Isabella, a work in progress
THEY’RE chips off the old blocks, indeed. That’s exactly what Karylle, Robin Nievera, Paolo Valenciano and Isabella Gonzalez are out to prove anew in “Next Attraction… The Repeat” on Aug. 14 and 15, 8 p.m. at the Music Museum. (For tickets, call 891-9999 or 0916-7150672.)
Their first concert was such a resounding success that these “Gen Next” artists readily reunited onstage. Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera (Robin’s parents), Zsa Zsa Padilla (Karylle’s mom), Gary Valenciano (Paolo’s dad) and Kuh Ledesma (Isabella’s mom) will cheer them on, every low and high note of the way.
Encore, encore, the hip four!
Here’s my tête-à-tête with Isabella:
How do you feel when your mom watches your performance?
I feel a lot of different things; mostly, I feel loved. It’s two parts love and one part pressure—but the good kind. I see it as an added challenge and it makes me want to be more prepared. Having my mom in the audience reminds me to just offer everything at God’s feet.
What’s the best love or career advice that Kuh has given you?
To run to God and not to her … And pray all the time. That’s the best advice for everything!
The fact that I’ve been single since birth is really a blessing. And my mom’s advice to just do my part daily… that prepares me to be the best girlfriend and loving and supportive wife someday.
How would you differentiate your style of singing from your mom’s?
My mom’s style is very refined and is strong without being loud. It’s passionate, yet ladylike and mysterious. It’s alluring in style and substance—very passionate without being so over-the-top.
I love being over-the-top and theatrical! I enjoy it! I love challenging ballads. But our main difference right now is that mostly I do birit songs more. But I’m still a work in progress.
What’s the hardest part of stepping out of your mom’s shadow?
I always remind those who ask that question that because of who my mom is, she has illuminated everything around her, thereby not casting a shadow but giving me wonderful opportunities by just being her daughter.
What don’t people know about Kuh Ledesma?
That God has made her into a genius at whatever she does… enabling her to do great and unexpected things. And she can wear out a pair of hiking boots like only a great adventurer can, with mud and all!
What makes you, Karylle, Paolo and Robin click?
We really love each other. We are basically family. We have fun. And we have natural blending! K is our soprano; I’m the alto/alto-soprano; Pao is the tenor; and Rob is all about the bass—no treble!
What’s the naughtiest thing that you’ve done?
When I was a teenager, I got really angry about something I heard regarding my dad (Louie Gonzalez). I drove his brand-new car. I don’t remember if I had a license at that time. I left a note telling them where I was. I went to my friend’s house in Malate to basically complain and seek solace. And I caused a lot of unnecessary drama. My parents ended up coming to get me and though I acted impulsively, they were able to bring me back home.
Which of Kuh’s songs would you like to remake?
“It Must Be You” or “I Don’t Know What’s Come Over Me,” because these two songs were written by my dad. I’d love to sing something that my parents worked on when they were so in love with each other!
What’s your song for yourself?
“Don’t Rain on My Parade.” It’s my “warrior cry.”
But what I also do more often now is compose worship songs with my guitar—I just let out everything I’m feeling in that moment, and cry out to God in song. So my song right now is always changing!
How does Kuh show that she’s proud of you?
She flashes a big smile and she starts calling me anak. She encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. When I do the things she suggested, that’s when I get the best hugs from her, when I can tell I’ve done well. You can just read the love in her eyes. I love her so much.
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