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Awit na, Aicelle

Aicelle Santos: Singing is a gift I’m blessed with. So I hope to sing till I can.

MANILA, Philippines — Although the Kapuso see her act in the afternoon soap Impostora, Aicelle Santos is essentially a singer.   

“I am a singer first,” she said in a group interview. “Whatever work that (my network has) for me, I am thankful. That’s why I’m doing my best to channel my talent for singing sa labas (in other platforms). I do theater, I do concerts, I do corporate shows.”

The Rak of Aegis star remains loyal to her first love. Proof to that is her upcoming concert titled Awit na Aicelle: Aicelle Santos in Concert on Nov. 24, 8 p.m. at the Music Museum with special guests like Gary Valenciano, The CompanY, Myke Salomon, Bullet Dumas and Quest. 

“Yes, it’s also that one,” agreed Aicelle that the show title connotes that someone seems telling or requesting her to sing. “Awit na also means (singing) songs in Aicelle’s style. I want it (the show) to be in Tagalog. We’re Filipino. It’s a celebration of Filipino music as well.”

How does she describe her singing style?

“I really don’t know how,” Aicelle answered. “It’s a sound that I think when one hears it, one can say it sounds like Aicelle. It could be a bit soulful. The now Aicelle has more depth when she sings.”

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She attributed it to maturity and life experiences, including her deepening relationship with TV reporter Mark Zambrano, who, according to Aicelle, doesn’t sing but “Sa akin po, kinakantahan niya ako.” If ever the couple ties the knot, Aicelle wants a simple wedding either on the beach or in the garden.  

Awit na Aicelle is a much-awaited follow-up to her first solo concert in 2015. This time around, original songs and covers of famous music (like some long-forgotten but beautiful songs) will comprise the singer’s repertoire. Aicelle politely begged to give more details but assured everyone of a well-conceptualized show. What fans and the music-loving public can look forward to is a new Aicelle. “I could say I’m more confident (now) and I have more depth. It’s Aicelle (the singer, who is) telling a story,” she said. This is a natural progression, if one may say, for artists who see themselves beyond the label of entertainer. “As of now, there are 16 productions being lined up, iba dun may mga medleys pa.”

With her impressive performance singing Say That You Love Me during Regine Velasquez’s Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena concert R3.0, it is safe to assume that Aicelle is more inspired to headline her latest show. Many think she was a standout and was able to hold her own in that segment with Regine. Other young divas who graced the concert were Angeline Quinto, Jona, Morissette Amon and Julie Ann San Jose. At the end of the performance, Regine said, “A big hand to your new queens.”

“I was shocked honestly,” shared Aicelle. “If you were there and saw my reaction, (my reaction was) Ha? It’s an honor.”

With boyfriend Mark Zambrano — Photo from Aicelle’s Instagram

To prepare her voice for that concert date — and endure the demands of live performance, Aicelle has her own list of do’s and don’t’s. “I have difficulty finding time (to prepare). I need physical workout to strengthen the lungs. As much as possible, I try to avoid staying up late at night, yun lang naman ang kalaban ng boses. I eat anything. Cold drinks are fine with me. I did experience losing my voice because of colds.”

In spite of her years of experience in the recording and performing biz, Aicelle shared that she is not spared from feeling jittery come show time. “Sobrang kabado din. (In a scale of one to 10,) it’s 11. Every time I step on the stage — be it small or big, I’m always nervous.” To some artists, however, this motivates them to deliver a nuanced, heartfelt performance.   

“(It) is a gift I’m blessed with,” said Aicelle. “So I hope to sing till I can, (to) share stories... (kaya) siguro yung gift of singing (ang) binigay ni Lord kasi gusto niyang i-share ko yung miracles and love niya through singing, through music. So it has now a purpose.”

Awit na Aicelle is presented by Stages Sessions and GMA Artist Center. For ticket inquiries, call 721-6726 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.

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