A musical journey from Manila to Halifax

Nadia Moore’s singing immediately brings to mind Anne Murray. It’s not a coincidence: when she was growing up in Manila, she admired the far-off Canadian legend.

Born in The Philippines in 1967, Moore grew up in an impoverished family. Her schooling ended at age 12, and she never had musical training.

She had a beautiful voice and loads of natural talent, though.

After leaving school, she began entering music contests. “The first prize I won was 500 pesos which was $15 Canadian,” she recalls.

She began getting invitations to perform in restaurants and at events. By age 16, she could afford a small apartment where she lived with her father, who bought records to help her build her repertoire.

“I have a very good memory for lyrics,” she says. “I began singing at well-known restaurants and five star hotels.”

She was 24 years old when life took a dramatic twist.

“I had friends who were singers in Borneo [Indonesia],” she says. “They suggested I might want to go there to perform. I was intrigued by this exciting idea.”

Nadia Moore

For five years, she built a successful career performing there—including a performance for the Brunei royal family—before returning to the Philippines in 1998.

Life soon took another turn. In 2000, Moore was performing at the luxurious Peninsula Manila Hotel, where she met an officer from the Canadian embassy. Romance quickly followed and they married in 2002.

Meanwhile, her music career kept building momentum.

She sang lead female vocals for the legendary band Filipino band Hotdog, including a United States tour in 2002 and a Canadian tour in 2004. When her husband’s career took them to Beijing, she was lead singer of the local Cool Buzz Jazz Band.

These days, they’re settled in Halifax, where she’s continued to develop her career and appear in television commercials. She won prizes for her singing when she studied at Nova Scotia Community College, and has since performed with several local artists.

Under normal circumstances, she has a busy live-performance schedule. COVID put the live shows on hold, but she’s carried on with online shows, and has a virtual concert planned for Valentine’s Day.

See her 2020 Halifax Jazz Festival performance here.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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