Prince of Pop Erik Santos and Bossa Nova Queen Sitti Navarro are sure to have packed schedules this month, as both singers prepare for their upcoming concert titled Extraordinary Songs. It will be staged on November 21, 9 PM, at the Aliw Theater, CCP complex in Pasay City. Joining them in their first major concert together is veteran vocal group, The CompanY.
In a press conference held yesterday, November 3, at OMA Restaurant and Bar near Tomas Morato, Erik and Sitti attributed the title of their concert to two reasons: extraordinary lyrics that could pierce through the hearts of listeners or extraordinary treatment, arrangement, and approach to the songs.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked the tandem to reveal some details about the concert, but both singers decided to keep mum about their lineup of songs. With a smile, the two ASAP mainstays simply invited everyone to come and find out on November 21. Sitti did mention that they will perform several award winning songs, some original ones, and will also mount a slew of production numbers. Extraordinary Songs will feature a varied repertoire that includes pop, bossa nova, movie and TV theme songs, OPM, dance, Broadway, and even novelty songs. Erik summed it all up by saying, "Iba yung flavor na maririnig nila."
In an interview with the press, Erik shared that the title Extraordinary Songs is a play on their names, with the letter E referring to Erik and S, to Sitti. According to both, rehearsals for the concert will commence on the 19th and 20th of November, after Sitti comes back from the United States for her ASAP Sessionistas tour with Nina, Aiza Seguerra, Duncan Ramos, Richard Poon, and MYMP.
This isn’t the first time that Erik and Sitti have teamed up onstage. Though Extraordinary Songs is their first major concert together, the two have joined forces on a single stage last December when Sitti appeared as a guest in Erik’s Marikina River Banks Christmas concert. The two immediately clicked musically without so much as a rehearsal, and even spiced up the act by adding some musical adlib to complete the performance.
"Very giving kasi si Sitti, saka ’pag singer ka, alam mo kung sino yung magaling talaga, e," explained the Prince of Pop. "Ako walang halong biro. Nakaduet ko si Sitti nung araw na ’yon. Sabi ko, parang kahit walang rehearsal, match na match yung boses namin. Nag-a-adjust siya sa akin, nag-a-adjust din ako sa kanya," he pointed out.
During the interview, the press tried to convince Erik to sing bossa nova. Sitti said that although Erik can sing her music, his strength still lies on power ballads. "’Yon yung hinahangaan ko sa kanya," said the Queen of Bossa Nova.
The closeness of the two was evident when Erik teased Sitti, "Hinahangaan niya ako sa lahat ng aspeto." Sitti playfully replied, "Lalo na ang kanyang arms," she told the press, as Erik laughed loudly. "Very buff yan, hindi mo alam! Sa pictorial namin, nakita ko... Ooooh!" she teased, as everyone in the table chuckled heartily.
MUSIC, EDUCATION, AND LOVE LIFE. Unknown to some, the 24-year-old Sitti holds a degree in Business Economics from the University of the Philippines, where she graduated with a Dean’s Medal. She also became the editor-in-chief of her high school paper and graduated as the valedictorian of her high school batch. PEP asked the Queen of Bossa Nova if she still sees herself pursuing a career related to what she studied in college.
"Sa ngayon kasi, dito ako nasanay. Dito ako masaya," replied Sitti, referring to her music. "And I believe na, sabihin nating, hindi na ako nag-ti-TV or something, I’ll still be doing this. Yung Business Economics na napag-aralan ko, diyan na lang muna sa likod. Saka na lang pag kailangang-kailangan ko na," laughed Sitti. Erik interrupted her and said, "Maghihintay naman yan. Ito hindi naghihintay."
The Prince of Pop, on the other hand, opts to give priority to his education. During the interview, he shared how he had shifted from Dentistry to Nursing in college, and finally decided to halt his studies for a career in showbiz. Since then, Erik has been taking time to finish his degree in Psychology. He is scheduled to graduate by March 2010.
"I just want to have a degree first," said Erik, when asked if he wants to pursue a career out of showbiz. "Para kasi sa akin, mahalaga yung edukasyon. Ito talaga is one of my achievements. Kung makakatapos talaga ako, nanamnamin ko talaga," he told PEP with conviction.
Recently, Erik released an album featuring renowned piano sensation Jim Brickman’s hits called The Jim Brickman Songbook.
When it comes to their love life, the tandem willingly answered the questions posed by the press. From the interview, it was revealed that Sitti is now happily in love with her non-showbiz boyfriend. He was a fan whom she met during one of her gigs. He asked Sitti to sign his copy of her album and this sparked their romance.
Erik, however, remained cheerful yet dodged some queries about his love life and simply said that, at this point in his career and education, he has no time for issues of the heart.
A CAREER IN ACTING? Besides taking centerstage in concerts and in TV guestings, Sitti has tried acting in theater where she played a role alongside KC Concepcion, Jericho Rosales, Jonalyn Viray, Mitch Valdez, and a number of other celebrity singers in Katy! The Musical. Earlier this year, Sitti bagged the role of Martha in the 2009 rock musical Spring Awakening.
Having also appeared on a cameo role in Judy Ann Santos’ Ysabella, PEP asked the Queen of Bossa Nova whether making a crossover into acting is part of her plans. "Nag-au-audition ako ngayon," she replied. "I mean, kung merong mga projects na tingin ko okay for me, I’m going for it... Lahat naman ’yan sinusubukan ko pang-improve ng sarili."
Erik Santos is also open to the idea of trying on acting roles. "Sana mabigyan ng opportunity. Handa na ako, e," he answered sheepishly. "Gusto ko rin mag-musical, like si Sitti. Siguro doon muna ako [sa musicals]. Hindi ko rin kasi alam kung comfortable ako sa acting. Parang hindi ’yon yung comfort zone ko.
"Siyempre pag sinabi mong singing, kahit siguro nakapikit ako, kaya kong gawin. Yung acting, medyo mag-iisip ako," he continued. "Pero open na ako. Kasi na-realize ko, kailan pa ako mag-a-acting, kapag father role na yung ibibigay sa akin?" said the 26-year-old singer, as Sitti and the press laughed at his comment.
Watch Erik Santos and Sitti Navarro on Extraordinary Songs on November 21 (Saturday) 9 PM, at the Aliw Theater. Directed by Calvin Neria with musical direction by Beth Martin and script by Noel Ferrer, Extraordinary Songs is for the benefit of Support Our Troops, Inc. and the victims of the recent Ondoy and Pepeng typhoons.
For tickets and reservations, call Ticketnet at Tel. No. 911-5555, Ticketworld at 891-9999 or Live Artists Production at 929-4568 and 929-8206.