October 17, 2009 | 1:24pm
The concept of jumpstarting a car is simple – use a stronger battery to power up the weak battery!
The same concept holds true too in the case of Christian Bautista when wanted to jumpstart his current recording career. He connected his with the hit songs of the Philippines’ Double Diamond Artist, an icon and powerful figure in the recording industry – Jose Mari Chan. And the connection is via his first album under Universal Records entitled “Romance Revisited: The Love Songs of Jose Mari Chan.”
The question now is whether it would be a successful jumpstart as all eyes, especially Jose Mari Chan fans, will be on him to see if he would meet or even surpass the latter’s achievements. During Jose Mari Chan’s time, Platinum and Diamond album status meant millions of copies sold unlike today in the Philippine setting wherein the number of albums sold were lowered for the different statuses – Gold, Platinum, and even Diamond!
Christian, during his album launch at the Linden Suites recently, expressed that he was actually nervous about recording the songs of Jose Mari Chan. He knew he would be compared to the Double Diamond Artist but said he just couldn’t resist a “diamond” opportunity.
“When my contract with Warner Music expired, I was looking for something different that would jumpstart my career again. And we were looking for ideas from recording companies if they would have a good project for us. So we met up with a lot of recording companies. And when this was presented to us, a chance to record the love songs of Jose Mari Chan, I couldn’t let it pass,” he intimated.
He added that he was a fan of Jose Mari Chan and that he has dreamed of also singing his songs someday. He actually had a first hand experience of how popular Jose Mari was in one of his radio tours in Indonesia. He was asked by a DJ if he knew Jose Mari Chan since he’s also a Filipino. And he was asked to sing “Beautiful Girl” which was also a hit in Indonesia.
“I have to do this project because this is once in a lifetime opportunity... so I guess fate connected us together. I am happy with this decision. I’m very, very happy with my new Universal Records family. We’ve invested blood, sweat and tears so to speak for this album and it was all worth it,” he declared.
His album contains 19 Jose Mari Chan hit songs like “Tell Me Your Name,” “I Remember The Girl,” “I Have Fallen In Love (With The Same Woman Three Times),” “Beautiful Girl,” “Can’t We Start All Over Again,” “Be Gentle,” “Stay My Love,” “Afterglow,” “A Love To Last A Lifetime,” “Constant Change,” “Deep In My Heart,” “Refrain,” “Can We Just Stop And Talk A While” and “So I’ll Go.” The other four cuts in his album are duets – “Please Be Careful With My Heart” with Sarah Geronimo, “My Girl, My Woman, My Friend” with Regine Velasquez, “Here And Now” with Lani Misalucha and “A Heart’s Journey” with Jose Mari Chan himself.
As for Christian’s rendition of such timeless classics, he shared that he injected his own style of singing.
“I relied on my own instincts but we decided that we also wanted to retain most of his wonderful melodies because that is what makes the songs beautiful. Jose Mari Chan is a wonderful musician as well and we paid respect to his melodies,” he said.
So what’s his favorite Jose Mari Chan song?
“My favorite song in the album is ‘Beautiful Girl.’ It has been in my head for a long time and it became my dream that hopefully I could record this and do my own version. And it came true,” he replied.
He said that it was also the last song they recorded because they’ve put much planning into how to sing it well.
“The question is how to make it even into a more beautiful song than it is already. I was nervous about this because I know people will compare us… we had an idea to pattern it into a more acoustic feel and young-sounding. Everything just combined into this beautiful arrangement and I’m very happy,” he related.
As to who is Christian’s beautiful girl in his eyes and heart, the answer is none at the moment.
“I’m very single and available…romantically speaking. I’m ready for it but not desperately seeking for it…my love is with God, my family and friends. If that woman comes anytime and she’s the one for me then I’ll get her,” he smiled.
Aside from the Philippines, Christian’s album will be released in Asia starting in Indonesia via its biggest record label PT Aquarius Records, the same company that released Jose mari Chan’s “Constant Change.” For his Indonesian release, he recorded a duet entitled “Ngiti” (translated in Bahasa) with Indonesian female recording star Noryn Aziz.
Also part of his album’s promotion is having a mini-CD included in a Black Water package, the company he endorses that specializes in colognes. He is also Baguio bound on November 20 to promote his album.
“I really feel the pressure. So before I get satisfied with a song, I listen to it all over again because I want it to be perfect. So hopefully the listeners will feel the effort and love I gave in recording each of the song… I pray that the one million who bought Jose Mari Chan’s albums before will also buy mine,” smiled Christian.