Odette Quesada’s music: The gift that keeps on giving
If you think only foreign artists or dreamy K-pop idols can make a killing on the local concert scene, you’ve got another thing coming. In fact, Odette Quesada’s anniversary concert at the Newport Performing Arts Theater last Sept. 1 was already a sold-out star-studded affair long before we interviewed the well-loved singer-songwriter—and exceptional performer, we must add—last Aug. 19.
So it didn’t come as a surprise when we learned that AiP (Anything is Possible) Media Production Inc., the events group that organized and produced the eagerly anticipated repeat of the show on Friday—this time, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater at Circuit Makati—had to quickly add another date because the venue ran out of tickets almost as soon as they were released. We learned that all the tickets for both shows were sold out the same week they were released—two months before the concert!
Last Monday, we asked producer, writer and talent manager Noel Ferrer to confirm this amazing feat, and he quipped, laughing, “We sold out that first date practically overnight—as in!”
When we asked Odette how she feels every time she gets another “reminder” of how Filipino music aficionados love her songs, she said she’s as grateful as she is thrilled by their enduring popularity. They are the gifts that keep on giving—among them Sharon Cuneta’s “To Love Again,” Ric Segreto’s “Don’t Know What to Do, Don’t Know What to Say” and “Give Me a Chance,” Raymond Lauchengco’s “I Need You Back” and “Farewell,” Kuh Ledesma’s “Till I Met You,” Gary Valenciano’s “Growing Up” and her own hit singles, “Friend of Mine” and “I Remember You.”
“That’s what happened when I guested on ‘E.A.T.’ to promote my concert last August,” Odette recalled. “A lot of the crew members were surprised when they found out that I was the one who actually wrote the songs that they knew by heart. They knew my songs more than they knew me (laughs). “And these were grown men—young people who are probably in their early 20s to early 30s. It’s unexpected, but it feels good to be able to still reach that generation. I’m very grateful because that’s my legacy right there. Hopefully, they’ll be around for another 14, 15, maybe 20 years.”
‘Warm giant hug’
For the singer, the upcoming two-night concert “feels like a warm giant hug.”
Asked what her reaction was to the brisk ticket sales, Odette mused, “There was a lot of heartwarming buzz for the first show in September that was carried over by word of mouth. So when AiP decided to do a repeat, all they had to do was book the venue and people bought tickets right away without even a mention of who was going to be with me in the show. “I think people just want to hear the songs again played live and celebrate them with me. As I have said before, once a song is set out to the universe for all to hear, it no longer belongs to the songwriter, but to the listener.” Asked why he and his partners at AiP decided to “convince” the US-based Odette to return to the country this soon after the September show, Noel explained, “This milestone is a labor of love—a wonderful gift of music and friendship forged by Odette Quesada and her music. This ought to be ‘experienced’ by more and more people—even in various parts of the country and of the world.”
Odette shared, “The repeat is on Nov. 24, the repeat of the repeat is on Nov. 25. I believe AiP is planning on touring this show [in the] middle of next year, perhaps as early as May in the West Coast and in the East Coast around the same time. Other dates [and countries)]could take place in July and September next year.”
But we’ve also been telling Noel and his partners that they’ll probably attract even more eager crowds if they take the show “on the road” here at home and visit Cebu, Davao and other key cities in the country.
Actor, coproducer and director Rowell Santiago, who deftly helmed what felt like an intimate show at a huge venue last September, also weighed in on the popularity of Odette’s music. He pointed out, “Odette Quesada’s music has become the soundtrack of our youth, of our lives. This ‘All Hits’ concert brings back all the stories and the feels of a generation that brim with hope and love.”
Doubly significant concert
“Odette Quesada, All Hits: The Repeat” marks the singer-composer’s 40th anniversary as a singer. The concert series is doubly significant for Odette because her mom, Thelma, will also be taking the trip back to Manila with her. “If she’s feeling up to it, she’ll also be watching the show,” she disclosed.
Odette will be fielding another major throwback sing-along party at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater this Friday and Saturday, featuring a stellar lineup of guests that includes Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Gary Valenciano (on Nov. 24) and Lani Misalucha, Randy Santiago and The Company (on Nov. 25).
They’ll be joined by Raymond Lauchengco, Fe de los Reyes, Bituin Escalante and Arman Ferrer on both nights, with Niña Campos and Mike Shimamoto as front acts.
Odette is returning to Manila as Pinoys are gearing up for the Yuletide holidays. Will there be a brand-new Christmas song coming up?
“I do miss spending Christmas in the Philippines, where the holidays feel more festive and meaningful,” she admitted. “Unfortunately, I have not done that in 23 years.
“I don’t have a Christmas song in the offing—maybe next year. But who knows? I might just get carried away with the Yuletide feeling.” INQ