Hajji bares biggest challenge veteran singers face when doing a show | Inquirer Entertainment

Hajji bares biggest challenge veteran singers face when doing a show

By: - Reporter
12:03 AM June 04, 2018

Hajji Alejandro

A singer about to go onstage is, in a way, Hajji Alejandro said, similar to a boxer about to enter the ring—both need to be in tip-top condition.

And at age 63—45 years into his career—the performer dubbed in the 1970s as “Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala” is proud that he’s still as vigorous as ever, both physically and vocally.


“Doing a show is like going into an important fight. You have to manage your health and keep track of everything you do,” he told the Inquirer at a recent press conference for his coming anniversary concert, “Hajji: Ako at ang Aking Musika,” which will be held on June 23 at The Theatre at Solaire.


“I believe in doing things in moderation. I watch what I eat and make sure I get enough sleep. Once in a while, I drink when there’s a special occasion or something to celebrate,” added the seasoned music artist, who’s behind such classics as “Panakip Butas,” “Nakapagtataka” and “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.”

Stamina, consistency

While he admitted that he couldn’t perform some of his songs in their original key anymore, he makes up for it with stamina and consistency.
“I don’t smoke; it affects your breathing. You risk running out of gas halfway through your set,” Hajji pointed out.

And just like most people, he loves singing in the shower, too. “I regularly do my vocalizations there. As you know, the acoustics are nice!” he said, laughing.

This diligence with which he looks after himself stems from his aversion to making excuses, especially while onstage. “I don’t want to start a show with a disclaimer. I owe it to my fans to keep myself in shape, so I can deliver…
whether in terms of movement or singing,” he said. “You have to be disciplined.”

Hajji’s show, the fourth in Lucky 7 Koi Production’s “Powerhouse” series, will focus on his musical journey—
from his beginnings to the highs. Of course, he will be singing his most popular hits, but this time with new flavor.


Fresh arrangements

“For veterans like me, the songs are a given—the people already know the songs. So, the challenge for us is to come up with fresh arrangements or ways to improve our presentation,” he said. “You have to make sure that you leave a piece of yourself to the audience, so they may leave the theater with a smile.

Joining Hajji onstage are his daughter, Rachel Alejandro, and friends and fellow OPM icons Rey Valera, Marco Sison and Celeste Legaspi.

“My guests won’t be necessarily doing their own hits, but they will complement the things I will do onstage. These are people with whom I have shared experiences,” said Hajji who started in show biz as part of the Circus Band.

At this point in his life and career, Hajji’s prayers at night are “thank you, no more complaints, no more requests.”

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“I can’t possibly ask for anything more. Music is something you don’t simply do—
you play it, you have fun with it. And so, I have never felt I have worked a single day of my life. I have been in this for a long time, 45 years. And I thank God for that gift,” he said.


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