Rey Valera (far right) and Joey G sing from their playlists and take on each other’s hits in The Acoustic Playlist on Feb. 7 at the Palacio De Maynila.
An OPM acoustic show like no other
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Rey Valera and Joey G will cook up a musical treat like no other on Feb. 7, 8 p.m. at the Palacio De Maynila along Roxas Boulevard. The two Original Pilipino Music (OPM) icons bring their A game as they also take on each other’s signature songs (Rey sings Joey, and Joey sings Rey).

Aside from banking on their playlists, they will play the guitar to perform everybody’s tunes. Thus, perhaps, The Acoustic Playlist is the title.

“Yes, this is my first time (to headline a show) with Rey,” said Joey G on this collaboration (in a recent media call), adding that Anna Puno came up with the concept in which the Manila presentation ushers in a US tour. Joey and Rey will go to Seattle, Washington (Snoqualmie Casino, May 1); Los Angeles (The Grove of Anaheim, May 3), Las Vegas (Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, May 8), and San Diego (Sycuan Casino Resort, May 17). Their special guest is Jona. Palacio De Maynila produces the Manila show, while Anna is in charge of its production, and the producer of the US tour.

“I’m really excited (to be on the show),” shared Joey. “We did work (together) once for Protégé then but did not perform (together).” The GMA show had them as among its mentors.

“Joey has the reputation na magaling (that he is very good at what he does),” said Rey, “parang tinuturing ko ito na mag-a-adjust ako sa kanya (I consider the fact that I’m going to adjust to his ways) in a way, he has fans who do not know me. So in that sense, I will introduce myself (to them)...  I also need to introduce myself to the millennials, may mga nakakatanda (din) na hindi kilala si Joey, na mag-me-merge kami at magkikita kami sa mga songs na kakantahin namin.” In that merger-marriage of songs emerges the charm and magical moments The Acoustic Playlist promises everyone. You will see two solo artists who come from divergent musical backgrounds converge.

“Magaganda yung mga choices of songs niya,” said Rey, who worked with Joey when he was the lead vocalist of another Pinoy music icon, Side A. By the way, Joey now performs with his own band. The singer also launched a solo album titled Stand on iTunes.

“We’re going to have duets, a medley of OPM (songs), siguro i-mi-mix namin,” Joey gave a sneak peek into that acoustic night. “Marami kaming pwedeng gawin ni Rey na bagay sa amin (we could come up with things that complement us as singers). That’s why I’m excited.”

Is there a possibility for fans to see them dance in a segment, which Joey did  with Gary Valenciano in a show? Well, we’ll find out.

Asked about their similarities and differences as artists, the top-of-mind answer was Rey and Joey’s liking for love songs. “Dedication,” added Rey. “He is dedicated to his craft. He is passionate and (another thing I think that we share in common is) his choice of songs, hindi kami naglalayo. The difference, (however), is the image that we have projected through the years, kasi inilagay ako sa masa category (I’m identified with that category)... Joey seems to be in the middle-upper class category.”

During the intimate group interview, Joey and Rey were also asked to share their musical discovery on whether they learned to sing or play musical instruments like the guitar first.

“Both. My dad plays the piano, my mom sings,” said Joey, who loves Rey’s songs such as Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko (sung by Sharon Cuneta) and Ako si Superman, and looks up to the ‘70s artists like Rey, Rico J. Puno, Hajji Alejandro and The Circus Band. “Yung buong family talagang mahilig sa music. Actually, I learned (singing) from (the) karaoke. The first (instrument I got interested in) was guitar, (then) lahat ng instruments na dumadating sa bahay natututunan ko din.”

As for Rey, the singing bug bit him first before other aspects of music beckoned him.

“Parang yung pagkanta, mauuna yun. Siyempre yung hilig mo sa music sumasagi na yun maliit ka pa (It seems that singing comes first, and your interest in music crosses your mind at a young age),” he shared, “you sing not knowing what chord progression is, what a songwriter is, wala kang idea about that. Then, when you are a teenager, (you realize that) there’s someone who composes a song, akala mo yung singer. As you grow older, (you learn about other music people), iba rin pala yung arranger, iba yung nag-ly-lyrics, iba pala yung mixing, yung mastering. (You learn) that there are people who make up the music industry and you develop respect not just for the singer whom you idolize but also for others.”

Rey is seen as punong hurado of ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan, while Joey topbills gigs in the live stage scene. He enjoys his going six-year solo career “kasi hawak mo ang time mo,” and decided to leave Side A after 25 years of being its front man. One may think it was an opportune time for him to write another chapter of his musical life, “nagpaalam ako ng maayos... medyo (may) takot (at first kung) tatanggapin ba ako ng tao as a solo artist,” he said.

On to the February show, Rey and Joey are ready to give fans an acoustic evening like no other.

(For details, call 8470-2222 or Palacio De Maynila at 8524-7606 and 8527-3239.)

HAJJI ALEJANDRO REY VALERA RICO J. PUNO
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