In conversation with the Filipino pop star and actress Sarah Geronimo

Fresh from being named Best Southeast Asian Act at the MTV EMAs and releasing a new album, Sarah Geronimo is back in the UAE. She talks about her latest sound and turning points in her career.

Sarah Geronimo is looking forward to playing in Dubai. Courtesy Viva Entertainment Inc
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It’s been a busy year for singer Sarah Geronimo, and there is no sign of her slowing down as it draws to a close. The 26-year-old Filipino singer and actress aims to end the year on a high with her Perfect 10 tour, which arrives in Dubai on Monday, December 1, 2014.

She was named as the Best Southeast Asian Act at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards this month, an award that capped a prolific year that also included a blockbuster film, Maybe This Time, a new studio album, Perfectly Imperfect, and a role as one of the judges on the reality-TV singing competition, The Voice Kids.

Geronimo also appeared on the cover of a leading Philippine entertainment magazine, which named her as the country’s Most Beautiful celebrity this year. The music-streaming service Spotify named her as one of the most streamed artists in the Philippines, while a contributor for the entertainment website BuzzFeed included her in a list of 20 Filipino Music Artists You Need to Listen to Right Now. We caught up with the singer ahead of her show at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

You are one of the few young singers who constantly perform both in the Philippines and abroad. What is it about live music that excites you the most?

The lights, the cheer and the applause, the adrenalin rush, and the amazing connection and energy that I get from the audience.

You performed in Abu Dhabi in April. What brings you back, and this time to Dubai?

I will never forget how responsive and appreciative the audience was. It is always a joy staging a concert in the UAE.

Your latest album, Perfectly Imperfect, was released in October. In terms of music and quality, how would you differentiate this latest effort from the previous 10 albums?

The new album is a blend of current pop music, R&B and ballads. I had so much fun recording the songs and got really excited to finally release it. With this album, my reinvention as an artist was carefully, creatively and, hopefully, effectively made.

Do you see yourself writing and recording more of your own songs in the future?

Performing your own written song is something magical and very fulfilling. You get to express the song freely and sincerely. So, yes, hopefully I’ll be able to write more songs in the future.

How about an album made up entirely of your own written material?

Wow! I wish I could do that. That’s too ambitious though at this stage. But yeah, maybe some day I’ll be able to do that.

What was your reaction to winning the award for Best Southeast Asian Act at the MTV EMAs?

It was something unexpected. I already felt like a winner when I learnt about my nomination, so winning it was surreal. For that, I will forever be grateful to each one who voted for me.

Winning the award made you eligible to compete for the MTV Worldwide Act award. Were you disappointed on not winning?

No. Being nominated was more than enough. Representing my own country was truly an honour for me.

What do you think is the secret of your longevity and appeal?

Hard work and sincerity.

• Sarah Geronimo performs at the Dubai World Trade Centre on December 1, 2014. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets, from Dh110, are available from and