By Ricky Calderon
“It might have taken a long while, but it is certainly worth the wait. Singing is really in my heart.”
When asked why it took him quite a long time to finally realized his dream of having an album, “Siguro dahil marami silang ibang priority,” jokingly remarked the singer-actor. There were rumors that he started recording for an album many years back and we understood if he felt he was somehow neglected or not being prioritized by his home network.
“I never had an album before but I did record a single for Julie Ann San Jose’s album and some theme songs of teleseryes,” said the handsome Kapuso hunk and a prime candidate to be a leading man. Derrick, whose idea of a balladeer is that of Josh Groban, said the timing is just right for the release of his album.
“Feeling ko ‘yung time ko dumating na. Ito ang tamang oras. Ito ang tamang panahon. Nainip din naman ako kasi natagalan, and nagtatampo rin ako siyempre kasi naunahan ako ng iba,” said Derrick, the son of former actress Tina Monasterio.
But he admitted that there was a time he almost lost hope in realizing this dream. “Parang hindi ko na ito naiisip. So I just told myself that it’s okay if I don’t realize my dream of having an album as long as I know marunong akong kumanta. I used to sing in Sunday All Stars but the chance to record an album was slow in coming. Yun nga po, pana-panahon,” said Derrick who joined showbiz in 2011. A former choir member during high school, Derrick had the chance to join competitions abroad.
He is confident that his voice quality is the same whether live or recording. In fact, he sang the carrier single a cappella at the launch. “I told the recording engineer not to edit my voice. Yan na po iyan. It was how the way I recorded it. Pag di ako satisfied with the way I sang it, uulitin ko na lang. I am one hundred per cent confident na ganyan pa rin ang tunog ng boses ko pag kinanta ko ng live,” he added.
If we listen to the album, Derrick said, we will find out that he is capable of singing any type of songs – ballad, rock, or alternative. But the press told him his album sounds “old” for a young man who is just 21. He should include “young” sound in his album.
“I have a song in the album titled “Batubalani” na medyo pambagets, parang style ng kanta ng Eraserheads. At saka ang masasabi ko sa style ng singing ko ay sosyal,” he laughed. “Kung ang ibang teen stars ang concert ay sa MOA Arena o sa Araneta, gusto ko sana ang concert ko ay gawin sa Resorts World.”
And how did you prepare for this album?
“Hindi po ako nag-prepare. Ang importante po kasi sa isang album ay hindi yung tono, hindi yung notes na tinatamaan. Hindi ko sinasabing inedit yung sa akin. Ang important diyan ay yung feeling, yung emotion sa singing. Yun ang essence ng singing. Mailalabas mo kung ano ang gusto mong sabihin. Gaya nung isang song, may lyrics na parang may relate sa past ko, naiyak ako. Yun ang essence ng pagiging totoong singer. Kung paano mo ma-feel ang kanta,” Derrick replied. He described his album as as an alternative ballad-rock that contains six cuts, with the Toto Sorioso composition “Give Me One More Chance” as the carrier single.
As an artist, he doesn’t want to compare acting and singing. “Acting is different para sa akin,” he defended. “Magkaiba po pero…madali lang naman umarte pero iba pa rin. Yun singing kasi matagal ko nang naisapuso. Sa acting natutunan ko pa lang. Sa singing, once you have it, you always have it. Kailangan mo lang itong i-utilize. Pag singer ka dapat alagaan mo ang boses mo. Wag kang iinom ng malamig. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink.”
Derrick wanted to be known as a balladeer. But that doesn’t make you feel old? “I really want to become a balladeer. It might not be appreciated much by the young crowd but the elder crowd will like it. The elders are the ones who can afford to buy concert tickets,” he said.
As a balladeer, are you not afraid you might alienate your young fans?
“Kung mahal nila ako, susuportahan nila ang album ko,” he quipped. “I want to have a concert sana sa Araneta where I can sing my original songs. Ultimate dream ko yun,” Derrick ended.
His album has seven songs. Aside from the carrier single, it also included his version of Gary Valenciano’s hit “Kailangan Kita” and a rock track “Batobalani.” The album can be downloaded via iTunes, Amazon Music, eMusic and Qobuz, while physical copies are now available in Astroplus, Astrovision, The Landmark, and SM Music and Video record outlets nationwide. Currently he is part of the afternoon series Hanggang Makita Kang Muli and Vampire ang Daddy Ko.