Derrick back to his first love
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Derrick Monasterio returns to his first love, which is singing, in the self-titled mini album released under GMA Records. Showbiz insiders, who are privy to his tenor voice, may consider the album a long-overdue recording project, rudely interrupted by acting. For the past three years, Derrick has been juggling two shows usually for an afternoon prime and a family weekend timeslot.

“The songs are different and not connected by any particular theme. My producers want to showcase my versatility — that I can sing any genre,” said the GMA Artist Center talent during the album launch. “It’s an alternative, ballad, rock album. It is my first although I had recorded singles in the past like the one I collaborated with Julie Ann (San Jose) and the track I did with Tween Academy. Some were used as theme songs for movies and TV shows.”

Derrick recorded Kailangan Kita and One Love, One Heart, One Nation for the movies The Witness and My Kontrabida Girl, respectively. He also had the privilege to sing the soundtrack of the series Sinner or Saint.

The Kapuso actor also shared that even if his recording career took a while to take off, it’s worth it.

“I feel my time has come. This is the right time for me,” said the tall, fair-skinned star who patiently waited for the right moment to score a debut album.

“(I was thinking of a career in) singing when I entered showbiz then,” added Derrick, who first starred in Tween Hearts five years ago. “When I was in high school, I was part of a choir. We joined competitions abroad. Nasa puso ko talaga ang pagkanta.”

Since acting eats up most of his time, Derrick admitted that “Hindi ko rin ito naiisip. Basta marunong akong kumanta, okay na yan. (Doing an album never crossed my mind then. What matters is I know how to sing.)”

As a wont in any album launch, Derrick rendered some tunes from the album, including the carrier single Give Me One More Chance. He never did any lip synch of the songs. He simply performed them live. 

“Kung ano ang tunog ko (sa) recording, ganun ang tunog ko sa live (What you hear in the CD is what you also hear when I sing live),” he assured fans and the media. There’s no need to resort to auto-tuning.

Asked what aspect of singing he likes, Derrick replied, “Feelings and emotions are important (and) being able to tell the message I want to put across in a song. Like when I sing alone in my car and the lyrics touch me, (I am reminded of) a past experience, I cry. I think it is the essence of an artist. I get emotional when I’m singing.”

This has somehow helped Derrick make a smooth transition to acting, but he was quick to clarify that “acting is different. I have long taken singing to heart. Acting, on the other hand, is something I have started to love.” That’s why his voice remains at its best, even he got sidetracked to TV and movie acting.

“With singing, once you have it, you’ll always have it,” he said. “You need to take some voice lessons. You should take care of your voice. I avoid cold drinks. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink alcohol.” 

If given the chance to further tread the recording path, Derrick said, “I want to become a balladeer, tunog matanda.” He expressed that he doesn’t mind if his music appeals more to the oldies than the younger market, “Mas nagbabayad ang matanda. (Meron) naman akong songs sa album na pang-bagets din (katulad ng) Batobalani, which sounds Eraserheads.” Also in the album are Kailangan Kita, Kailangan Mo, Kailangan Ko, Pa’no Nga Ba?, Reyna and Ang Aking Puso. 

What are his other musical dreams? “I want to have a concert at Araneta,” answered Derrick, whose musical influences are Josh Groban and Brian McKnight. “(I also dream of) standing in front of a lot of people, wearing a coat with a spotlight on me. (Then) I’m singing my original song and everybody sings along with me. It is my ultimate dream. If I’m in that moment, I will surely cry.”

Derrick will agree with me that all this will happen at the right time. For now, he is ready to give listeners a good eclectic sound on their playlists.

(Derrick’s album can be downloaded via iTunes, Amazon Music, eMusic and Qobuz. Physical copies are available in Astroplus, Astro Vision, The Landmark and SM Music and Video record outlets nationwide.)


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