Belle Mariano shows off musical side in 1st virtual concert

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Belle Mariano shows off musical side in 1st virtual concert
The 19-year-old actress is exploring her musical side — fi rst with her debut album Daylight and now, her fi rst concert ever with the same title, which is happening tomorrow, Jan. 29, via KTX.ph. Presented by Star Pop and ABS-CBN Events, Daylight: The Concert is one of the virtual events platform’s Top 5 shows with the most number of tickets sold.
STAR / File

Amid her continuous rise in showbiz, Belle Mariano wants you to know that there’s more to her than being an actress.

The 19-year-old is embracing and exploring her musical side — first with her debut album Daylight under Star Pop and now, her first concert ever with the same title, presented by both Star Pop and ABS-CBN Events, which is happening tomorrow, Jan. 29, via KTX.ph. (According to KTX sources, Daylight is one of the virtual events platform’s Top 5 shows with the most number of tickets sold.)

“I love singing, too. Acting isn’t just my passion. Like everyone else, I have more than one passion and there are a lot of things that I want to do,” Belle explained in a virtual presscon.

Belle has been in the industry for nine years, starting out in the children’s gag show Goin’ Bulilit and the drama Lorenzo’s Time, but it can be said that 2021 was her year of breakthrough for successive big breaks that have made her the “belle of the ball.” Apart from her first album, she had her first female lead role in a series, He’s Into Her, and film Love Is Color Blind with love team partner Donny Pangilinan. (The STAR also learned that DonBelle’s He’s Into Her: Benison Ball concert and Love Is Color Blind broke records — “biggest attendance” and “biggest film,” respectively — on KTX.)

Belle is one of those artists who can stake a claim that they worked their way up. During a one-on-one chat, it wasn’t hard to feel her happiness that she’s now ticking off goals she used to only dream about, including headlining her own concert.

She gushed to The STAR: “Ever since, wini-wish ko na sana maka-concert ako, pero parang ngayon palang ata nag-si-sink in sa akin, na oh my gosh, may concert ako, and dun nanggaling yung kaba, excitement na talagang mapakinggan ng lahat yung mga songs mo sa album. This is my first-ever concert and who would have thought? I was just dreaming of this before.”

Asked what to expect in her concert, she said she wants the overall positive vibe of the album to translate into the virtual show. “I feel like this concert will be a reminder for us, to everyone, that despite all the struggles we’re going through, there’s always ‘daylight’ that comes after. I wanted it to be intimate, light, something that everyone can relate to.”

Besides singing all seven tracks on her debut record, Belle hinted at performing covers with reworked arrangements. Guests include Trisha Denise, SAB, Jayda, composers of her album’s songs, as well as Kyle Echarri, Ben&Ben and Donny.

Staging her first concert, there have been some challenges, Belle readily admitted. “Feeling ko, ang pinaka-struggle ko dito is stage fright. Alam mo, yung kahit virtual lang makikita, andun pa rin yung kaba. I just want to give my best in this concert since this is my very first.”

Nevertheless, the Star Magic and RISE Artists Studio talent enjoyed having creative control and say on Daylight: The Concert, which is directed by Alco Guerrero under the musical direction of Iean Iñigo.

“Madami po (input). Really, when direk and I were talking, I was amazed since lahat ng ideas namin, nag-a-align. Like here sa concert ko, there won’t be any stage, there’s just gonna lights, and a fun, yes, dreamy vibe, for everyone.”

Daylight album

Belle also took a hands-on approach to the making of her album, which was dropped last December. She was heavily involved in the selection of the title and songs that best “resembled who I am.”

“All the songs in the album are really just light that every time I’d hear the songs, I could see myself sitting in the veranda, watching the daylight, drinking a cup of coffee. Ganun yung vibes din kasi ng music so that’s why we came up with the title.”

Belle, who has confident and emotive vocals, was proud to showcase works by young composers on her debut record. The track Rise was written especially for her by the equally talented Jayda Avanzado. “(She said) I researched some things about you, your life, etc., sabi ko, really? Yung song na sinulat niya relatable siya sa journey ko in this industry. Sabi ko nga ang galing naman nito, wow! You can really see, everytime you hear the songs in the album, the passion of the composers and how much they love what they do.”

She expressed hope of writing her own songs someday. “Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to compose my own songs because now every time I try, one struggle ko talaga, paano ko tatapusin yung kanta (laughs). Laging ganun nangyayari, so hopefully, makakatapos ako ng song (laughs).”

First in the family

Belle, whose musical idols include Beyonce, Ariana Grande, BTS, Moira dela Torre and Sarah Geronimo, is the first artist in their family.

“My dad is into business and my mom, business. So, really I’m the first artist, the first performer in the family (laughs). But they’re very supportive of what I’m doing. Sobrang natutuwa sila because they saw how I loved entertaining other people growing up. Natutuwa sila nagagawa ko yun. But they always remind me of my core. What is my core? God and family. Remember where you came from, always keep your feet on the ground,” she said.

Her music inclination began as early as she showed interest in acting. “I’m the type of kid who would perform in front of my family during family reunions. Ako yung talagang automatic na ‘pag may videoke, ako yung mauuna. I feel like my passion when it comes to music comes from that. Talagang lahat kami sa family, we all love singing sa videoke and I just love performing. (Again) I love entertaining other people. I love putting smiles on their faces kaya sobrang natutuwa ako whenever I sing or dance in front of them.”

She further recalled, “And my lolo po kasi, I used to sing a lot with him, he’s the one who’s always, ‘OK, try this song.’ So mga songs ng panahon niya, na-aral ko na rin. Dun talaga ako natuto sa kanya, and the confidence to sing.

“I love listening to music honestly, kasi parang vent din siya sa atin. Gusto natin maramdaman yung nararamdaman ng kumakanta. Everytime I listen to music, I get to see pictures, I’m able to imagine. That’s the beautiful thing that music can bring us — this love for life.”

Career advice

As she’s now clearly being primed to be one of ABS-CBN’s next biggest stars, Belle has been taking to heart some advice to better her craft.

“Feel every word you say when you sing… As simple as yung crack ng voice, may laman yun, so kailangan mo maramdaman ang bawat salita na sinasabi mo,” shared Belle, who has this “practice” when recording a song — she sings with the lights super dimmed or totally off.

“In terms of everything, acting and whatever it is you may be passionate about, one advice given to me is do everything with love because if you do so, dun mag-re-reflect yung mga ginagawa natin. Dun mo rin mapapakita kung gaano mo kamahal yung ginagawa mo. Kung ano ang binibigay mo, yun din yung babalik sayo, di ba?”

For Belle, 2021 was like a rollercoaster. “I didn’t know what to expect but I was just enjoying the ride,” she said, adding that this 2022, she believes the year will spell “growth” in all aspects of her life. “Looking forward to that. Looking forward to know more about myself, the music industry, the acting industry. Just really growth and a better year,” she said.

Of course, along with growth and popularity are naysayers. The “hate comments” are somehow referred to in her newly-released music video for Rise.

The STAR asked Belle about how she’s been handling these things. “Honestly, just never let the negativity affect you, as long as you know who you are, your core, and as long as you always seek the ‘daylight,’ wow (laughs).

“Surround yourself with people you love, people who love you. Surround yourself with positive people. I feel like the ones around you talaga are the biggest influencers in your life. We can’t blame (bashers) because we all have different preferences and opinions. It’s just a matter of respect because, you know, there’s just a lot of hate going on, so why don’t you just spread kindness? It’s so easy to be kind.”

(SVIP and VIP tickets have already been sold out but regular tickets for the main concert link are still available at P195. Daylight: The Concert airs 8 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 29 via KTX.ph and TFC IPTV with replay on Sunday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m.)


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