Exactly a year and two days after winning in the GMA-7 reality singing contest Pinoy Idol, Gretchen Espina is releasing her first album, at last. The 12-track album titled Shining Through is one of the prizes from Pinoy Idol, together with a one-million peso cash prize, a brand new car, a condo unit worth 2.2 million pesos, and a management contract with GMA Artist Center.
Idol winners around the world traditionally release their first albums less than six months after winning the title. The gap ensures enough time for the album's promotion before the beginning of the next Idol season.
During the presscon for the album held earlier today, August 14, in Bar One, Holiday Inn, Ortigas, Gretchen said the album took a long time to make because they had to make sure the chosen songs "fits her." The gap also allowed her to prepare intensively.
There is a possibility, however, that the release of Shining Through will clash with the conclusion of Are You The Next Big Star?, another GMA-7 reality singing contest. Even so, Gretchen said she is not bothered at all.
"Kasi Next Big Star sila, Pinoy Idol ako. Dalawa po ang mananalo sa Next Big Star, di ba? That's theirs, not my own. We have our own image, our own style. Tingin ko, wala namang sapawan," the 21-year old singer said.
Producers of the album added that Gretchen will have a special number during the finale of Are You The Next Big Star? this coming Sunday, August 23.
DEALING WITH CRITICISM. During the course of Gretchen's Idol journey, she received tons of bad comment from viewers who accused her of lasting in the contest only because of her wealth. The winner of Pinoy Idol was determined by voting through SMS. Each vote cost two pesos and fifty centavos.
Gretchen revealed that she gets criticism until now. But the majority of these haters have now changed alliance, she said.
"Meron paring mga haters ngayon, pero I believe maraming nag-switch sides into supporters... May iba na lumalapit sa 'kin na nagsasabing, 'Ate, before, binoboto namin si ganyan, ngayon narinig ka naming kumanta, okay ka pala.'"
She just takes criticisms in stride.
"I just learn from it, I just grow from it. Pasok sa kabilang tainga, labas sa kabila. Digest mo kung anong mada-digest mo. It's part of life."
FAVORITE TRACK. When asked what her favorite track in the album was, Gretchen replied without hesitation: the carrier single "Kasalanan Ko Ba?". She said the track is memorable because she was heartbroken while she was recording it.
"Yung track na 'Kasalanan Ko Ba?,' feel na feel ko talagang kantahin kasi kaka-break lang namin ng boyfriend ko. All the emotions were there... when I was recording that may pinaghuhugutan talaga," she said.
The single is currently enjoying heavy airplay. The music video will also be released soon.
Gretchen volunteered details about the video shoot. She narrated that she felt elated during the shooting because the director, Paul Soriano, boyfriend of singer and actress Toni Gonzaga, is "very handsome."
"Guwapo mo nga po, e. Inspired na inspired ako kasi siya yung director... he's such a gentleman. Talagang nagke-care siya talaga from the artist and the staff. Inspired lang ako kaya ganyan yung hitsura ko," she said, adding that Toni Gonzaga was present during her one-day shoot.
Shining Through, produced by Sony Music, is now available in all major record bars nationwide.