What is Careless? Liza Soberano’s new handler comes to light

March 14, 2023 - 6:41 PM
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Careless James Reid, Liza Soberano, Jeffrey Oh a
Illustration shows Careless co-founder and chairman James Reid, actress Liza Soberano, and Careless CEO Jeffrey Oh (Screengrab from CarelessMusic/YouTube; GMANetwork/Youtube; and CarelessMusicOfficial/Facebook; Artwork by Interaksyon/James Patrick Cruz)

Much has been said about actress Liza Soberano who has been the talk of the town ever since she released her “This is Me” vlog last month.

Amid the buzz, one word has always emerged — the name of her new management.

Liza in her vlog had opened up about her thoughts and experiences as an actress under Star Magic for 11 years, where she said she “sacrificed” her childhood, freedom, and happiness “to present Liza Soberano to the world.”

Her vlog was uploaded three days after one of her former talent managers, Ogie Diaz, expressed his worry over Liza’s career on his own vlog on February 23.

Ogie said it was his response to the comments he has been hearing about his former ward ever since her career took a different turn after leaving ABS-CBN.

Liza later on shared that she had her realizations about her career at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when she found herself at the crossroads of her life.

She then mentioned meeting James Reid and his team, who she said “respected” her vision and expressed support for her plans, whatever they were.

“I asked them what the plan was for me and they said, ‘I don’t know. You tell us. We’re here to support whatever your dreams are.’ That’s when I knew I had found my team,” the actress said before.

Liza also said she found it refreshing since it was the “first time” a management company had asked her what she wanted, instead of the other way around.

According to her, she was “finally given the choice to decide” her own path.

The actress’ vlog ruffled some feathers and spawned criticisms from Pinoys who perceived her to be “ungrateful” to her former talent agency which has given her various opportunities.

It came to the point her father had to step in and call critics out for blowing “everything out of proportion.”

The matter also launched a series of back-and-forth commentaries between Liza and Ogie, who the actress has accused of “making up those lies” about her.

Ogie, on the other hand, suggested that talent managers have their potential wards undergo “psychiatric evaluation” so they could supposedly have an idea of how to handle the latter’s “behavior or attitude problem.”

Liza used to be a Star Magic talent from 2011 to 2022, where she was managed by the agency, Ogie, and her father’s first cousin Joni Lyn Castillo-Pillarina.

It was when her onscreen tandem with Enrique Gil was born under the portmanteau LizQuen.

Liza then signed with James’ Careless Music in June 2022, citing that she wanted more creative freedom and control in her career moving forward.

The Careless co-founder and chairman also chimed into the recent buzz involving their talent by tweeting the following after the actress received criticisms from her vlog. He wrote on March 3:

Society: Be yourself!

Also Society: No, not like that…

Careless chief executive officer Jeffrey Oh additionally expressed support for Liza by claiming she was offered to “audition” for a Hollywood movie, but was constrained by her ABS-CBN contract.

The actress has previously denied such allegations.

Meanwhile, the constant online chatter has brought to the fore Liza’s new handler.

What is Careless, anyway?

Careless calls itself an “independent record label committed to creating progressive content through a platform that allows artists to fully invest in their creativity and growth.”

Its website said it was started by “artists with a goal to break ground and pave the way for the industry.”

“We aim to deepen and shape the culture through the content we produce,” it added.

Careless said it seeks to “nurture and refine talent outside the usual scope of the entertainment scene, guiding them to reach their full potential.”

The company has the following lines as its vision: “Global sound, local roots”

Its mission, meanwhile, is: “To create progressive content through a platform for artists that allows them to fully invest in their creativity and growth.”

Careless also thrives on “culture,” “innovation,” and “artistry.”

The record label was formed by James in 2017, along with his fellow “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Bret Jackson and Viva Entertainment founder Vic Del Rosario.

It was initially partnered with James’ former agency, Viva.

By 2019, Careless completely became independent after Viva handed it to him when he left the agency.

Since then, the record label has been making waves through its self-titled mixtape, concerts, and other live performances.

It has also collaborated with global record producers.

Careless has additionally expanded its scope as a talent management with a band and seven solo artists as of December 2022.

According to James, he initially only wanted to take charge of carving his own path in the entertainment industry.

“There wasn’t too much original pop R&B music out at that time,” he said to the Philippine Entertainment Portal before.

“So I just wanted to be able to be more in control of my music, in control of the creative direction also. Just, yeah, in control of my career. That was what’s important for me at that time,” James added.

“And that’s why I created it [Careless]. It’s for me to be able to take risks [in] my career, which is what I wanted to do,” he further said.

James shared that their goal is to “really break barriers.”

“I wish to break boundaries of Filipino artists,” he added.

“And the company as a whole — to be able to build up these artists and find that balance between creating what you love and also having a sustainable career,” the Careless co-founder continued.