Martin: Christmas this year wonât be the same...
The Concert King reminisces on his early Vicor days and his memorable Christmases.
Martin Nievera
Martin: Christmas this year won’t be the same...
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 14, 2020 - 12:00am

It’s back to where Martin Nievera came from, making a full circle in his 38-year career as a singer as he signs up with Vicor (on its 50-plus years in the business) which is now part of the Viva Group of Companies.

“It feels nostalgic,” Martin told Funfare in an exclusive interview, “especially when Boss Vic (del Rosario Jr.) told me that he wanted me to join them to celebrate Vicor’s 50 years. I felt like this is something I needed to do. In this day and age, recording contracts, albums or CDs are a thing of the past, but back in the day I used to record vinyl records for Vicor so this decision was more for the history of it all and less of a career move.”

Vicor was Martin’s first home studio where he recorded some of his hit songs.

“I have recorded numerous songs with Vicor, including Be My Lady, Pain and even my very first single, Holiday. I recorded all these and many more during the time I was still looking for my voice. Back then, the norm was recording on vinyl. Now it’s a luxury they are slowly bringing back. I am blessed to say that I have lived and sung long enough to experience analog and digital.”

Since Christmas is just around the corner, ushered in at the start of the “ber” months by Jose Mari Chan’s all-time hit song Christmas in Our Hearts, I asked Martin how different this year’s holiday season would be, and where and how he would spend it.

“Every Christmas is different for me because I am that ‘Santa’ kind of dad traveling on my sleigh flown by Philippine Airlines (PAL), barely making the Christmas season here or there. Last year was the best Christmas ever because I had all three sons in one place. This Christmas promises to be just as special if not more, but instead of us all being in Las Vegas like last year, we will all be here in the Philippines.”

Martin with sons Santino, Ram and Robin

And his most memorable Christmas?

“Also last year. It was special and the most unique. As I said, I had all three sons in Las Vegas and that’s what made it extra, extra special and very unforgettable, too. What made it unique? Both mothers were there, too. Hurry, call 911! Hahaha!!!

What Christmas song rekindles the “child” in him?

The Christmas Song by Johnny Mathis. When I hear that song even to this day, it brings me to a happy-sad place and that’s when I know it’s Christmas. Even in June.”

It’s also the same Christmas song that makes him sad.

“It was the last song I sang with my father, Bert Nievera, before he passed away.”

Martin with dad Bert Nievera, twin sister Vicki and sister Rachel. Christmas with family is Martin's most memorable.

But one song that makes him as joyful as the season is likewise the one by Johnny Mathis.

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year and every Carpenter Christmas song, especially Merry Christmas Darling. I love Christmas songs so much that I try to write one every year. Some I have never recorded, but Christmas is my favorite time of the year as a kid and as a father. I am the happiest and the saddest during this time of the year.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

MARTIN NIEVERA
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