Wednesday, November 15, 2006


MANILA, NOVEMBER 15, 2006 (STAR) SOUNDS FAMILIAR By Baby A. Gil - The music industry is undergoing massive changes brought about by new technology and the ensuing market response. Despite these, 2006 is shaping up to become a most important year in the history of Filipino pop music. If this trend keeps up to 2007, we might just find ourselves in the midst of another renaissance of great original Filipino sounds, just like how it was when the Manila Sound happened in the late ‘70s.

Here now are two pretty ladies helping bring Filipino music back to the forefront and hopefully keep it there. One is Soul Siren Nina, some of whose previous hits were of foreign origin like Julia Fordham’s Love Moves in Mysterious Ways, but who now gets into the OPM mood for a concert series. The other one is fast-rising bossa nova star Raffi Quijano, whose new album is made up of all OPM compositions arranged in a sexy Latin style.

Raffi, who comes from Cebu, is one of the newer additions to the bossa nova craze. For some unknown reason, bossa nova music has become one of the local music industry’s most profitable ventures nowadays and bossa nova albums, and of course, artists, are sprouting like mushrooms. What makes the difference in Raffi’s case are her songs – all-Pinoy pop hits that – thanks to that bit of the Latin in all of us easily lent themselves into the bossa nova beat.

The title of her album, Manila Blend, says it all. This is a mix of the Pinoy’s idea of what coffee house music should be, the sexy rhythm of the bossa nova and some of our favorite songs from the recent past. Leading the pack is the Odette Quesada composition Friend of Mine, the first single release.

Others are Everyday, Till I Met You, Ikaw Pa Rin, Tag-ulan Tag-araw, You Won’t See Me Crying, May Minamahal, O Lumapit Ka, Sa Aking Pag-iisa, Got to Let You Know, Ikaw Lang, Don’t Know What to Do (Don’t Know What to Say), Love without Time and Bong Penera’s A Samba Song which sounds authentically Latin but was actually composed by a Pinoy and a big hit here during the mid-’70s by the jazz band Batucada.

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Some of these songs are among those Nina will perform in her latest concert series entitled Nina…Gold (Precious OPM Hits). These shows will be held at 9 p.m. at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan, starting tomorrow, and onwards to Nov. 17, 23, 24, 29, 30 and Dec. 1 and 7. Guesting during these performances to sing their own Filipino hits are Nonoy Zuñiga on Nov. 16 and 30; Nyoy Volante, Nina’s special someone on Nov. 17 and Dec. 7; Gary Granada on Nov. 23 and 29 and Noel Cabangon on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.

The Gold in the title refers to those precious OPM hits that helped local music find its footing in the hit charts once during these past 30 years and which have become part of out music heritage. Aside from the likes of Friend of Mine and Till I Met You, some of the other songs Nina will perform in her show are Give Me a Chance also composed by Odette; Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko by Bodjie Dasig; Miss na Miss Kita by Rico Soliman; Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin by Jimmy Borja; Dahil Ba Sa Kanya by Freddie Saturno; Bulag, Pipi at Bingi by Snaffu Rigor; and many others.

Nina…Gold is a production by the song management company, M2K Music Licensing Corp. Tickets are priced at P1,500, P900 and P600. Sponsors are Wow! Magic Sing, Manila Bulletin, Baga Berde Grill & Bar, San Miguel Corp., Olay Total Effects, Coca- Cola, PCSO, Monterey, South East Asian Airlines, Mega Sardines, Land Bank, Wave 89.1 and iFm 93.9. A big treat is also in store for members of the audience. Wow! Magic Sing, which has truly increased the number of would-be recording artists among us, will give away one Mabuhay Wow Magic Sing to a lucky P1,500 ticket holder and one Fiesta Wow Magic Sing to those from the P900 section.