She's been called "The little girl with the big voice", Filipino singer and actress Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, popularly known simply as Charice, first rose to popularity through YouTube.
Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the Most Talented Girl in the World, she released her first international studio album, Charice in 2010. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number-eight making Charice the first Asian and Filipino singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart.
She released the highly successful single, "Pyramid", which featured rapper, IYAZ and also crossed over to acting on television when she joined the cast of TV series Glee as Sunshine Corazon. She has released a new lead single, "Before It Explodes", written by Bruno Mars, from her upcoming international sophomore studio album and we caught up with her at a press conference while she was in town for a private event.
POPCulture Online: How did it feel being nominated for the Glee Music Awards for 2 songs you sang on the show, "Listen" and "Telephone"?
CHARICE: It felt great, it was such an honour. I want to thank the people who voted because this was a dream come true and an amazing experience for me. Especially after being a part of Glee, I had a fantastic time.
POPCulture Online: Bruno Mars wrote the song "Before It explodes" for your upcoming album, How did it feel to work with him?
CHARICE: I feel really blessed and proud and the thing is I never met him before. So I'm really excited about it and can't wait to meet him. I want to thank him for trusting me to sing it and I really love the way he writes, it's very deep and shows the hurt from the song.
POPCulture Online: Tell us more about the track, "Before it explodes"?
CHARICE: It's about a big problem in a relationship, the kind you want to stop before it explodes. It's heartbreaking and you have to let go.
If I were to tell it as a story then I would say I still love this person but I don't wanna continue to be with him because either one of us has a problem so it has to end. Yeah that's how I would put it.
POPCulture Online: There are more and more asians breaking in to hollywood, being asian yourself, how does that make you feel?
CHARICE: Well take a look at the famous asian stars in Hollywood like Jackie Chan. I think it's amazing to see more and more often an asian breaking into the Hollywood scene.
When I got discovered, I wanted them (Hollywood) to realise that we're a talented bunch you know and for them to sot of recognise that we got SWAG! Haha!
POPCulture Online Is there someone special in your life right now who you draw inspiration from when it comes to your music?
CHARICE: My dog! Hahaha no I'm joking!
Right now I just love what I'm doing, traveling, performing and my work basically. Honestly I've got no time for a relationship at the moment.
POPCulture Online: What would you say to someone who is about to step into your shoes to try and make it in hollywood? How do you handle all the fame, success as well as the baggage that comes with it?
CHARICE: Well I had a lot of support from people like David Foster and Oprah Winfrey and I'm really greateful to them. They kept telling me to work hard and keep my feet on the ground.
All I can say is it's never gonna be easy. You have to be ready. Once you're in, you have to deal with a lot of things. Remember to take the positive and the negative and keep working hard.
Photos courtesy of Warner Music Singapore
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