They’ve ‘got to believe in magic’: Best-selling artists Nina, Jay R and the legendary David Pomeranz perform together for the first time

Jay R, Nina and David Pomeranz speak to the Asian Journal ahead of their two Southern California shows at Pechanga Resort & Casino and the Palace Theatre in Downtown LA.
(AJPress photo by Ding Carreon)

“THEY have landed!” was the excited announcement of producers Myshelle and PJ from LAX.  on Wednesday, February 20. Arriving a few days early to start promotions for “Heart and Soul 3.0”  were the formidable iconic singers: Jay R, the Philippines’ King of R&B; Nina, Asia’s Diamond Soul Siren; and King of Hearts David Pomeranz. 

With a bevy of hit love songs and best-selling records between them, this is the first time that this particular combination of artists will go onstage. The brainchild of Annabelle Borja, CEO of E-Talent International, she had Pomeranz and Nina touring in Canada, before bringing the show to the U.S., with the addition of Jay R. 

The first show was on Friday, February 22 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, and the second will be on Sunday, February 24 at the Palace Theatre, a historic 1,000 seat theater in the heart of Downtown LA.

The Asian Journal got to sit down with the artists for a quick pre-late lunch Q&A ahead of their two shows. 

AJ: What about working with your co-stars excites you the most?

Jay R: David Pomeranz’s songs are such classics. It is such a pleasure just to be on the same stage with an artist of a different level. I feel like it is one of the highlights of my career.

Working with Nina is always such a pleasure, we have a song together in an album that I did. We were planning on singing it but it’s kind of hard

Nina: He made it harder…(laughter)

Jay R: Nina and I have worked together before. We were launched together way back in the day in SOP on GMA 7 15 years ago. We are still singing and still happy.

AJ: And you are singing with an almost Filipino, David…

Jay R: Filipino by relation.

David: I am actually an American Filipino… (laughter)

Nina: Working with these people (David) is exciting for me. The first time I worked with David in Canada, I was thinking “Really? THE David P?

JayR: You got to believe in magic! (laughter)

Nina: So when I got to see him, I really did believe in magic. I really asked… ‘I’ll be singing with David, does he want to sing with me?’ Like what Jay R said, David is a whole other level. It is so beautiful to get to be carrying the stage with Jay R and David.

AJ: But you are the Diamond Soul Siren of the Philippines!

Jay R: There [are] not so many Diamond-selling recording artists in the Philippines. There’s Nina, Jaya, Jose Mari Chan and Parokya ni Edgar.

David: Because Diamond is more than Platinum, about 10 times.

AJ: So David must be excited to work with you.

David: We had worked together, as she said, in Canada. We sing beautifully together. We had a beautiful rich combination. Jay R and I did a gig together, and he rocked it! The girls went freaking crazy and screaming. I am excited because these are two great musicians. 

AJ: What musical collaborations can we look forward to during this concert?

Jay R: We can’t tell you because you’re not gonna watch! (laughter) 

David: It should be a surprise.

AJ: Everyone is excited because this is an unusual combination of vocal strengths. 

Jay R: When international artists come to the Philippines, sometimes I open for them, but there is no meeting, no collab(oration). But with David, we get to collab. We can only tell you about that much. Can’t tell you what songs, but yes there is collaboration. Thanks, Ms. A (Annabelle) for making this happen. We believe!

AJ: What would you go tell or advice yourself going back to your first record?

Jay R: With the stuff that I know now, I would have told myself “Jay R start your own label and release your own music. That’s what you should do.” I did that eventually. It’s going very well. I have so much freedom with my music. But it’s also pressuring because it’s in my hands. If it fails, it’s my fault. But it’s very fulfilling to create your own music.

AJ: David has also done something similar as you write songs, musicals.

David: I swear I was just thinking about that yesterday as I was looking at a couple of my first albums. I was obsessed with getting the right bass drum sound and drove my producer insane. It’s hard to describe but I was intent [in] getting the sound of the drummer of “The Band.” I wanted that sound for my album and I kept going at my producer, and the engineer would not do it. I was meddling with the board and in places I should not be. I would have told myself ‘sit back and learn, and listen. There are other people that know something too.’ (Laughter).

AJ: How has your vocal upkeep routine changed once you became a mother?

Nina: It is just like, the same. I was able to cope with a baby. Nothing changed, just the baby. I incorporated her into my routine. 

AJ: What about coming to Los Angeles or California do you look forward to?

Jay R: Visiting my family (born and bred in Glendale), Mexican food, In and Out.

Nina: Shopping! Here you can wear whatever and go out.

David: I lived in LA for 28 years, and the Harbor Freeway (the 110) drove me away. (Laughter). I have many friends and many good memories.

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