Iya Villania's reason for coming to the Philippines wasbecause of her first love. And after years of waiting, finally, her firstlove has finally been recognized. Although she already has Drew Arellano in herlife, Iya has long been in love with her first passion: singing. And now is hertime to be loved back.
In her five years inshowbiz, Iya has appeared in several shows such as GMA-7's Click,ABS-CBN's Lastikman, and the movie Exodus: Tales from the EnchantedKingdom. Why is she entering the music industry just now?
"Well, I was givenopportunities in other fields kaya siyempre, whatever comes your way, yun anggagawin ko. When I came here [to the Philippines], I wanted to be a singer butthey made me audition for other shows, to host, to act, kaya yun ang mgapinagawa nila sa akin."
Given the strong interest in her album, the MYX VJ justmight be the one introducing the popular songs from her debut album titled Finally! During the October 28 media launch of her 12-track album, Iya told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) about her song choices. "The album is basicallyguitar-driven pop," explains Iya. "It took a while to choose the songs becauseI had to get them under my skin first."
According to her manager Arnold Vegafria, there are plans tolaunch her album in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand next year.Produced by Benjamin Gabitan, Vanessa Marcelo and MallyParaguya, and released by ALV Talent Circuit and Viva Records, Finally! contains eight originals andfour cover songs. These include the guitar-driven "Spell's Broken," thecountry-flavored "Morning After," the R&B-tinged "Definitely Lonely" and thetender ballad "Do You Think We'll Be Alright?"The Fil-Australian TV host-turned-singer cites WhitneyHouston, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Destiney's Child, and StevieWonder among her major influences.
Of particular interests are her remakes, namely: "It Takes AMan and A Woman" (originally sung by Teri de Sario), "I Never Cry" (an AliceCooper original), and her carrier single " My First Broken Heart," a balladpopularized by Tracie Spencer during the ‘80s.
Iya got a little help from well-meaning friends in the musicbiz as well. The popular pop-rock group, Hale, arranged "It Takes A Man and AWoman" while Wolfgang lead guitarist Manuel Legarda arranged "I Never Cry."
Mayonnaise's Monty Macalino likewise pitched in two originaltracks: "Poison" and "With Me Tonight." DJ Brian Cua (producer of Nancy Jane)arranged the carrier single. Mike Villegas (of Color it Red) did "Spell'sBroken." Angelo Villegas worked on "Do You Think We'll Be Alright?" ArnieMendaros (Kyla's producer) takes credit for "Definitely Lonely" and "All OverMe."
Iya also sings a duet with R&B prince Jay-R for the song"Always."
"I love working with Jay-R," gushes Iya. "He's so much fun.He knows what he's doing and he's got such a good ear."
Among all the songs in her album, she personally picked"Always" (by Atlantic Star) as a cover song that she dedicates to her boyfriend of four years, Drew Arellano, because its lyrics fits their colorfulrelationship.
When not busy with MYX, ASAP, Us Girls andhosting the TV5 show Mysmatch, she makes time for her piano-tinkling,and still prods on with her furtive attempts at songwriting. "I actually havequite of unfinished songs," she confides. "But the problem is that I never getaround to finishing them."
Asked to name the highlights of the entireyear-and-three-month-long recording process, she points out: "laughing atmistakes, staying up late, finding harmony and doing the cover shoot."
Iya Villania is currently managed by ALV Talent Circuit. Shewill be performing live to promote her album at the following venues: SMSouthmall on November 9, SM Manila on November 22, and SMMarikina on November 29.
With reports from IleneBuitizon
FINALLY TRACK LISTING.
1. My First Broken Heart
2. Definitely Lonely
3. I Never Cry
4. Spell's Broken
5. With Me Tonight
7. Do You Think We'll Be Alright
8. Always (feat Jay-R)
9. All Over Me
10. It Takes A Man and A Woman
11. Morning After
12. (Bonus track) I'm Gonna Shine &Takaw Tingin