Over the weekend, I attended the “Future of Freestyle Tour” in San Francisco featuring Sharyn Maceren, Aki Starr, and Jenni Renee. It’s been a super long while since I’ve been in a club, but freestyle music seems to be alive and well! I recall growing up during the 90s on the classics of The Cover Girls, Sa-Fire, Johnny O, Cynthia, Jossette, Stevie B, Emotion in Motion, Exposé… and the influences from Miami to New York… then to the Filipino music community in the Bay Area including Jocelyn Enriquez, M:G, Buffy, Angelina, and, of course, my favorite, Sharyn Maceren. Hearing their music mixed by the local DJs were the most exciting thing about going to the clubs for me.
Back in 2003, I had blogged about meeting Sharyn Maceren at Tower Records in San Francisco. This was before the Comic Con era of meet & greets, so I was fanboying crazy just being able to meet someone famous. (I miss Tower Records. Those were the days you would browse the latest music, movies, and books, before the overtake of the digital era.) I still have her signed CD sitting on my shelf next to an original copy of her classic “Hard to Get” EP album. At that time, she was known by her moniker as “S-Factor”. As she released more music, she went by her real name Sharyn Maceren.
“Someone just forwarded this blog to me and I came across it today…
I thought this blog was so cute! …thanx, Ray Hom for the blog! i enjoyed reading it!”
– Sharyn Maceren a.k.a. S-Factor, May 27, 2011 on Facebook
Back in 2011, Sharyn had posted on her Facebook and tagged me after having founded the blog post. (I wrote about this in this blog post.) Imagine my surprise and excitement, like I was back in 2003. But, this past weekend, I felt a trilogy of events made me feel complete…
Before her performance, I hung out and chatted a bit with Sharyn – I apologized for her recent passing of her father (which I related to the recent passing of my mom), asked why there are such an infinite amount of mixes of “Hard to Get” (it’s like collecting Pokemon, I think), and then she accidentally knocked over and spilled my drink (it’s a sign, I’ve been telling myself to drink less).
Sharyn Maceren spilled my drink. The Universe is trying to tell me something.
I’ve been lucky to have met a lot of celebrities through events like the Cons, or through my filmmaking/podcasting ventures and community, and just having overcome social anxiety throughout my maturity years, networking through a lot of supportive, great friends. And, with the acceleration of the digital era, communications with famous people are a bit easier. It’s a meta experience learning that the famed are just as human as the next person. I’ve kept in touch with Sharyn through social media, and being careful not to be too stalkish, I’d randomly tell her I’m still listening to her music. She would respond in kind and appreciation.
Sharyn writes her own music, and still releases new stuff to this day… which is a talent that is rare, with longevity. And, below is my video of Sharyn performing “Hard to Get” at last weekend’s event. She still got it, hasn’t aged, and still hard to get!