3 on life, love & career

Carlo Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 6, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As we approach Valentine’s Day and with all the shows happening in Manila, we asked these three men of the hour, synonymous to classic love songs and who will be performing together in a concert called Only You at the PICC on Feb. 14 — Matt Monroe Jr., Christian Bautista and Donne Ray Radford (lead singer of The Platters) — questions on love, life and career. Read on.

What is your most unforgettable Valentine’s Day?

Matt Jr.: “My most unforgettable Valentine’s is actually not about me but my mom and dad. My dad was appearing in America while his family was in England. He was offered a million dollars to fly to the Middle East to do a Valentine’s concert, which he agreed to do. The family was sitting at home when there was a knock on the door on Valentine’s Day, my mom answered the door and there was my dad. He came home because he didn’t want to be apart from his family. This goes to prove that love is more powerful than money.”

Christian: “It was as simple as a romantic yet heartfelt Skype call.”

Donne: “My most memorable Valentine’s Day was many years ago when I was 19 years old. I was invited to a party at a friend’s house, which just happened to be on Valentine’s night. At the party, I met this lady, who I thought was absolutely gorgeous, we chatted for many hours, eventually arranging to go out for dinner. This lady went on to be my wife. A very memorable Valentine’s Day!”

What to you should a love song contain that would stand the test of time?

Matt Jr.: “For me, a love song that would stand the test of time should be about truth. The lyrics should be cleverly written that everyone can relate to them. And also it must have a melody that people always remember.”

Christian: “Moments in a life of love encapsulated in a truthful melodic line.”

Donne: “A good love song should be very melodic and should have great lyrics and a message expressing the true feeling of love for the lady/gentleman in his/her life.”

You are all famous for recording and performing love songs. If you were to write a song on the subject of love today, what angle of love will your song be about?

Matt Jr.: “It’s quite strange that you ask me that question now as I am in the middle of recording a song called Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife. It symbolizes to me everything that the love of your life should mean to you. Ultimately should be your other half, your soulmate.”

Christian: “That love should not be as fast-paced and as hurried and as disposable as it is sometimes today.”

Donne: “I believe that very few songs of today come close to some of the wonderful songs written 40/50 or so years ago. The lyrics of love in a song have to feel as though the meaning comes from the heart. I believe that is what people expect to hear in a true love song.”

Do you think sometimes romantic love is overrated?

Matt Jr.: “You are talking to a hopeless romantic, I feel real love is the most powerful emotion in life. I believe two people in love can overcome every obstacle that life throws at them.”

Christian: “Not at all. People who think that love is overrated is overrated.”

Donne: “I don’t for one minute feel that love is overrated. I don’t feel there is enough love around in today’s world. People today use the ‘love you’ expression way too loosely. I am sure the recipient of being told by their partner how much they are loved will always be gratefully accepted.”

Who is your greatest love?

Matt Jr.: “My greatest love without a shadow of doubt is my mom. She always put my sister and me first in life. She was always there for us and her love for us was unmeasurable. She was the most amazing woman I have ever met and although she is no longer with us, she is always in my heart and I know she is still looking over me.”

Christian: “The one that got away.”

Donne: “My greatest love and inspiration was my mother Ruthie Mae.”

How do you want to be remembered as an artist?

Matt Jr.: “I would like to be remembered as an artist who was passionate with his music who always sang from his heart whose every lyric sung was felt by his audience.”

Christian: “An artist who sang his bleeding heart out every time a love song is sung…”

Donne: “I would hope my legacy would be one of a good singer that sang good songs with great lyrics, that in some way touched people and brought them peace and happiness.”

What would be a nice title for a love song?

Matt Jr.: “I love the idea of a love song to be called… You and Me Against the World. True love conquers all.”

Christian: Love Song.”

Donne: “One of my favorite song titles for a song is True Love — says it all!”

Your favorite line from a classic love song that is relevant to you today.

Matt Jr.: “From the song Portrait of My Love: Anyone who sees her soon forgets the Mona Lisa. Love really is the most powerful commodity you would be very lucky to have.”

Christian: I don’t know how or why I feel different in your eyes. All I know is, it happens every time… from The Way You Look At Me.”

Donne: You’re once, twice, three times a lady, and I love you…”

A heartbreaking song or line from a song that you can’t forget.

Matt Jr.: “Softly as I leave you... It was played at my dad’s funeral and he always finished his concerts with it around the world. Even now 30 years later, it still sends shivers down my spine and I still get very emotional every time I sing it. It affects me so much that I even have to tell the audience before I sing it how emotional it is to me in case I break down, but I sing it as no show is complete without it.”

Christian: The pieces don’t fit anymore.

Donne: “I have three songs that stand out to me, My Flame by Bobby Caldwell, Softly As I Leave You by Matt Monro and My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.”

If there’s one person you’d love to sing a love song to, who would that be?

Matt Jr.: “I would love to sing a love song to every fan who has been there for me through the good and bad times, but if I had to choose one person it would have to be my girlfriend who is my strength, my love, my future, my life. I have never sung a song for her in a concert as the performance is always for everyone and not for one person, but who knows I might just do it on Valentine’s Day.”

Christian: “My future wife!”

Donne: “My beautiful wife Christine, who unfortunately won’t be able to attend the Valentine’s show in the Philippines.”

(Tickets to Only You: An Evening of Romantic Hits are available at Ticketworld at 891-9999. The show is produced by Royal Chimes Concerts & Events.)

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