Acoustic pioneer Paolo Santos is back on the scene!

The King of Acoustic covers some best-loved songs.


The King of Acoustic is back. Paolo Santos's newest album, Back to Basics, is now out, and for the first time, may recording outfit na siyang napili para mag-produce ng album niya, ang Ivory Music & Video.

May 12 cuts ang album na pawang mga revival. Ang ilang orihinal na kanta na pinasikat ng local singers ay binigyan ni Paolo ng ibang arrangement at interpretasyon: "Photograph," "Naglalambing," "Don't Say Goodbye," "Yakap," "Million Miles Away," "Kanlungan," "Everyday," "Walang Hanggang Paalam," "Gaya ng Dati," at "Isang Tulog Na Lang" (duet with Bituin Escalante). May two bonus tracks: ang "Moonlight Over Paris" (2009 version) at "Send Me One Line," plus a CD 2 that contains the minus-one of all the songs.

That he was inspired and excited about his comeback was evident as we watched him perform his songs during the press conference at Chef and Brewers in Ortigas City yesterday, May 8.

NEW PRODUCER. First, paano nga ba siya na-convince na finally, hayaan naman na isang recording outfit ang mag-produce ng kanyang album, as compared to before na siya lang ang nagpo-produce nito at pinapa-distribute sa iba?

"That's a very, very good question. I've decided to sign up with Ivory which I never did before. At the back of my mind, ano nga ba kung ginawa ko 'yun? And I am so lucky that the result is very, very positive. They are very, very accommodating and they are really, really supportive with what I do.

"I am involved in making this album, from the designs, to the line-up, to the musicians involved. Hati kami (Ivory) sa mga choices of songs. Parang we agree, we disagree on certain points, and we made a compromise and we came up with this wonderful list of songs."

Ano ang pinaka-personal favorite niya sa lahat ng kanta sa bago niyang album?

"In terms of recording and in terms of the song itself, 'Gaya ng Dati' by Gary Valenciano. And I really cried when I first heard it."

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RUMORS. May ilang taon din na hindi naging aktibo sa music scene si Paolo since he first introduced his acoustic brand sa musika at marami na nga ang nagsunuran sa kanya. During the time na tila wala siya sa sirkulasyon, iba't ibang tsismis ang naglabasan. Nandiyang he's into drugs daw, na nagka-depression daw siya, at napabalita pang nagkasakit daw siya. There was even the issue na na-rehab siya, kung kaya't hindi siya nakikita or napapanood.

"Oo nga, e... meron pang natipos daw ako!" natatawa niyang sabi. "Well, apparently, hindi naman talaga."

Bakit nga ba siya nawala? "Actually, hindi ako nawala. Nawala siguro ako in the eyes of the media. I was never available sa media, television, yet sa eksena ng music, live scene, almost everyday, nagtatrabaho ako."

How's his health? "Healthy naman!" natatawa niyang sabi. "I have my annual checkup. But those rumors... in terms of drugs, I'm clean. Kahit ipa-test n'yo ko sa L.T.O. I'm a believer na hindi talaga... na masama ang loob ko, doon ako tatakbo sa ipinagbabawal na gamot? Hindi ko talaga ano yun, e... in my lifetime, as a person, growing up... I tried once, but hindi ko ma-get yung trips nila du'n. So I'm lucky that I can stay away from it."

Ayon kay Paolo, ang mga gigs daw niya noong sinasabing wala siya, were mostly abroad. Another thing, it was also only last year when he settled down with his girlfriend of three years, a lawyer at SEC, and so far, they are just enjoying being the two of them dahil hindi pa raw sila nabibiyayaan ng anak.

CHANGES. Tila kasabay kasi ng pagkawala ni Paolo ang unti-unti rin pagkawala sa music scene ng acoustic genre...

"Well, it's a cycle lang din, e. Ito nga yung aking aspect why I signed with Ivory. There were no marketing arms in my entire career. Ngayon, Ivory is being responsible to that. I'm not used to this, being interviewed, going to the press, having to go on TV, promoting. Wala akong ganun dati. I think, yun siguro ang missing link sa career ko and right now, medyo serious na ko sa buhay. Nag-asawa na ako, I want to have a family of my own, siyempre. I want longevity na, eh. In terms of career, yung tenure ba."

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Two to three years din yung sinasabing tila nawala siya. "Kaya excited ako nang magpunta ako sa studio," nakangiti niyang sabi.

At sa pagbabalik niya, may talent manager na rin na humahawak sa kanya, si Noel Ferrer na manager din ni Ryan Agoncillo. Would he say it's part of his comeback, too?

"No, hindi, actually, it's fortunate that I don't have a manager and I'm looking for one. Noel came in the picture. Actually, I asked around. Kasi, ayoko rin namang pumasok sa isang business deal na hindi ako sure, e. And I only heard good things about him. And he has the nicest, the biggest network. And this is a person who is also a fan at the same time."

CURRENT GOALS. "Marami kaming napag-usapan ni Noel. One is to establish myself as a premium musician. Back again, in the industry."

Would he say he's claiming his title again as the King of Acoustic?

"I wouldn't consider myself as a king. I would want to consider myself as a pioneer. Medyo nakakatakot kasi yung ganoon, baka kunin ka na ni Lord," natatawa niyang sabi.

"Siguro, sabihin na lang natin na medyo nauso yung acoustic because of my presence, sabi rin nga ni Noel."

Natatawa na lang si Paolo dahil ngayon daw, maraming pagbabago na nagaganap sa kanya.

"Like now, I have to wear a polo [shirt], shoes. Sanay akong pagkagising ko, tugtog, e. Sa akin kasi, I haven't done that. When it's offered to me, okey lang naman, kaya lang hindi ko pa nasubukan. Now, I'm in the mood na sobrang bukas ang isipan ko and whatever you throw at me, I will embrace. Makeover talaga." Biro pa niya, "Operasyon na lang ang kulang."

NEW HORIZONS. Nag-e-enjoy ba siya sa mga pagbabago?

"Bagong-bago siya sa akin, pero, nag-e-enjoy ako. Comfortable naman ako sa pagbabago. May plans pa nga in the future na, maybe, I can do a sitcom. Not that it will be my primary career, but I would want to experience having my own talk show, having my own radio show."

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Bakit ngayon niya lang naisip yang mga ganyang bagay?

"Wala lang. Sabi ko nga, parang nabatukan ako."

Anong masasabi niya sa acoustic scene ngayon?

"It's surviving. It's getting back on its feet again kaya maganda rin yung pagbalik ko. Kasi, kinain kami ng rock. E, hindi naman ako rock."

Kung siya ang sinasabing acoustic king, sino naman ang acoustic queen for him?

"Si Aiza Seguerra siguro..."

Yung puwede niyang sabihin na sumusunod sa kanya? "Maaaring si Jimmy [Bondoc]. Jimmy is very adamant on this genre, e."

JUDY ANN'S FRIENDSHIP. Kahapon lang nalaman ni Paolo na siya pala ang napiling kumanta ng theme song nina Ryan at Juday na mismong si Direk Joey Reyes ang sumulat ng lyrics.

Aniya, "They are both my friends. Especially si Juday, noong nag-i-start ako, wala akong R.M. [road manager], siya ang nag-provide. Sabi niya, 'Pao, huwag kang kakausap sa mga ano... dapat may representation ka.'"

Paano sila nag-connect ni Juday?

"Hindi ko alam, she was just a fan. Tapos, ipinagluluto pa ko n'yan. Parang nanonood siya sa akin, tapos, pinaupo niya ko. Siyempre, at that time, hesitant ako, big star, Judy Ann 'to, eh! Tapos, ngayon nga, si Noel, for this particular na tema ng buhay nila, si Direk Joey ang sumulat ng lyrics at si Mr. Ryan Cayabyab ang nag-arrange.

"Actually, it's a bonus for me today, ngayon ko lang nalaman. Tapos, ilalagay nga raw sa teleserye ng dalawa. So, yun na naman, another door open for me. And I'm doing this not because I want the teleserye but because they are my friends and I'm happy for them. Sana mairegalo ko sa kanila 'to."


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