Lani Misalucha: The long wait is over
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2014 - 12:00am

The Philippines has some of the finest female singers the world has ever heard. From Lea Salonga to Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kuh Ledesma, Pops Fernandez, to Sarah Geronimo, we’ve never had to worry about making ourselves heard on the global stage.

Lani Misalucha knows exactly how that feels. For the last few years, Lani has been making us proud in Las Vegas where she has been sharing stellar billing with world-class acts. For a brief spell, she came home, then the next thing people knew was that she was appearing on ABS-CBN’s ASAP, followed by the announcement that she was signing a recording contract with Star Records.

That contract has produced Lani’s first album in five years, appropriately titled The Nightingale Returns. Produced by the award-winning songwriter and record producer Jonathan Manalo, the 11-track album which will be out in the market on April 29, consists of 10 covers of classic Original Pilipino Music (OPM) hits given fresh, new arrangements, plus one original song. Also included in the album is Lani’s version of Starting Over Again, the theme song of the Piolo Pascual-Toni Gonzaga blockbuster film of the same title released by Star Cinema.

The release of the much-awaited album has people wondering what Lani’s plans are, whether she’s coming back to the country for good to resume her career or if she intends to return to Las Vegas where her children are still based and where she has other commitments waiting for her.

In this interview held after her recent contract signing, Lani shared her excitement over the new album and what the future holds for her:

The new album is your first in five years.

“I’m very happy and this is the album that I’ve long hoped for. I poured everything into this album.  Kung ano yung pinapangarap ko, lahat ng iniisip ko na mangyari ay nangyari.”

What took you so long to agree to sign a contract? Why the long wait?

“I don’t know, maybe it was just timing. Maybe the time wasn’t right then. Kasi meron akong previous na kausap. And when it comes to that, I have my word of honor, and I need to follow that. Siguro ganun lang naman talaga na ilalagay lang sa tamang panahon. And I believe ito yung panahon na tamang-tama na napunta na ako dito.”

Was it worth the wait?  The cover looks very impressive.

“Oo nga eh. This photo shoot happened in America. This was done by a photographer who happens to be Filipino also. His name is Rein Badua and he is based in New York. We did the photo shoot in Las Vegas.”

How was the recording process?

“My album producer, Jonathan Manalo, was very helpful because he paid attention to every detail and he also knows my capability as an artist. To make it short, piniga ako ng husto ni Jonathan. Honestly, yung bawat gabi ng recording namin, talagang planned ang nangyayari kaya makikita naman kung nagra-radiate yung song, yung pagkanta ko. It was really just fun. It was an awesome experience.”

How do you feel that you’re finally here, holding this album in your hands?

“I’m really very blessed. I am working with brilliant artists and these are not just composers, not just arrangers, pero yung mga ibang tao na alam nila ang dapat ibuhos sa isang album. That’s why I am very excited and happy that I am here and it’s happened.”

What is your favorite song on the album, the one that you really enjoyed recording the most?

“Honestly, that’s a difficult question to answer. Each song has its own texture, character and flavor. It isn’t just one sound. Mga lumang awitin ang nasa album na ito pero kung papakinggan mo na siya ngayon, parang current ang tunog. Hindi ko masabi kung ano yung partikular na gusto ko dahil walang itatapon.”

How do you feel now?

“It’s overwhelming to think that after five years of not having my own album, here’s my new album and it’s one beautiful comeback. The reception has been overwhelming, as well as their welcome. I’m very grateful that I am here.”

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