Fast Track featuring James Reid

There seems to be no stopping actor James Reid from taking on anything. Apart from the long list of reasons that make girls swoon, we’re convinced that his cool demeanor and go-getter mindset can only boost the momentum as he ascends to greater fame.

Now a star in his own right, the 22 year-old has definitely come a long way since his Pinoy Big Brother stint in 2010, where he emerged as the season’s Big Winner. “A lot has changed. I was really shy when I first came out of PBB. I didn’t have any talent. I didn’t sing or dance; all of that came along the way.” Four years into the industry, James finally got his big break after a few roles on television. He scored exclusive contracts with ABS-CBN and Viva Entertainment, a box office hit alongside actress, Nadine Lustre and a recent chart-topping studio album, Reid Alert. Despite his knack for acting, singing, and modelling, he believes that there is still room for improvement.He shares, “I haven’t quite mastered all my talents, I still struggle with singing.”

With his killer good looks, talent and charm, it isn’t difficult to see why James is every teenage girl’s dream. As we sat down with James, we found out that although he may seem outgoing and up and about in the public eye, working even on days off, the pop idol is enigmatic at heart, majorly passionate about his music, and favors a more laidback lifestyle.

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It seems to be a busy year for you, what’s your schedule like?
Well, today I came from taping which finished at 4 A.M. then I had to wake up at 7. A.M. Before that, I just came back from Laoag for a concert and taping. So that happens every day and it’s been like that since April of last year.

What’s your favorite part of being an entertainer?
It’s the singing. Usually when I’m on standby, I’m always searching for new music or I’m thinking about music and writing lyrics in my head. I’ve written a lot of songs but most of them are unfinished.

Do you plan to put them out one day?
I do plan to put them out but maybe not commercially because the style is very different from the songs in my album, I think I could put it out for free.

What’s on your playlist right now?
I listen to a lot of hip-hop and R&B but I like beat house and future house as well.

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Who are your favourite artists to listen to?
ASAP Rocky, Drake, and Childish Gambino.

What’s your favourite song from your album, Reid Alert?

Your tandem with Nadine Lustre has garnered a huge following, what’s it like working with her?
When Nadine and I started, we were both at zero. We’ve come a long way together. We learn from each other and we help out each other a lot.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened with a fan?
One time, we were staying at a hotel for a mall show. Someone from the hotel posted my room number, so all the fans checked in at the hotel on the same floor and came knocking on my door. They just invited themselves into my room. I had to wait until security came. Later that night, after the show, the whole floor was booked, so we changed rooms and I had to sneak up the staircase instead of taking the elevator.

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What do you do during your days off?
If I have free time, I’ll go to the gym. If I get a break for a few days, then I’ll travel. I like going on road trips.

So where have you gone so far?
There are so many places in Batangas, in Nasugbu. I also love going up north. There was a time when I had five days off so my friends and I brought two cars and went to La Union overnight, then to Baguio for two nights, then we went to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan where we camped on the sand. It was my favourite trip.

How would you describe your style?
Right now, it’s pretty hip-hop and street. For the longest time, it’s been inspired by James Dean. Like the slicked back hair, denim or leather jacket, and boots. He’s still my idol but with my music and everything that’s happening, it’s just tilting me towards hip-hop.

What types of clothing would we always find in your closet?
I lose my clothes all the time. There’s nothing that I had from a year ago that I still have now – not even one item. A year ago, I had like five or six black leather jackets from Zara and there’s probably only one left. I think I have a dwende in my house. (Laughs)

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Did you ever have a style mishap in the past?
I look back on my photos sometimes, where I was wearing colorful outfits and I think, “What the hell was I wearing?” (Laughs) It really wasn’t my fault. I was required to wear them. My wardrobe’s been black and white ever since.

What does an ideal date look like for you?
For me now, somewhere quiet where it can be just the two of us alone. I’d like to be somewhere cold. If it had to be in this country, somewhere like Baguio.

What would you wear on a first date?
I dress safe on a first date. I don’t dress full-on street or formal because I don’t want to be too loud. I go as myself, really simple and laidback.

What do you find most attractive in girls?
Over time, I realized that one thing I don’t like in girls is insecurity because it eats them from the inside. I like the opposite of that; I like it when people know and just accept who they are.

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What’s a girl fashion trend that you just don’t understand?
Boyfriend jeans and gladiator heels or sandals.

What’s a chick flick you secretly love?
There are a lot of chick flicks that are actually good, like The Notebook, so I’m not really in denial or secretive about liking them just because I’m a guy. There’s this one film that I secretly really like – A Walk To Remember. I can relate to the guy.

What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
It’s this show called Misfits. Once I start watching, I can’t stop. I just keep going until I finish all four seasons. It’s so good. It’s kind of like Skins but with odd superpowers.

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If you weren’t in show business, what would you be?
If I weren’t in show business, I’d be a chef. When I was in Australia, that was the path I was taking. My course and work experience was for becoming a chef.

So you love cooking?
Back in Australia, I did. When I first moved here, I went through a stage of depression; I didn’t want to do anything. When I went to PBB and came out, it was hard to go out to the grocery. I don’t want to cook anything unless I’m the one who buys the ingredients.

What are five unusual things we would find in your room?
About 500 stuffed toys and teddy bears. They’re from fans. I keep all of them.

What’s one thing every guy should have?
When it comes to clothing, black skinny jeans. When it comes to travel, good music. I would shoot myself if I was on a road trip without any music. That’s happened before, and it was terrible. When it comes to girls, confidence is good, but I think mystery is better. Curiosity’s the killer. (Laughs)

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How do you stay fit?
With my schedule, it’s been difficult. I eat a lot of rubbish. I don’t get the time to work out much and my sleeping pattern’s really messed up. So right now, I’m not really healthy. Before, I used to be a gym freak and go to the gym for about 6 times a week. I used to do all the right things. I’d eat so healthy; instead of carbs, I’d eat a lot of lean protein. That was back when I could still handle the intensity of the schedule. With my body type, I can eat whatever I want. I’ve had pizza for three days straight. I don’t get fat or gain weight easily, but if I want to get bigger, stay toned or gain muscle, I have to work out.

How do you usually style your hair?
It depends on what my work is. It’s always slicked back or a little bit up front because of the movie, so I’d keep it like that as long as the movie’s on and when I’m promoting. It always depends on the character. Right now, my hair is the hairstyle of my character in my upcoming teleserye so it’s going to be like this for a long time. But usually, it used to be just slicked-back, James Dean style, or I can always just let it go and put on a cap.

What’s your grooming must-have?
Baby soap is all I use for my face. When I used to apply other products, I’d get really bad acne. When I stopped, my face cleared up and I think this will apply to a lot of people too. Any baby soap is fine because it’s really gentle and it doesn’t leave any residue.

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We hear you have a fragrance collection coming out, can you tell us more about it?
Actually, I already had one before and it was called Bare by Mint. For the new collection, it’s more targeted to a specific style of clothing. There’s one that’s for formal attire, one that’s casual and one that’s sporty. We released the first one already and it’s called Careless.

Over the years, what has been the best lesson you’ve learned?
PBB taught me to dream big. Back then, I didn’t have any aspirations. I didn’t want to be anything great, I just wanted to get through life comfortably. When I heard that line, it clicked instantly. I suddenly wanted to be greater than I am. I also learned that whenever you’re lost and don’t know what to do, just focus on improving yourself because a better version of you might have the answers.

What’s next for you?
A new teleserye, On The Wings Of Love. It’s coming really soon. I have a bunch of movie projects coming up, too. That’s all I can say for now.