbutihan but of course, ‘wag ka din mag-explore on how you could improve yourself.”

Did you discover other ways of improving your singing when you were interacting with the other contestants on the show?

“It’s more on the technical stuff like how they sing, how they place their voices.”

If you were varying for a slot on this search what song would you pick and why?

“Ang daming kanta na pwedeng kantahin pero maybe, Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top.’”

What did you discover about yourself when you started judging/mentoring?

“In judging, I tried to balance between being straightforward and nice pa rin. I’m more the encouraging one. Na-discover ko din sa sarili ko na very OC internally.”

Message to your Asian fans?

“I’m just really grateful na they recognize me. I am grateful for their openness. I’m very thankful for them being so supportive. I look forward to sing live in front of them when it’s okay to do so.”

To your Filipino fans?

“Ever since I started in 2010, nakita ko na yung support ng mga tao. I’m really grateful na mayroon pa akong fans club. I always say na without them, I will not be able to go this far. So to my Mowienatics, thank you for your unending support in everything I do. Sobrang salamat at mahal ko kayo.”

What other things fans should look forward to from you?

“It’s my 10th year in the business. We’re preparing something but I cannot go on to details kasi talaga nasa process pa lang kami in planning.”

(“Asian Dream” follows six aspiring artists from around Asia in their quest to become the region’s next music star. It will have a world Premiere on AXN,  Aug. 6 at 7:25 p.m. It is a partnership with Subaru Asia. The winner will be part of Michael’s Asian Dream tour and will be named Subaru ambassador.)