It’s not often that someone comes out of a reality show in one piece, especially if said reality show is a notorious star-making machine. You’ve got your Kim Chius, Gerald Andersons, other not-so-fortunate bit-players—and then you’ve got Bret Jackson.
Bret isn’t the kind of guy you’ll see desperately clamouring for celebrity. No, he’s too chill for that. He’s also not the kind of guy you’ll find primping in front of a mirror. No, he’s too dude for that.
He’s the kind of guy you’ll see spitting verses in front of a discerning crowd, catching waves on a weekend, working on a canvas in paint-smeared clothes. Bret is an artist (no, an artiste), and a cool one at that.
From his PBB Teens stint to his acting to his groundbreaking music, Bret lets us in on what makes him tick.
How is your acting career right now?
I just did an award-winning Cinemalaya film, “Mercury is Mine,” which shot off my projects this year. I just finished doing the horror movie “Dark Room.” Right now I’m in Erik Matti’s “Buy Bust” with Anne Curtis. I’m also doing an under-wraps movie that has a chance to be in the Academy Awards.
What is it about acting that you like?
I’m addicted to the feeling of getting lost in a scene. It’s also awesome learning from all these great directors.
Are you a cinephile?
I write a lot. Me and James [Reid] wrote a movie that got greenlighted by Viva. It’s about 3 friends who get their hearts broken. And they focus too much on the love that they forget about the friendship.
“Crystal Fairy and The Magic Cactus” is a really funny Sundance film with Michael Cera. “Heat” with Al Pacino–that one-on-one scene where these two greats just go at it is just intense. Also, “American Gangster.”
How did you start?
I quit showbiz right after PBB [Pinoy Big Brother] to surf back home in Dumaguete. Yes, I’m bisaya [laughs]. Then James was like, “Bro just come back to Manila, at least for your birthday.” So I ended up staying here and joining Viva with him.
Why did you join PBB?
I got a call– “Hey do you want to be in PBB?” I was like “Huh? What’s PBB?” “It’s a summer camp, where you can win money.” They said they’d be filming us 24/7, but James and I didn’t know anything about it.
Did you have fun?
Yeah! That’s where I met James. But I tried to get out of it. I went into the confession room and said, “Kuya, I think I wanna self-evict.” He’s like, “Go to bed, Bret.”
At least the reality show led you to your passion.
No, acting’s my kabit.
What’s your main squeeze?
Music. I produce rap and R&B.
Can we google your stuff?
It’s not out yet, but today is a really big day. We’ve been working on our music for five years, and we’re dropping the first single tonight at Fusion 2017. James is gonna be performing it out of nowhere, and people are gonna be like, “Woah.”
Do you think it will blow up?
We’ve got Sam Concepcion and Kiana Valenciano in the group. We’ll change the whole idea of OPM rap and R&B here. I know there’s these underground people who are bringing the American style mumblerap here, but it’s hard for them to break through. What’s cool is that we’ve got a bunch of famous people that are making good music for a change. It’ll help indie artists break through easier. It’ll also scare off mainstream artists who put out albums just because they have a good face.
What exactly do you guys do individually?
James and I write all the music. I rap. I’m gonna be putting out a 12-track album. James is putting out his 10-track album. Sam’s putting out a future-bass album. Kiana’s putting out an old school Aaliyah album.
My genres go everywhere. Except country [laughs]. I had a screamo band in high school, then I did a lot of acoustic, toured with Urbandub right before PBB. Then James and I decided to do something different. I lived in the project area in the States, so I grew up with a knack for hiphop and R&B.
What about music do you love?
If music makes you feel something, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. Music means different things to different people. You can listen to a song and not like it, but in the right place and the right time, you’re gonna love that same song.
Does your music translate to your sense of style?
I have no style! I love music and art, but fashion? It just goes over my head. I love to look at good clothes, I just don’t know how to put them on myself. I have stylist friends who I ask, “Yo what should i do?”
Your style seems laid-back, hip-hop skater boy.
I skate, longboard and surf. So in general–skinny jeans, Vans, shirt, cap. In different colors.
Do you have anything from H&M? It’s perfect for your style.
I have a lot of H&M! I have a bunch of Kenzo stuff right now. I like the colors and the fit. I like baggy stuff. 70% of my stuff is probably H&M. [for Bret’s style tips and more H&M Fashion Inspo, click here.]
You dated Andi Eigenmann right?
Yeah. Andi’s has this fire inside her–she’s so in love with film and acting. She has so much talent, but what’s sad about the place we live in is nobody appreciates good art. They try to tell you what the masses like—they don’t even know! Don’t look down on the people. They love good stuff, and good is always good, no matter what.
Hopefully your stuff pans out.
It will. It’s James. No matter what song he puts out, it’ll get a million views. And now that it’s good, it’ll just snowball from there. James is so nervous–he just called me. ‘Cause this is it. Today is the day for change. ~