Sa edad na 23 years old, handa na si Champagne Morales na i-reinvent ang sarili bilang isang musikera. Ang 1998 champion ng Metro Pop Star Search ng GMA-7 ay nakilala sa kanyang mga teeny-bopper roles. Naging suki rin siya ng programa ni Kuya Germs noong ‘80s.
Hindi rin mahiwalay si Champagne sa larangang minsang ginalawan ng kontrobersyal na ina ni Champagne, si Dinah Dominguez. Nabansagang "Piranha Queen," si Dinah nang diumano’y mag-alaga ito ng nasabing isda sa kanyang aquarium.
Ngayon, ganap nang dalaga si Champagne at ipinakikilala niya ang kanyang bagong album, ang Rekindle na prinodyus ni Al Albert para sa Vicor Music Corporation.
Nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), natanong namin kung bakit ang tagal niya ‘atang nawala sa mundo ng showbiz at kung sa U.S. nga ba siya namalagi.
"No. After I graduated [BS Psychology from De La Salle University], marami pa rin akong ginawa. Kasi, gusto ko ’yung busy ako palagi. I went into real estate and up to now, pareho kami ni Mommy ng business. I gave it up for a while pero I love rin naman doing it. For a while I was a writer in People Asia, more of a marketing person and an accounts manager. Tapos, eventologist din ako every once in a while. I had to give up some and nag-focus na lang ako sa real estate business. Kasi, I found out, gusto ko pa ring ituluy-tuloy ang music ko."
Sa pagkamulat naman daw ni Champagne sa corporate world, marami siyang natutunang hanggang ngayon na ginagamit pa rin niya sa kanyang pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay.
"You meet a lot of clients. And through those experiences, du’n siguro rin ako na-inspire na gumawa ng mga kanta na alam kong I can still use when the right time comes. So, in my new album, which has 10 original songs, meron din akong isinulat, like ’yung "Far Away." With the help of my good friend Al Albert, actually Albert talaga ang name niya, he was the one who really pushed me to be back in the scene again. Kasi, I know it in my heart this is really the one thing that I really wanna do.
"I may have that corporate blood in me, but it’s the exposure that sends my adrenaline rushing. Two years ago pa naman ito nag-start. Maybe we just waited for the right and the ripe time. ’Yung carrier single na "Sigaw" is a collaboration with Al. R&B siya na may halong pop-rock style. And those are the types of music that I am definitely at home with.
"I was only fifteen when I had my bit of the limelight—singing, dancing, appearing in Kuya Germs’ shows. This time, there’s a little bit of re-invention na malayo na from the teeny-bopper that they came to know and see. I perform with a band now.
"We also play mga alternative music. Although I can say na we’re still really trying to find pa our own kind of sound. Huwag lang hip-hop which is not really my style. I can dance. But I can’t rap, eh. I’d rather dance to trance music. So, more or less, R&B suits me better. Sexy pa. And more real."
SPORTS LOVER. Ang pagiging mahilig ni Champagne sa mga sports ang naging daan upang magkaroon ng oportunidad ang dalaga na makilala muli sa music scene. Throughout the years din daw, nag-iba na rin ang kanyang boses. Medyo paos na mababa na ngayon.
"Kusa na lang nabago, nahasa rin siguro dahil lagi akong nagpa-practice na with my band a long time ago. I’m thankful to my producer Al, kasi siya ’yung nakapansin uli sa voice ko.
"I was auditioning for a hosting sana in a wrestling show before. Kasi, I did martial arts din before. And I had a break so naghanap ako ng magagawa. Natanggap naman ako but I think it wasn’t for me. Naisip ko rin na that’s not the way din naman I want to market myself.
"So, Al asked me to do some recording sa studio niya. And that’s where the experimenting with my voice came about. And that’s where I learned to be more free and liberal as far as pagpapalabas ng voice ko is concerned."
For a while, naging co-host ni Champagne ang boxing champion sa Manny Pacquiao Sports Idol, na pinalabas noon sa IBC-13. Sinama pa siya ni Manny sa LasVegas, Nevada sa isa sa mga laban nito.
"That’s when he [Manny] won the second time. I went with my Dad. And up to now, he still is a very good friend of mine, my family."
May boyfriend na ba siyang naipakilala sa kanyang over-protective mom?
"None. Focus on my music muna. I’ve had relationships na in the past, of course. This kind of work is also stressing kaya pahinga muna sa love life. By the way, si Direk Paul Soriano ang gagawa ng MTV ko."