For debut album, Matteo gathers Cebuano talents

Vanessa Balbuena (The Freeman) - November 26, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - It’s been an eventful last quarter for Cebuano star Matteo Guidicelli, who’s been hard at work launching a music career. Calling it a “new chapter of my life,” the 25-year-old is finally seeing a dream that began five years ago come into fruition.

Matteo was in town recently as the special guest of Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort’s “Walk Among Stars” event, an annual parol lighting affair that honors charities and jumpstarts the beach spot’s holiday festivities.

After serenading guests with easy-listening ballads, including a rendition of his girlfriend Sarah Geronimo’s “Kilometro,” Matteo sat down with the press to talk about his self-titled debut album produced by Star Music.

Officially released today, the Fil-Italian’s CD is made up of six tracks: three originals (“Ipapadama Na Lang,” “Panaginip” and “Kathang-isip”) and three cover versions (“Ewan,” “Annie’s Song [You Fill Up My Senses]” and “Sa Kanya” which is a duet with Regine Velasquez).

“If you listen to the lyrics, it’s everything I’ve been through and been going through,” he reveals.

A testament of his hometown pride, the ABS-CBN talent shot one of his music videos in Cebu, with the Mandaue-Mactan bridge figuring prominently.

But it isn’t just with his music video locale where Matteo shows his love for Cebu and the Bisaya ilk. “My photographer Jan Jan Gonzales is from Cebu. We shot it in Cebu, the people in the music video are from Cebu. One of my producers is Bisaya, his name is Kid Wolf, he’s from Davao. So it’s like a gathering of Bisaya talents. For me, it’s like returning to where I started,” says Matteo.

Assembling Cebuano talent isn’t something that stops with this album. He’s got a bigger goal: “My dream really, is to gather all the Bisaya talents into one show,” he says. “Not just on-screen talents, but off-screen as well, such as cameramen, audiomen, directors, editors and photographers.”

Before achieving that, Matteo has to hurdle what could be one of the biggest nights of his life so far. Tomorrow, he embarks on his first solo concert dubbed “MG1” at the Music Museum in Manila, with guest performers Martin Nievera and fellow Cebuano Morissette of “The Voice of the Philippines Season 1.” He shares he would have loved to have Davaoeña KZ Tandingan as third guest, but her schedule couldn’t permit it.

Notice how the concert’s title hints that Matteo is counting on mounting more shows in the future.

Of how his love affair with singing came about, Matteo says it began during high school, which eventually led him take up musical theater in a Chicago university. The former kart racer then returned to the Philippines and became an actor.

Focusing mostly on learning Tagalog and honing his acting, Matteo’s musical aspirations took a backseat.

“Five years ago, I always wanted to make an album, yet it never materialized,” relates Matteo. “Two years ago when I was in the United States for a tour with Sarah, I was with Louie Ocampo. At the end of the tour, Sir Louie said, ‘Why don’t we produce an album for you when we get back to the Philippines?’ When we came back, we were conceptualizing, and nothing really happened. Years after, we sat down again with Star Music, and then we made it happen.”

What fans shouldn’t count on happening, if Matteo had his way, is a collaboration with his Popstar Princess beau (whom he calls “my life”), whether it be on an acting or singing endeavor.

He explains, “We just don’t want to, because showbiz is very difficult, especially when your relationship is new. It’s so easy to lose yourself, it’s so easy to lose the relationship. There is so much temptation everywhere. When you’re acting, our product is ourselves, our emotions. So it’s so easy to lose yourself. It’s hard to explain. We just don’t want to work together because we don’t want to confuse work with real life.”

One thing Matteo wants to avoid is the accusation that he’s merely riding on Sarah’s coattails. “Like I’m into music now, she’s been into music, but I don’t wanna go and do anything with her because I want to create something on my own,” he says. “She’s gonna do hers, I’m gonna do mine. If I succeed, then good. If not, then it will be entirely my fault.”

On the acting front, Matteo has an indie action film coming out sometime next year titled “Tupang Ligaw.” He plays here an ex-marine that seeks vengeance for his brother’s death. The film is directed by Rod Santiago, who also helmed the ABS-CBN teleseryes “Agua Bendita” and “Buhawi Jack.” (FREEMAN)



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