by Nickie Wang
Talent searches have been the proverbial stepping-stone for ordinary people who want to make it big in show business. Overseas, shows like American Idol, X-Factor, and Brit Got Talent are among the most successful television programs instrumental to the successes of some of the world’s brightest young music artists.
To win a talent search, apart from one’s exceptional talent (and more often than not, looks is a plus) he or she should have a story, a touching story that is. It’s the only way to tag the road to stardom of someone as “from rug to riches.” Don’t we all love this kind of drama?
Recently, we were introduced to Jovit Baldivino, a 16-year-old who ABS-CBN calls the boy with a golden voice. I don’t know what barometer for vocal quality they used to call his as golden because if ever it existed then most singers in the land would have “tanso” voices.
Now, striking while the iron is hot, two weeks after winning the first edition of Pilipinas Got Talent, the diminutive rocker launched an album called Faithfully. The record has 12 tracks, but technically it only has five since “I’ll Be the One,” one of the two original materials in the album, has two alternate versions and a minus one. Same thing goes with carrier single “Too Much Love Will Kill You,” “Always,” and” Paano.”
Before the end of July, the debut album topped the OPM nationwide sales of music store Odyssey Records. But that’s not enough to turn Faithfully to a gold record. Something is wrong with the album, we know it. It was hastily done. The album is like a short film or a short play stretched to become a full production. Star Records capitalized on Jovit’s newfound fame that they forgot the words originality and creativity.
Jovit, who is now a product endorser, is a great find but then again his talent is confined to a limited groups of people who call themselves hit makers and rulers of the Philippine music industry. Jovit will not be remembered because of Faithfully, his Cinderella-man story will be forgotten once another talent rises with an even more dramatic struggle. They could have taken the chance to groom Jovit as a new star with a brilliant album that record buyers could keep, not the one that they will just consider as trash in their playlist.
On revivals and greatest hits
In March last year, I had an exclusive interview with British R&B star Craig David a day before his concert at the Araneta Coliseum. I asked the “Insomnia” singer why he came up with a greatest hits album since he is relatively young and has only released five studio albums. He told me: “I included two new songs in the compilation album which serve as preview, ‘a catalyst,’ to my next album.”
“Right now young kids can easily create their own playlist by downloading from the Internet and burn it onto a CD. It’s similar to creating a greatest hits CD. I want to do it before it’s too late,” Craig added.
My inquisitive mouth barged in, “The common perceptions on artists who come up with greatest hits album is either they no longer have any quality material to offer or they are big enough to collect all their number one or chart-topping singles.”
The international star just smiled and asked me to hand him the CD so he could sign it and write a simple note then said: “I’m preparing for something bigger.”
The point of telling this encounter is to raise a question whether local artists have the same reason why they can’t get enough of reviving songs. Take for example the new album Essence of Kyla, a collection of greatest (?) hits from the 29 year-old singer.
The two-disc album features singles that made Kyla earned the R&B princess moniker. The highlights of the record are “Hanggang Ngayon” (that was very popular in 2001), the Keith Martin original “Because of You,” the ballad “I Feel for You,” and the feel good song “Beautiful Days.”
Kyla has eight albums under her belt. Contrary to the publicity that she has eight platinum seller albums, she only has two namely Not Your Ordinary Girl (2004) and Let the Love Begin Original Soundtrack (2005).
In the early part of Kyla’s career, she managed to record original singles but as her star started to wane, she opted to join the bandwagon of singers who settle for covers hoping that it will refuel their careers.
Is Kyla running out of good material? Hope not. If everything turns well, the greatest hits collection will serve as a prelude to Kyla’s new album that will be released later this year.