The multi-faceted musical life of Christian Bautista

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
The multi-faceted musical life of Christian Bautista
Christian, the singer has evolved into Christian, the songwriter and the mentor. He continues to write more songs and inspire the next generation of singers to keep going with their artistr
STAR / File

Christian Bautista remains true to his musical core. In spite of acting opportunities that have come his way, he never deviates from it.

In fact, Christian looks for singing-related endeavors that will allow the music man in him to grow and even get better.

That’s why Christian, the singer has become Christian, the songwriter.

“It is both,” answered Christian, who will mark his 20th year in show business next year, when asked by The STAR, in a one-on-one, if writing songs is a dream that he aspires for or already a part of his musical life.

“It’s a dream fulfilled and a (part of my) natural progression (as a singer). I want to let every singer know that you really have to start writing songs whether for you or for others because that’s the best way to own your song. If it’s written by you, if it (is) produced by you, ‘yun ang 100-percent yours.”

Christian also shared that if someone else covers a song, made by a songwriter for a particular artist, and becomes a hit because of fate, “The credit still goes back to the original songwriter, not exactly (to) the original singer,” added he. “That’s why I’m always doing my best to write and write more.”

The songwriter’s creative process

The Clash judge’s most recent compositions are Ako Naman and I Need To Know for Jessica Villarubin, The Clash Season 3 grand champion, and Psalms David, The Clash Season 1 hopeful, respectively. In his Kapit album, Christian had writing credits for Huling Harana, Ikaw Lamang, the carrier single Kapit and Musika.

“It’s so different,” said Christian about his songwriting process. “Sometimes, a melody comes into my head. Then, I have to hum it in my phone. Sometimes lyrics, poems come into my head and I have to write (them) in my phone.”

Since he does not play any instruments, Christian would send the melody to his arranger to begin the work. “Then I sing it,” said he, “Kapag meron na ako, iniisip ko na para ba sa akin ito? O para sa iba? (After that, I think about whether the song is for me or is it for another singer?) And then, I think about the next step.”

From Christian’s end, the length of song creation varies. It could take him five minutes or weeks or even months. He draws his musical inspirations from current events, past reflections, stories from friends and fans, and truths that need to be told.

Inspirations to better himself

What motivates Christian to keep going and better his professional and personal lives is wife Kat Ramnani. “It is because of my wife and my new family, as cliché as it may sound,” said he. “Once you have become a husband, you have to do everything to provide for your family. If I’m a singer and the world says, ‘Sorry, you can’t sing for a year.’ Then I have to be a songwriter and I have to be a producer and I have to be a live streamer and I have to be a businessman and I have to be a consultant. Whatever I need to do to provide for my family that’s where I get my inspiration from.”

This love for family reflects why fellow Pinoys persevere. That is to give their loved ones a comfortable and decent life. It is felt even more during these trying times. Christian’s creative industry can also attest to it.

“Yes, most singers have shifted to being creators now kasi walang show na nag-cre-create for (them), no one is writing for (them),” said Christian.

They have to create opportunities for themselves, added he, like venturing into live streaming and producing online shows. Many artists have even discovered their other interests such as in business.

On the lookout for new talents, opportunities

Aside from his being the singer-songwriter, Christian is also known as a judge-mentor to aspiring The Clash singers and a panel judge at the global song contest, Djooky Music Awards.

“I’m there already, to share with the next generation what I have learned,” said he, “share the good, the truths, share how to maneuver in this world of showbusiness.”

Christian, also an All-out Sundays (AOS) mainstay, is among those GMA talents who remain visible in this time of the pandemic.

“Well, to be fair and honest naman, sometimes things are really busy, sometimes wala,” said he, a type of person who makes plans, “but I’m always looking out for what is the current opportunity or trend or wave that I need to ride on, avoid or (I think) what to do about it. Kasi di ka pwedeng naka-stuck ka lang sa five years, every year nag-i-iba, every month nag-i-iba, ready ka rin to adjust.”

Christian finds a reliable partner in his phone calendar to manage his time, days and commitments well.

The value of holding on

Was there a point in his career that Christian’s passion for music waned?

“Yes, I lost it,” he said. “What did I do? I wrote the Kapit album, to tell myself to hold on and to tell other people to hold on as well.”

The singer did hold on to his musical core and continues his story of creativity.

“There’s no one recipe,” shared Christian about attaining success. “(But) it involves a lot of factors.”

For artists to make it in the biz, said Christian, they need support from family, friends and good management, plus a good channel, show and label to showcase and nurture their talents.

He added, “(They also need) people who are honest enough to tell you that this is the wrong path for you, maybe you should try this.”

Part of making a name for themselves, too, said Christian, are prayers, the Lord’s grace and help from fans, who will hopefully never leave their idols even if the latter are already married or have a family of their own.

As long as those circles of people, as Christian described them, still believe in him and the Lord provides him opportunities, he will continue to create music and perform songs.

Christian, the Still actor

After his The Kitchen Musical stint, Christian will be seen in another musical series titled Still, starring Julie Anne San Jose, Bituin Escalante and Gab Pangilinan, and presented by Viu Philippines.

“It captures the heart, soul and essence of being an artist during a pandemic,” said he about his new acting assignment, “in a sense that we’re tackling the issues (like) ‘Are we still essential? Are we still relevant? What do we do? we can’t do anything anymore. Should we stop? Should we go? Should we still try to inspire others, or should we inspire ourselves?”

Christian and Julie Anne had their first leg of shoot in a bubble a few weeks ago. They are now on a break before going into another round of filming. The Clash judge shared that his character is also a singer, songwriter and mentor like himself. He added that there’s a song in the series that will define the next decade of his life. It’s up to viewers to discover soon what this tune is.

“When I heard that song, I was in tears,” said Christian, “kasi parang this will now be the song of my next decade. That’s what I told myself. This is now the theme song of my next decade. The theme of it is simply about keep on going.”

With that, we can’t wait to know what’s up on Christian’s sleeve and what else he will add to his multi-faceted musical life. Like his character in Still, Christian will continue to inspire the next generation of singers to keep going with their music and artistry.

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