By Nickie Wang
Christian Bautista doesn’t need to prove anything because he has already secured a spot in the music scene as Asia’s Romantic Balladeer.
After finding his home in a new record label (Universal Records), the 28-year-old singer releases fifth album entitled Romance Revisited: The Love Songs of Jose Mari Chan. It’s a 19-track concept album that contains the OPM luminary and double diamond artist’s classic hits.
“We paid respects to his melodies and just added our own style,” Christian told the press at the launching of the album on Oct. 7 at Linden Suites in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
The album will also be launched in Malaysia and Indonesia where the songs of Jose Mari Chan receive popular demand until now. Incidentally, PT Aquarius Records that released Chan’s album Constant Change in the ’80s will handle the distribution and marketing of Christian’s cover album in the said places.
“When I was in Indonesia, people came to me and asked about the songs of Jose Mari Chan and they were so glad to hear me singing ‘Beautiful Girl’ to them. But the song has always been in my head, I told myself that I’m going to record it someday. Now it came true!” the crooner excitedly shared.
Christian’s latest album includes four collaborations with local music’s biggest names. The singer considers a duet with Sarah Geronimo as one of his favorite collaborations in his latest offering. The two talent search alumni recorded “Please Be Careful With My Heart,” which was originally done by Chan with Regine Velasquez in the early ’90s. On the other hand, Christian also recorded a duet with Asia’s Songbird entitled “My Girl, My Woman, My Friend.”
“I also did a song with Ms. Lani Misalucha entitled ‘Here and Now.’ And of course, this album will not be complete without a duet with Jose Mari Chan himself. We recorded ‘Heart’s Journey.’ What’s so funny about it, when he [Jose Mari Chan] was in ASAP, he jokingly said that we were holding hands while recording the song,” Christian narrated.
During previous interviews, Christian said that he has been planning to come up with an all original album that would feature some of his own compositions. It seems that the plan will have to take the backseat since the singer regards the album as one of his biggest projects to date.
“The challenge for me, and of course for the team that works hand in hand with me, is think of great materials that will follow this huge album,” he said and added that they are still thinking of coming up with an all original album, another cover album, or a CD that contains both cover and original songs.
The crooner views his latest offering as a huge album because it contains classic hits, which are ultimately timeless piece of musical work. The record label intends to release several songs as singles so it will take time before Christian could prepare for his sixth studio album.
“There’s a pressure when I realized the intensity and magnitude of my current project. There are more than a million people who own Jose Mari Chan’s albums. One of the additional challenges for us while recording it [the album] was how to make great songs even better,” Christian affirmed.
Single and loving it
Part of having a new record label, Christian is beginning to dress differently. Christian tones down his clothing and ditches suits and long sleeves. Aside from looking casual and preppy, he also gained some weight, which is the result of occasional visit to gym. Because of his visibly glowing appearance, members of the press couldn’t help to ask about his love life.
“I’m single and I’m not desperately seeking. I’m happy for Rachelle [Ann Go] and Gab [Valenciano],” Christian casually said and added that he’s in good terms with his former girlfriend.
At the official launch of Romance Revisited, the press also had a glimpse of “Tell Me Your Name”’s music video. The single that Jose Mari Chan released in 1986 is Christian’s carrier single. The music video was shot in Manila Ocean Park. It features Christian singing “Tell Me Your Name” to British-Thai VJ Paula Taylor. The singer admitted that he personally chose Paula to be his partner in the video because he has a big crush on her.