According to Jaya, she used to be a back-up dancer for the shows of her mother, the late Elizabeth Ramsey. She was around 10 years old then and was introduced as Louie Ramsey. And because her mother would always want to include her in her shows, she took her along to the United States where Elizabeth was invited to perform in 1985.
Saying that she would work nonstop, Jaya recalled faking her age so that she can sing at events. She also joined a band.
But because she wanted to study instead of becoming a singer, Jaya admitted she ran away. “Nag-aaral po ako, high school. Pinlano ko talaga ‘yung pag-alis ko ‘nung Friday na ‘yun. Kasi sabi ko, ‘Ang tigas ng ulo ni mama, gusto kong mag-aral, ganyan. Paano ako mag-aral, kakanta-kanta?” she said.
However, life had a different plan for Jaya, who was later discovered by American singer Stevie B. “Nadiscover lang ako kasi meron isang model na kailangan ng mag-album pero ako ‘yung voice na gagamitin. ‘Yung boss, sabi niya, ‘Sino ba ‘tong kakanta? May talent ba ‘yan?’ Anyways, sabi niya, ‘I’m going to be there, Tignan ko.’ Sabi ni Stevie, ‘Hindi naman siya masyadong maganda pero okay ‘yung boses,’” she narrated, adding that when she was asked to sing an Anita Baker song, she eventually got the job and was informed that she is actually getting her own album.
She then thought to herself, “So medyo na ano ako, singer pa rin ako?”
“Pero ang saya ko kasi parang may bagong buhay. Sa awa ng Diyos, nagclick ‘yung song, dance song po siya, naging top 40 po siya sa Billboard’s 100,” Jaya said.
It was after 4 years when she was already doing shows in California that she decided to call her mother again.
“Dumalaw ako tapos umiyak-iyak na siya, gano’n, ‘Akala ko patay ka ‘day.’ Pero ‘yung iyak niya, wala ng luha kasi daw apat na taon siyang umiiyak… So ako, nakatingin, ‘Ma, okay ka lang?’ ‘Oo, okay lang ako, ‘day. May pera ka na, ‘day?’ she light-heartedly shared, mimicking her mother.
She said that she and Elizabeth had gotten along and was very happy when she returned.