By KAYE VILLAGOMEZ
January 31, 2012, 12:11pm
MANILA, Philippines — Former 98 Degrees singer Jeff Timmons is looking forward to performing in Manila because of pancit, crazy traffic rides and insanely beautiful Pinays.
“I know Manila fairly well. I love pancit and other foods from that area. The jeepney’s crack me up, and the traffic and mega malls are bananas,” Timmons said in an e-mail interview with Bulletin Entertainment.
What balances wild traffic in Manila are its people. He said, “The people are amazing. They treated us like kings. Always greeted with ‘Hi, Sir,’ and ‘Thank you, Sir.’ They only talk like that in some parts of the US. The women are gorgeous and sweet... Shhh... don’t tell my wife I said that...”
Timmons is set for ’90s boyband pop nostalgia when he performs familiar hits from 98 Degrees alongside era brothers Blue and a1 in “The Greatest Hits Tour: Blue, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and a1 Concert” on Feb. 25, 2012 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Timmons and his ex-band mates are behind a solid catalogue (“Invisible Man,” “Because Of You,” “The Hardest Thing,” “I Do (Cherish You)” and “My Everything”). When asked to reminisce about his group and to share his thoughts about having gone solo, he replied: “I don’t really worry about living up to any legacy to tell you the truth. 98 Degrees had a great run, and made its mark during its time, which I’m very proud of.
“My music and performances have shown growth as a solo artist, and I’m continuing to grow as an artist. All you can always do is your best, and measure yourself up to your own standards. Compete with yourself at all times, and try to leave the audience with something they can feel great about.”
Timmons’ favorite record from his old group is “Invisible Man.” “Out of all the hits, ‘Invisible Man’ is my favorite. It is the most soulful of our radio songs, and it was the first song we ever heard of ourselves on the radio.”
He shared that the mega-wedding hit “I Do” was recorded in a special period in his life. “We recorded ‘I Do’ in Nashville with mega-producer Keith Thomas. I remember being there right after finding out about my ex-wife being pregnant with our daughter.”
But as he moves on a solo act, Timmons said he would love to collaborate with other artists. “I am working on new music. I’d love to work with contemporaries like Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo, but also legends like Teddy Riley, R Kelly, Babyface, Brian McKnight, Mariah Carey, and Christina [Aguilera].”
Blue – composed of Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa – is behind “All Rise,” “Too Close,” “If You Come Back,” “Fly By,” “One Love,” “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” “Guilty,” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” while a1 has the following singles under its belt: “Like A Rose,” “Take On Me,” “Ready Or Not / Everytime,” “Same Old Brand New You,” “Caught In The Middle” and “Make It Good.”