Martin has new duets
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - July 9, 2014 - 12:00am

Given the way he sings, I am sure he would have made it big just the same. But how it happened was it was the legendary Pilita Corrales, distant cousin to his mom and a friend of his dad who took then 19-year-old Martin Nievera to Vicor to meet top honcho Vic del Rosario. Martin got his contract plus gigs on TV and assorted shows all at the recommendation of Pilita. There came a time when these came to a stop but by then Martin was already flying high merrily on his own as the country’s leading balladeer.

Now as everybody who knows him certainly knows Martin has the memory of an elephant. He remembers minute details of everything. More so big deals like what Pilita did. This is the reason why he has remained loyal to his music label Polyeast Records for 20 years. Because at a time in his life when his family was torn apart and his career was in shambles, Polyeast was there for him. And just as he also never forgot that it was Fritz Infante who directed him in his first TV show or that it was Homer Flores who wrote and produced his first singles, You Are To Me and Please Don’t Throw My Love Away, Martin never forgot Pilita.

So there was no way that Martin was going to say no to singing with Pilita in her upcoming Duets album. Besides, in all his over 30 years in the business and countless appearances with Pilita in various concerts and even in her own TV show, they had never done a duet together. They recorded and made history. So watch out for it. The song is Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin, one of Martin’s biggest hits composed by Louie Ocampo and Joey Albert. 

Not only that Pilita also gets to sing a song written by Martin in the album. This is You Are My Song, a composition by Louie and Martin for the movie Wanted Perfect Mother that Pilita sings with Regine Velasquez, who I am sure like Martin recalls the time when then a gawky 18-year-old, Pilita also brought her to Boss Vic at Viva and kicked started her recording career.

Generous Martin does not only say yes to singing with the legendary divas like Pilita, he is also open-hearted about helping newcomers. This is why although their career history covers only a few years and a few shows, he is also singing a duet with Joanna Ampil in her new self-titled album. I grant that Joanna is not really a newcomer to the trade. She was a 17-year-old Kim in Miss Saigon on West End some years ago. But then she spent a big deal of the ensuing years mostly on stage in London or on tour for other shows. She is only now establishing a presence in the Philippines. Still, it did not take long or much for Martin to help her out.

Their collaboration is a very special song. Never Thought I’d Ever Love This Way Again was composed by Tony Renis, the Italian pop legend who also wrote the award-winning The Prayer for the movie Quest for Camelot. The duet was produced by Christian de Walden of Hollywood. Martin really went out of his way to do this one and that meant flying to Los Angeles to record his part while Joanna, who was then on tour for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, did her vocals at the Nautilus in Milan, Italy.

Joanna Ampil the album is now available in the stores and Never Thought I’d Ever Love This Way Again is a big romantic highlight. Martin and Joanna have made a duet for the ages.

Meanwhile, the MTV VJ Hunt continues this week as we get closer to the Oct. 3 announcement of the winning new VJs. After huge turnouts in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, talented boys and girls from Luzon will now get their chance to try out for the prized MTV gig. The hunt will be at the Marquee Mall in Pampanga on July 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Good luck to everybody.

Over at the MYX, the Filipino music channel, here are the Top 20 videos in the Pinoy MYX Countdown for the week: Right Where You Belong by Julie Anne San Jose; Kunwa-kunwari Lang by Kyla; Pag Napagod Na Ang Puso by Erik Santos; Walang-Wala by Banda ni Kleggy; +63 by Sponge Cola feat. Yeng Constantino; Kapiling Kita by Karylle; PML by Smugglaz; Sa’ yo by Silent Sanctuary; Happier This Way by Save Me Hollywood; Into Your Arms by Luigi D’Avola.

We Can’t Be by Krissy; Di Kayang Pilitin by Klarisse de Guzman; Maybe This Time by Sarah Geronimo; Gusto Kita by Angeline Quinto; Natataranta by James Reid; Takipsilim by Gloc-9 feat. Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; Puyat by Rjay Ty feat. Ron Henley; Mallin’ by Q-York, Roxee B & Izz; Plastic by Hazel Faith; and Pag May Time by Xian Lim.

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