The past two years saw balladeer Christian Bautista seriously tackling the art of songwriting.
It has come to a point where he found himself sitting in as co-producer when crafting songs for his seventh album titled Kapit.
By face value he's more known to be covering songs or effectively interpreting someone else's songwriting masterpiece.
Christian is now putting in more hours in the studio, fiddling with the console so to speak, and choosing the best version of a song after multiple re-takes. More than ever he's enjoying the long hours of processing a record from writing to mastering.
"Before I had no idea how a song is produced and I just had to listen to a song and interpret it. Now I know what I want, having learned from producer-friends," stated the 35-year-old performer dubbed as Asia's Romantic Balladeer.
He is so upbeat about his latest hit, the album title track he co-penned, that he said the track had been scheduled as the lead single from the onset. It made sense considering the track has gained quite a traction, even earning good feedbacks from colleagues in the biz.
COLLABORATION WITH JENNYLYN. The creation of "Kapit" the single is rooted from an invitation from fellow GMA-7 star Jennylyn Mercado to sing a duet with her.
They did that collaborative recording at Sonic State studio in Mandaluyong where Christian found himself amazed at how the place was producing sounds and its recording engineer Brian Lotho orchestrating it.
Upon his suggestion, the two ended up writing a song and "Kapit" was born.
Christian recalled, "The long hours of writing and producing a song will help you find yourself and find the music that will fit you. I love the experience."
He mused, "Iba yung hook ng song na ito. Maaalala mo talaga. Naglalabas din ako ng originals dati pero di kumakapit. I'm proud of this one."
KAPIT CONCERT. The ten-song album will be formally released to the public by way of a concert scheduled on September 29 at the Music Museum.
For a P500-peso fee, fans can get a copy of the CD and see Christian deliver a full show, with guest acts like The CompanY also on board.
"It's for the fans as we reminisce some songs I already released and celebrate what we have now," the Kapuso celebrity said about his upcoming Friday night show.
Released by Universal Records, Kapit contains several duet songs, including the one Christian and Jennylyn recorded at Sonic State, "Suddenly," that served as catalyst to the birth of "Kapit."
Other dual voiced tracks are "Maghihintay," which he sung with Gabbi Garcia of Encantadia fame, "Ikaw Lamang" with The Voice alumnus Morissette Amon, and "Two Forevers," a track with Jessica Sanchez that had Christian fly to the United States to record with the former American Idol scene-stealer.
Another girl, Eunice Jorge, is credited as violinist for "Musika" which he revealed as his tribute to OPM.
SONG FOR EX-GF RACHELLE ANN. Having mentioned all the female voices that graced Christian's album, it was hard to resist linking the most attached woman's voice to him: that of Rachelle Ann Go.
Asked by the press what he'd like to sing for Rachelle and her special someone, he picked the Basil Valdez classic "You" for, according to him, it's a piece good enough to correlate to a romance marked by traveling and touring.
Christian pointed out, making sure that Rachelle is the one to approach him, "Kapag ininvite niya ako to sing on her wedding, I will."
Does that mean he's happy for his ex-girlfriend? His quickly reply: "Happy for her; it's been a while."
Rachelle recently got engaged to New York-based businessman Martin Spies.
SONGWRITING PROCESS. When Christian asked who wrote "You," it was his way of telling everyone he's now that immersed to the craft of melody-making.
It's pretty interesting, though, that he doesn't play any instrument to back up his routine.
As to how he does it, he said, "I hum it and record it on iPhone. Then I will ask my brother who plays guitar to find the chords to it."
So into it Christian is that he thinks it is the major difference of Kapit from his previous record.
He explained, "This album intends to highlight my songwriting no matter how bad or good it is. I love doing covers but originals is who you are, who I am."
U.S. DREAM. Always on the lookout to do something different, Christian revealed he wants to go to the United States to try his luck there with some style to it. It's not surprising that he wants to really go international after he made it big in Indonesia.
Obviously in reference to the ongoing racial issues in America, he said he won't divulge he's Asian to strengthen his chances of making it there.
He half-jokingly suggested, "Maybe I can release a song there under a pseudonym. I will not tell them I'm Asian."
SECOND SINGLE. At least for his next single "Huling Harana," Christian will sure keep his famous name for credit. He described this next song as "all heart," "tragic" and best to hear "when you're driving home."
He added, for impact, "If 'Kapit' asks you to hold on, this one will convince you to let go. Dumarating tayo sa punto na wala ka nang makapitan. By that it means you have to let go for there are blessings awaiting you."