Even with a hectic schedule filled with numerous showbiz commitments, actress and commercial model KC Concepcion managed to squeeze in recording time for her debut album titled a.k.a. Cassandra.
For two months, KC and her creative team worked fastidiously inside the studio—arranging the songs, rehearsing and laying everything down on tape—just in time to beat their deadline.
But what made the entire experience admirable was how KC immersed herself in the whole tedious process despite the fact that she would report to the studio feeling tired and sleep-deprived.
"Interesting po siya dahil dalawang buwan namin siyang pinaghandaan pero hindi po siya araw-araw," shared KC to the members of the press last June 3 at the Ruby Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas Center.
Like a true student and a passionate artist combined, KC made the recording studio a playground, a classroom, and even a sanctuary.
Talking about the entire recording experience, KC added, "Puwede siyang twice a week, thrice a week. And usually nakaka-two songs kami per day and iniiwan po kami ng sound engineer ng Sony BMG team para kaming dalawa na lang po ‘yong nagta-trabaho kasi ako po ‘yong nag-a-arrange ng mga vocals 'tsaka karamihan po sa backup vocals ako rin."
It is quite endearing to know that KC, like most of us, feels conscious singing in front of a crowd. The studio's intimate atmosphere only compounded that feeling of anxiety.
"Naiintimidate po ko kasi ‘pag maraming tao sa studio and parang di ko talaga ma-experiment ‘yong mga kanta and it turned out na nagustuhan naman ng mga boss ‘yong mga nagagawa naming kalokohan sa studio, so it worked out well naman."
PERSONAL TOUCH. For her debut album, a.k.a. Cassandra, KC made sure that she was involved in all the details.
All of the songs were handpicked by KC. To keep everything fresh, the young singer together with her team re-arranged the songs, like the ‘80s modern hit "Melt With You" and the Depeche Mode pleaser, "I Just Can't Get Enough."
"I'm more laidback when it comes to music," KC described her personal musical preference. That fondness was reflected in the album's stripped- down approach except perhaps for the rocking "Imposible."
Given KC's involvement with various charities, it is only fitting that she renders John Lennon's classic "Imagine."
But the budding singer-performer is also very proud of the new materials that she recorded in the album. Ex-Eraserhead and now Sandwich frontman Raimund Marasigan generously gave two unreleased original songs. Maestro Ryan Cayabyab contributed his obra "Ngiti Lang."
Working with the revered Sammy Asuncion of Pinikpikan fame and former Rizal Underground and now composer-arranger Angelo Villegas was also a great joy, according to KC.
One interesting track in the album is "Doo Be Doo," a South African hit. "It's a very happy song," explained KC, "that was written in English and we had it translated in Tagalog and they came up with a brilliant idea of having Mr. Joey de Leon translate it for us."
Although she could have recorded "Doo Be Doo" in its original form, KC opted to deliver it in the vernacular without changing its beat, explaining, "Sayang naman kung hindi ma-translate sa Tagalog mas maraming makaka-appreciate nun dito."
PICTURE PERFECT. Pertaining to the simplistic yet arresting album cover, KC narrated, "The cover says it all. Actually nakunan po ‘yong picture na ‘yon nung birthday ko. Nasa out-of-town beach party kami, e, tumugtog po kasi ‘yong Pinikpikan dun and bago pa po kami mag-record ng album.
"Nangyari po yon kasi bigla kaming nag-jamming doon sa party na ‘yon and this was actually the actual picture taken from that actual moment."
She also veered away from using her now very famous screen name as an album title.
"A lot of people know that my name is Kristina and they call me Kristina in Paris. They don't know me as KC there but Cassandra," she shared. "I love the name Cassandra and not a lot of people call me that. So, since it has to be a self-titled album, I used Cassandra instead of KC Concepcion."
Describing the general feel of the album, the beauteous actress-endorser and now recording artist simply said with a smile: "Parang kapeng mainit po na iba-iba ‘yong timpla."
The 11-track album a.k.a. Cassandra is now available in record bars everywhere courtesy of Sony BMG Music.