Vocal coach Jade Riccio shares how hard work coupled with passion can create powerful ripple effect
“Amakabogera!,” recording artist and vocal coach Jade Riccio effortlessly hit the high notes of the song while her hands created imaginary waves in the air. The up-tempo song I asked her to sing impromptu over a video call was popularized by one of her students, Star Music artist Maymay Entrata.
With the display of confidence and control, it was hard to believe that Jade once doubted she could sing. “I used to feel disheartened because I couldn’t handle high notes!” Jade shared. She just derived confidence from her family’s reassurance that “she could carry a tune.”
Fast forward to today, the reluctant singer is a sought-after vocal coach and thriving recording artist and songwriter. The secret to her success, I found out, is actually no secret – hard work.
True enough, Jade practices what she preaches. “I have missed so many events with family and friends,” she said. “If a little sacrifice goes a long way, what more with a lot?”
From being an academic scholar initially overwhelmed by the classical music program of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, Jade managed to graduate cum laude and conquer singing competitions. Masterclasses here and abroad also equipped her with tips, tricks, and techniques that eventually empowered her to teach.
“Singing is very much like muscle memory. It is like a physical workout that takes time for results,” Jade explained while flexing her arms to illustrate the idea. She offered a new perspective on the art we often associate with purely inborn talent.
“Hard work will always beat talent,” Jade pointed out, making the concept sound fresh and enlightening. She takes pride in working doubly hard and is dead set on instilling the belief in her growing number of students, including celebrities and politicians.
Two of Jade’s remarkable mentees are Maymay and Erika Rae Poturnak. Maymay’s “Amakabogera” track and MPowered concert became instant hits in the local music scene last year and she wowed her audience with a live radio performance that now has more than 10 million views online. Erika Rae, a recording artist and also known as actress Ina Raymundo’s daughter, is now enrolled at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
“I am so excited because I have students who will be releasing songs, concertizing, and debuting on television,” Jade beamed. When I noticed how encouraging of her students she was, I said in jest, “Now, I want to take your class!” And we both laughed.
If you were to ask me what random takeaway I got here, it is the powerful ripple effect of hard work fueled by passion. By exercising due diligence, showing results, and leading by example, passion seems likely to be passed on.
In Jade’s case, she did all those and more. Mastering her craft and fleshing out the best in other voices have truly become her core.
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