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[Interview] Exclusive with Jaclyn Victor on music and marriage

Jaclyn Victor is back with her latest single, “Remedy”. The vocal powerhouse will be releasing her new album soon and is in preparation to enter the competitive market in the U.S.

The winner of “Malaysian Idol” as well as “Ikon Malaysia” had also recently tied the knot with American R&B singer, Shawn Rivera, back in July 2014. It was a hush-hush ceremony and was only announced to the media after the newlyweds had come back to Malaysia, having performed the wedding ceremony in Rivera’s hometown in Philadelphia.

Jaclyn Victor sits down with TheHive.Asia for an exclusive one-on-one and tells us about her new single, upcoming album and thoughts on her new married life!

Jaclyn Victor all smiles for the camera.

Hi Jac, you’ve recently released your new single, can you tell us a bit more about it?

Jaclyn: The single’s title is “Remedy”, it is my first English single off my upcoming album, “Unleashed”. The single was released back in July. The album’s release date has been pushed from September to November, in order for it to be released together with the music video for “Remedy”.

How many songs will there be on “Unleashed”?

There will be five in total, including “Remedy”. The other songs are “Pinnacle”, “Sweeter Than A Dream”, “Over And Over” and “Delirious”. The songs are composed by Edry, while Yusry and I wrote the lyrics.

“Unleashed” is fully recorded in Malaysia, but why is it mixed and mastered in Los Angeles?

This is because I am trying to penetrate the U.S. market. It gives the album more credibility to have some local touches from the studio there. Having the support from the U.S. side to produce the album will make it not come off as though it was from a complete newbie.

How are you going to promote the album?

There is no concrete plan yet for the U.S. promotions, but in Malaysia there will be a launch party in November for the album. 

You mentioned a music video for “Remedy”, what is the video about? 

We filmed it last month, in September. It is basically about me running and trying, but unable, to escape from a place that I was trapped in. It will come out along with the album in November.

Since you have experience in acting, would you like to venture more into the movie industry? 

My bread and butter has always been singing. I do like acting but I would prefer to concentrate on my upcoming album for now. Acting is time consuming. When I acted in “Talentime” and “Appalam”, I was lucky the productions were lenient with my time, as I had to split it between singing and acting.

Okay, so “Remedy” is of a different genre than what you usually carry, what made you switch to EDM (electronic dance music)?

This is something arranged by the label. This is done in order to challenge me musically. I like to sing various genres, not just ballads. Even though people tend to have the impression of me as a ballad songstress because of “Gemilang”, I can, and do love to, sing different kinds of song genres. 

How has the response for “Remedy” in Malaysia been? 

So far it has been good. Fans are not as shocked of the change in genre. Unlike when “Ikut Rentakku” came out, response was slow at first. But after fans have gotten over the initial shock of hearing me in a different genre, the views started climbing. It should be the same for this. Fans who are not used to it will eventually come around. 

Jaclyn’s album cover for her latest single, “Remedy”. [Photo credit: KRU Music] 

How about the response in U.S.? 

There has been positive feedback from the audience there. But in order to really succeed in the U.S., there will need to be constant promotion. U.S. is a big country, full of talents. Even somebody singing by the roadside has great talents there. So I will need to constantly promote there in order to break through.

Speaking of U.S., now that you’re married, will you be based in Malaysia or Philadelphia? 

I will still be based in Malaysia, I am still tied to my label here.

How has married life been treating you so far? 

It is good. It’s nice to have somebody by my side.

Are you planning on a duet with Shawn anytime soon? 

That will depend on the label. But if we were allowed to, yes, I would love to sing a duet with him. At the moment, we have nothing planned.

Can you walk us through on how you met Shawn? 

We first met on 16 January 2013, when I was filming “Magical Moment” with his group, Az Yet, for the “Ribbit” soundtrack. He saw something in me and was interested but I wasn’t. He kept in touch and in July 2013, I went to visit him in the U.S. I met his family and all my questions about him were answered. A year later, in July 2014, we got married. I know we’ve only known each other for a short time but sometimes you just know when you’ve met the right person.

Was it hard to maintain a long-distance relationship? 

There was the time difference but we handled it well. We usually talked when I woke up in the morning here and he was getting ready to settle down in the evening there.

Why did you decide to celebrate with a small wedding ceremony? Did you have one in Malaysia as well as the US? 

I prefer small ceremony, having just my close relatives there. We only held one wedding ceremony, which took place in the U.S. But we did have another smaller reception here in Malaysia for those who couldn’t make it to the previous ceremony.

Watch Jaclyn Victor talk about her new single below and have a listen to "Remedy".

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