Jericho Rosales refuses to call Jeans—the band he formed with musician-friends way back in 2004—a failed experiment.
Two years after releasing their debut album Loose Fit under EMI Philippines, Jericho is now taking the solo route via his self-titled debut album under the same label.
Echo admits that the decision to strike on his own was recommended by his handlers in Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management, Inc. for practical reasons, and also for him to reach out once more to his fans. The general feeling inside Echo's camp is that by forming a band to further his music career, the young actor has alienated his fans and ardent supporters.
"It's not like nilaglag ko sila," said Echo, referring to his former bandmates. "Kasi hindi ko sila talaga iniwan," he added during the roundtable press conference prepared for Echo inside EMI's office last February 7 to announce the release of his 8-track eponymous album.
As much as Echo wanted to retain the band he founded, the 28-year-old actor recognized the need to make his presence felt after a long lull. One way to achieve that was to come out using the name he is popularly known for.
He simply has to choose his fans over the group. "Talagang it's more of, pinansin ko ‘yong mga sumusuporta sa akin, binalikan ko sila."
COMPROMISING. Despite the lukewarm reception received by Loose Fit, the album is still a revelation in the sense that Jericho himself penned all the songs included in the album. It was both a courageous and risky move, considering the misgivings usually experienced by matinee idols venturing into music.
For his solo effort, Echo agreed to do a half-cover-half-original record. There's "Paglisan" originally done by Color It Red, Sharon Cuneta's "Pangarap na Bituin," Tito Mina's "Ikaw Pa Rin," and Joshua Kadison's "Beautiful in My Eyes."
"It's one thing din for me to revive a song and maraming nagsasabi na, you know, okay ang song na ‘to para sa ‘yo and let's see if people will recognize you as a singer. That they'll be able to relate to you as a singer, kung kakantahin ‘yung kantang nakanata na ng iba," explained Echo.
Jericho's earlier compositions are also included in the album: "Ngayong Gabi," "Tuwing Nakikita Ka," "Coming Out," and "Kasama Ka."
HEART MATTERS. Talking to Jericho would not be complete without bringing up the name of longtime girlfriend Heart Evangelista, and with that, the idea of marriage not far behind.
"Kung kailan ko siyang pakasalan [ng] ten times okay lang," he confessed, this time over a plate of pasta, sandwich, and chicken lollipop.
But that's Echo getting way ahead of himself and letting all of his emotions take over. Regaining his senses, he said soberly, "The bottom line is to be realistic you have to wait for the right time. You have to wait for the go signal, little things, big things."
Although he and Heart have frequently discussed marriage, making it a reality is definitely far-fetched for now.
At the moment, Echo is busy saving his money as well as picking up some lost momentum, particularly with his acting career. Heart shares the same view.
"Before, sabi ko gusto ko magpakasal when I'm 29. Ilang taon ako noon? So many things, e, if you ask her [Heart] I still want to do a lot of things. I still want to do this; I still want to do that..."
But there's no doubt in his heart that Echo has found the ideal mate in Heart. Given the perfect time and opportunity, he sees no reason why he and the soon to be 23-year-old chinita actress—Heart's birthday falls on February 14—should hold back in formalizing their union.
"I'm human. It's bound to happen [marriage]," he said pensively. "Only people who are afraid of commitment are scared about that."