Gretchen Barretto shows that there is more to her than intrigue and controversy.
As quiet as she is in issuing statements to pacify gossip-hungry people, Gretchen is always in the mood to talk and, well, sing. In fact, during her latest press conference, La Greta interspersed her answers with songs from her album just to prove that she can carry a tune and that she herself sang the songs in her 12-track album.
"Hindi lang po intriga, may CD din," quipped Gretchen during her February 20 press conference prepared by Star Records, signaling the release of La Greta's debut album Unexpected.
Unknown to many, singing is Gretchen's enduring passion, although she considered it simply, at first, as a hobby to keep boredom at bay.
"Kasi hindi ba huminto ako?" Gretchen said about her sabbatical from show business to concentrate on her home life with business magnate Tonyboy Cojuangco and their daughter Dominique. "So ayun kumakanta-kanta ako sa bahay o kaya naman ‘pag naiinip ako, pinapapunta ko ‘yong pianist ko."
Her confidence in singing improved over the years. She sang in the bathroom and in every corner of the Dasmariñas mansion she shares with Tonyboy, until she found herself performing during private family affairs and parties.
Her repertoire during those days were strictly Broadway pieces, which limited her already small "party" audience. Gretchen eventually discovered a number of standards and contemporary tunes and started learning the songs by heart.
"'Yong iba, kay Tony ko natutunan," she revealed. "Songs like ‘yong mga Moon River. Hindi ba? Panahon nila ‘yon, e."
POP GOES MY HEART. With her musical taste gearing towards a more commercial, radio-friendly route, the idea of cutting her own disc finally dawned on Gretchen.
La Greta started listing down tracks she wanted to put on record late last year. Given the enormous quantity of the materials, the former actress had to really choose the numbers she deemed best and most suited for her vocal range.
But deeper reflection revealed more personal, rather than technical, meaning. Gretchen said that all of the songs in the album mirror her personal and emotional state.
"I feel that I need to share with everybody kung ano ang naramdaman ko this past year. Ang buhay ko, ang puso ko, nasa CD na ‘to. Wala na kayong puwedeng itanong kay Gretchen Barretto after you listen to this CD. You unlock my heart when you listen to this," she said of her 12-track album.
She revealed that during the recording, above anything else, she was more into capturing the emotion conveyed by the song.
Unexpected is made up of 12 tracks, namely: "Please Don't Ask Me," "Fly Me To The Moon," "A House Is Not A Home," "Moon River," "Ann Affair To Remember," "More Than You'll Ever Know," "More," "I Will," "An Unexpected Song," "All The Things You Are," "Love Me For What I Am," and the OPM classic "Ikaw Lamang."
Gretchen is well aware that some people may doubt her true intentions for coming up with an album, but she insists that her only objective remains consistent since day one, which is, "Just to impart to you how I feel."