Martin Nievera recalls highlights of his career; admits separation from ex-wife Pops Fernandez was “very first slap on my face”

Gusto ni Martin Nievera na hindi maging madalas ang tambalang concert nila ng dating asawang si Pops Fernandez. Aniya, “If you do it every Valentine, every year, it becomes predictable. As much as I am a foolish person, I don’t want to fool people. For now, it has become magical.


Tatlumpung taon na ang nakararaan mula nang sumikat ang “Be My Lady” ni Martin Nievera.

Sa ika-30 taong selebrasyon ng singer na tinaguriang "Concert King" ng Pilipinas, magre-release ang PolyEast Records ng bagong album na pinamagatang Martin Nievera 3D: Tatlong Dekada.

Sa presscon na dinaluhan ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang mga miyembro ng media para sa bagong album ni Martin na ginanap sa Café Romulo sa Timog, Quezon City, noong Sabado, Nobyembre 10, buong-giliw na sinagot ng singer ang mga katanungan sa kanya.

Gaano katagal mo ginawa ang bago mong album?

“Very fast, but to choose the songs, it’s almost year. But to record it, not even two weeks, not even 10 days.”

Did you personally choose the songs for this album?

“I’m just part of the selection [process]. There never is a dictatorship in the company. Even if I don’t like the music... It’s Chito Ilagan, who I trust completely.

“We are in a small room, listening to the music kung ano yung bagay sa akin, kung ano yung message na music on my 30th year here in the industry.”

In your 30 years in showbiz, ilang album na ang nagawa mo, all in all?

“I guess it’s my 35th or 36th album, including the compilations and collaborations… I’m with Lea Salonga, with Gary Valenciano, etcetera.”

In those 35 or 36 albums, do you have a favorite?

“This album is the perfect answer. I guess, this is my favorite. You know, I have been listening to myself.

“When I record something, I don’t even listen to it, ever!

“Unless I’m studying it to sing for the promo or whatever.

“This is one album I was listening to while going back and forth from L.A...

“Travelling in a car, with a headphone and listening to myself...and that’s a good sign that I like this album.”

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Kailan mo na-realize na you want to become a singer?

“When I was 14 years old, I saw my dad singing. I said, ‘Wow! I can do this. I can make people happy. Happy through my songs.’

“Performing with the Society of Seven, the group of my dad, I got so involved with the production.

“Going from fast songs to slow songs, sequencing a show... Doing it at a very young age.

“That’s what I do, performing at the age of 14 years old. Then, I sang back up for Barry Manilow.”

What are the five top highlights of your career in your 30 years in show business?

“First was becoming a father. That would be number one—becoming a father...watching them [sons Robin and Ram, from ex-wife Pops Fernandez] grow.

“Second one, my very first ever in front of a live audience with thousands of people screaming my name…that was a major highlight.

“The title of that was Wanted: Martin Live in Concert at the Fork Arts Theater.

“It was the only show I know that was repeated two weeks later—not one year later, not one month later, but two weeks later.

“Doors were broken, barricades were broken…that was the pandemonium that I experienced very early in my career.

“I was only 20 years old. It was the day before Ninoy Aquino was assassinated.

“My third, was my very first U.S. tour, because I immediately wanted to have an international name.

“I know it was impossible for me as a young Filipino singer. Because there’s no YouTube or Twitter that time to promote oneself. You have to be on the right place, at the right time.

"To this day, that’s probably my regret...my third highlight. That I can’t really penetrate the international market.

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“Maybe, [I have] moments of success... But not enough to say that I was an international singer like Lea Salonga or Arnel Pineda. I don’t have like that.

“The fourth highlight, I guess, it’s not the happy highlight, but it’s a sad highlight…

“The moment I tasted failure for the first time. ’Cause all my life, it happened so fast…

“Success came so fast, fame came so fast. But as fast it came, it went...

“My very first slap on the face was my separation with Pops. That I thought it was a perfect marriage.

“All of that, turned me to a different...singer.

“That what you’ve become, when you are so used to success.

"When you saw yourself as [among the] cream of the crop, and the talk of the town, and then [suddenly] you’re not...and people drop you like a hot potato, which was my number four highlight.

“And my number five highlight, for me, would be, being able to collaborate and perform…with the more knowledgeable, with the more educated, with the younger, with the more popular and international stars…

“Like Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Bublé, Brian McKnight, Kenny Loggins, Barry Manilow…

“People that I can...go down on my death bed and say, ’I actually worked with, and met them, interviewed them and [they] remember me.’

“Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas, lately... These are the people I am perfoming with lately and they respect me and I do respect them.”

Gaano kalaki yung impact ni Pops Fernandez sa career mo?

“Major impact! Before anything else, Pops was my best friend and my number one supporter.

“So, you need that, in the beginning of your career.

“You need someone who loves you enough to tell it to your face, ‘Magaling ka’ or ‘Hindi ka magaling.’

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"’Gwapo ka’ or ’Pangit, mataba ka,’ or ’Mapayat ka.’ Hindi lang yung mga tao na nagbibigay sa iyo ng magandang balita.

“And Pops was always that person, even to this day. She always texts me and tells me things to improve on.”

How about being in a tandem again with Pops?

“You know what? To be honest with you, I don’t want to see that tandem anymore.

“Me, Martin, I want to remember the way it is... It’s special, it’s beautiful.

“If you do it every Valentine, every year, it becomes predictable. It may become fake, just to get you to watch our show.

“As much as I am a foolish person, I don’t want to fool people. For now, it has become magical.

“[Like] ’What!? We have a concert? Let’s do it!’

“It’s always fun and magical even when we have broken up.

“So, the less we do it, the more special it is.”


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