Individually, Martin Nievera and Lani Misalucha have made a name for themselves as icons of Original Pilipino Music. Already considered stalwarts both as concert performers and recording artists with their distinct vocal prowess, their gift of music has allowed them to transcend and entertain generations.
For the last 33 years, Nievera, the country’s beloved Concert King, shows no sign of needing to surrender his throne just yet. At the beginning of the year, he was named Male Concert Performer of the Year at the 8th PMPC Star Awards for Music for his performance in the concert, Royals.
Asia’s Nightingale, Misalucha, on the other hand, only keeps soaring higher, whether in the Philippines or in Las Vegas where she has made a name for herself. She continues to be an artist young female vocalists idolize with her classics, “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin”, “Tila”, “Tunay na Mahal” and “Ikaw Lang and Mamahalin” a staple in repertoires for landing gigs in the music scene.
Despite all their recognition and success, both artists confess nothing is a walk in the park for them these days as everyone else might think. They especially have to adjust themselves whether in packaging or promotions in order to reach out to a wider audience.
“We are primarily singers. Artists of today, however, use multimedia avenues—that is many of them also host, act, and have endorsements. They’re lucky that way but we started differently,” Misalucha began at an interview at the Solaire Resort and Casino.
“Basically, what we do are albums, concerts, television, and radio sometimes and that’s it. Now the landscape is different to reach a certain popularity, but it’s very effective. The mileage is big. We don’t have any regrets [how we started]but of course we need to ride along with the times, otherwise we’ll be left behind,” she added.
Nievera agreed, “That’s why it is important for us to listen—not really follow, but at least listen to the more experienced artists in this landscape who are younger than us. I just know that if we alienate ourselves from all of this, like technology, and the different platforms, then I think we’ll miss the bus.”
He continued, “But the difference from the old days was we gave our audience a little mystery—now there’s none of that. You know exactly what you’re going to get. That’s why our job is to make our show entertaining and make audiences sit up from their chairs,” Nievera explained.
As Nievera and Misalucha roll with the times, they have also succeeded as a tandem, originally at a sold-out concert in San Diego in 2016. That very show will finally go onstage here in the Philippines as a Valentine’s Day, titled Masquerade.
Directed by Rowell Santiago with musical direction by Louie Ocampo, the concert will take place on February 12, 8 p.m. at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu and for two nights on February 14 and 15, 8 p.m. at the Solaire Resort and Casino Grand Ballroom.
“Since the title of our concert is Masquerade, the songs could be anything—a mix of different types of music to entertain different types of lovers in the audience,” Misalucha said.
“If she’s doing a Lani concert or I’m doing a Martin concert, we have to think about our own songs and give them a different twist. Now the theme is very easy because it’s Valentine’s and it’s about love. But in the show we want to be able to give in to every form of love possible—legal, illegal, courtship, break up, heartache, wishful thinking—for all sexes and all types of people. We want to be able to serenade them all,” Nievera explained.
And with that this A-1 tandem promises a Valentine’s concert not to be forgotten by any generation, as they adjust their songs for the many faces of love.