Filipino artists

James Reid collaborates with Nadine Lustre, Massiah for new single ‘Soda’

Amanda T. Lago
James Reid collaborates with Nadine Lustre, Massiah for new single ‘Soda’

JAMES REID. The musician is set to release a new single.

Photo courtesy of Careless

The actor-now-music producer opens up about his upcoming single, set to drop on January 29

James Reid is kicking off 2021 with a new single, “Soda,” – a song that showcases a “new sound” that the actor-turned-musician has been working on since 2020.

“Last year was a very heavy year and I wrote this song during quarantine. I basically…It became a time that I was very introspective and I guess this song is a reflection of that insight, of learning to turn these negative things into positive experiences,” James said at an online press conference on Thursday, January 28.

Once the most popular leading man on primetime television, James has taken a step back from showbiz and has been working mostly behind the scenes to build up his label, Careless. In 2020, he worked with Nadine Lustre – his former love team partner and ex-girlfriend (rumored to be non-ex) – on her debut album, Wildest Dreams.

The album – which came with a visual component in the form of 6 elaborate music videos equivalent to a short film – turned out to be quite the hit among both fans and critics alike.

With Wildest Dreams‘ success checked off his to-do list, it’s James’ turn to release his own music. And just like Nadine (whose album also involved input and music from her fellow Careless artists), collaborations were a big part of the music-making process.

Trusting fellow artists

For “Soda,” James got by with help from Nadine and Filipino-Ghanian R&B artist Haissam Morton, known as Massiah.

“I started the song myself, I produced it myself. I started just creating a beat…and then I wrote to the song and I had one of my producers Isagani bring in some instrumentalists to bring it more of that live feel,” James said, adding that while he wrote the song himself, Massiah contributed a verse, while Nadine wrote one of the lines in the song.

“They helped me with a couple of lines, like Nadine wrote the line ‘don’t lose the stars in your eyes,’ which basically means don’t give up, don’t lose hope,” he said.

James said that Nadine has been “improving a lot as a songwriter” for the past two years, and by his description, working with her has been easy.

“I guess because we know each other very well so she kind of knows what’s in my head so she’s able to pick up the idea very quickly,” he said.

As someone who frequently collaborates with other artists – whether to work on their music or his own – James highlighted the importance of trusting your collaborators.

“There’s always gonna be I guess some compromise but that’s the beautiful thing about working with a team of people that you trust and it’s always great to bounce ideas off people,” he said.

“And you know sometimes you just have to let go of an idea to allow better ones to come on,” he added. “For example, there’s a term that I learned recently, it’s called “demo-itis,” when you really love the demo and it’s hard to move on from that because of the original sound, and you change it. But you know, sometimes we let go of that original idea, you get something better.”

More music for 2021

In “Soda,” James says the message is “to have an open mind, to see the light in things, learn to see your own darkness as a teacher and just to be present enough to make the most of life’s surprises.”

The track is set to pop on digital platforms at 12 am on January 29, and according to James, its release will be accompanied by a lot of other content, particularly a music video.

After “Soda,” he will be releasing even more music, and is set to work on an album for 2021.

As for his fellow Careless artists and collaborators: Nadine will be releasing more music soon too, and is also gearing up for a concert. Meanwhile, Massiah will be releasing an album.

Apart from these, fans of Careless artists may want to keep their eyes trained on the label – according to James, “we have a few surprises coming, especially in the first quarter.” –

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Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.