A glowing Kyla met the entertainment press earlier today, October 18, at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, to officially launch her new album under EMI-Philippines titled Heartfelt.
The timing couldn't have been more apt for the R&B Princess. She is still fresh from her impressive rendition of "Lupang Hinirang" at Manny Pacquiao's rematch with Mexican fighter Marco Antonio Barrera held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas last October 7 (Philippine time).
Sporting a much shorter hairdo with red highlights, Kyla appeared to be changing her image from a young pop star to a full-fledged performer. So the press folk observed.
"Hindi naman po," she told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during an interview after the official press conference tendered by EMI.
"Siguro, new look lang talaga. Parang something new," she added. "Importante talaga sa artist na there's always something to look forward to para hindi din sila magsawa."
Kyla said she's been carrying her hairstyle for quite some time. The only reason her hair looked different during the Pacquiao-Barrera match was that her handlers altered her looks to fit the Filipiniana attire.
"Naglagay kami ng extension kasi naka-Filipiniana ako. Hindi naman bagay kung nakaganito ako [pointing to her hair]. So finold-'hair tapos naglagay kami ng extension."
CONFIDENCE UP. The petite singer admitted that performing on an international platform contributed greatly to boosting her confidence.
"Oo, nakadagdag ng market value," she affirmed, chuckling.
Turning serious, Kyla continued, "I guess respect also, that's very hard to earn."
That newfound confidence shows in the way she carries herself. Her photos in the press kit show Kyla exposing a little skin, unlike in her last album Beautiful Days, which was released summer of last year. Is this an indication that she's ready to go daring in her music videos and would agree to pose in men's magazines?
"That's not my line. Hindi ko alam kung carry ko," she replied politely.
EMPATHY FOR CHRISTIAN. A few weeks before the announcement that Kyla would represent the country and sing the National Anthem in Pacquiao's return bout with Barrera, fellow singer Christian Bautista caught the attention and ire of many for forgetting two lines in "Lupang Hinirang" during the exhibition match between Gerry Peñalosa and Concepcion Bernabe held in Alabang last September 16.
Given Kyla's good interpretation of the number, many couldn't help but compare her version to that of Christian's. Kyla feels for the young male balladeer and doesn't want to encourage any nasty talk against her friend.
"Ang singer naman, ‘pag nagkamali kami napapatawad naman kami ng mga tao. After a while they'll forget about it. Siguro next time, just be aware and be more cautious. Siyempre I feel bad for him [Christian], friend ko 'yon. May mga ganoon talaga, it happens," she said sympathetically.
Another issue confronting Kyla upon her return was that between her and controversial sexy actress Ara Mina. The perceived rift reportedly surfaced when Kyla, instead of Ara, nailed the part to sing "Lupang Hinirang." Some people said that Ara expected to do the honors and was very upset when it she didn't get the part.
"Hindi pa, e," Kyla answered when asked if she and Ara saw each other after the Las Vegas bout.
Both parties have condemned the issue pitting them against each other.
"Siya [Ara] mismo ang nagsabi na huwag kaming pagsabungin because we are friends," she echoed Ara's statement in Showbiz Central last October 14.
Throwing a slight nudge at rumormongers, the young singer refuses to be affected by situations that are beyond her control.
"Kasi hindi naman nasa amin 'yong control. Kumbaga sila 'yon, sila 'yong may control sa ganoong mga bagay; kami, we're just doing our job. We should not be affected by the intrigues and yong mga sinasabi ng mga tao."
SHY RED BULL. Kyla's boyfriend, Red Bull forward Rich Alvarez was not with her during her stay in the neon city of Vegas.
"Mas kinakabahan pa nga siya kaysa sa akin," quipped Kyla.
She generously shared a trait she has in common with her boyfriend. "Pareho kaming mahiyain," she laughed. "Sabi ko nga, hala paano yon, ‘pag nasa party tayo pareho tayong mahihiyang maglakad."
Aside from their shy streak, Kyla confided that they have the same views on life.
"Yung mga views namin about life, yung mga outlook pareho, e, it's the same thing. Kahit lumaki siya sa States, conservative pa rin. Nandoon pa din 'yong Filipino trait," she revealed about Rich.
Despite being a couple for three years already, Kyla insists that walking down the aisle at this juncture in their relationship is out of the picture.
"Actually nakaka-pressure 'yong tinatanong ako ng mga ganito," she shied away giddily. "Wala pa naman sa plano namin. We don't talk about it."
Kyla and Rich are both 26 years old.