Showing the world that she's a true artist, Aiza Seguerra
conquers Singapore with her latest album Open Arms. The 18-track album
earned the Gold award under S2S Productions in the island state.
"Home" originally performed by Michael Bublé was made the
carrier single for the album, which Aiza characterizes as being "melancholic."
According to the acoustic singer, the song has a strong meaning for her and
significant other Chen Sarte. "Gusto namin talaga yung 'Home' kasi ever
since nagsimula ako nandun siya parating sumusuporta sa 'kin. There are times
na di kami magkasama pero alam ko na lagi akong may uuwian sa kanya."
Aiza is also slated to perform in Singapore for the
musical play Avenue Q. She said her most recent theater experience
helped her as an actress. "I've been doing theater since I was young. Sa
pag-aartista ang laking tulong pag nag teatro ka dahil na hahasa mo yung sarili
mo. You play with a live audience, bawal magkamali. You have to hone yourself
to perfection, talagang na hahasa."
From October 25-26, Aiza will be promoting her album
by touring music stores such as HMV and Tower Records. Singaporean fans will
also be able to watch the singer reprise her role as Gary Coleman in Avenue
Q from October 30 to November 17 at the Esplanade.
PHILIPPINE VERSION. Interestingly, the carrier single
"Home" is only for the Philippines. The carrier single of the same album for
Singapore is "Smooth Operator." Aiza's version of Sade's hit went all the way
up to No.1 in their Jazz chart. The album Open Arms is predicted to
reach Platinum, since officially it has already exceeded the Gold mark in
Aiza pointed out that Filipinos expect ballads from her so they decided to not
veer away from it. There are also some differences for music fans in both
markets that they've taken note of. Aiza is very grateful for the insights of
Ken Suzuki from S2S Pte Ltd. He explained to her that if they had slow songs in
the album, they should not add fast songs. Aiza differentiates the Filipino
taste, "Dito sa ‘Pinas kahit balladeer ka nagdadagdag ka ng one or two
fast songs for variety, dun hindi." It turns out that those suggestions worked
because of the popularity of the album and high sales.
Other songs in the album include: "Vincent," "Time After
Time," "Open Arms," "Over the Rainbow," "I'll Be There For You," "Longer," "At
Last," "Persistent Rain," and many more.
In the October 3 album launch at Eastwood City, Aiza performed a very wide
range of songs. She played an emotional "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal and even the
rock ballad "Iris" from the Goo Goo Dolls. The crowd really got into her
version of the Eraserheads hit "Ang Huling El Bimbo."
When asked if she'll go into other genres, Aiza was open to the idea. "As
long as maganda yung kanta, kaya naman, pwera lang rap at hip hop. Kapag nag-play
kami ng live merong variety. Di lang puro slow songs or ballads, naglalagay
kami ng rock. Although in the album I couldn't really change the style for this
one, not yet at least."
Even when Aiza is praised for her guitar playing, she is
quite modest and thinks that she still has a long way to go. "I feel I'm a
better singer. Pag guitarist na magaling si Mike Villegas yon, wala pa ko sa
kalingkingan niya. Hataw yung taong yon. All I do is try my best to play and
keep up with him."
Mike of the former band Color It Red plays lead guitar on
all the tracks in the album and her live performances. He also arranges most of
her songs. The decision to go for the natural sound of real instruments was a
conscious one. In spite of having to work harder with the arrangement and
instrumentals they made sure to do it that way.
Aiza reveals: "Except for ‘Persistent Rain,' ‘I'll Be There for You,'
‘Para Lang Sa ‘Yo,' which came from the previous album, lahat talagang
pinaghirapan namin. Ayaw namin ng synthesizer at programmed na kanta. So lahat
real instrument ang gamit, lahat ‘yon baby namin."
Aiza has truly gone a long way from being the adorable
Little Miss Philippines winner and Eat Bulaga mainstay. She has become a
real musician who has now reached international status. Open Arms incidentally
is an original song by the band Journey, which now has a Filipino vocalist in
Arnel Pineda. Aiza may only be one of the many Filipino singers set to invade
and dominate the world stage.
Open Arms has also been successfully released in Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong,
Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand.