In a country where almost everyone can carry a tune, it is not surprising to find a good number of capable singers from reality competitions. But of these discoveries, only a handful are bound to find immediate success; the rest have to be patient to break through the music business.
For “The Voice of the Philippines Season 1” runner up Klarisse de Guzman, the latter has been true. It was only a year after she placed second to “The Voice” winner Mitoy Yonting in 2013 that the young singer got her career going. She found a regular gig in ABS-CBN’s Sunday noon time show, ASAP and from there, slowly became a household name as one of the “Birit Queens.” Comprised of singing contest winners, her fellow singers in the group, Angeline Quinto, Jona and Morisette Amon by then already had a head start in their careers compared to de Guzman.
Nevertheless, de Guzman acknowledges how fortunate she is to have been included among the Birit Queens, whose TV success has taken them from Manila to key cities around the world on sold-out concerts.
To be sure, it paved the way for this talented singer to go into 2018 with much to look forward to in her promising career.
With the Birit Queens noticeably absent in ASAP as of late, de Guzman is ready to face the music on her own. She explained the show likes to reshuffle segments and regroup its talents every two years or so, adding, “Sobrang laki ng naitulong ng Birit Queens sa career ko, as my stepping stone but iba pa rin po ang pagiging solo artist.”
Choosing to go forward, de Guzman is devoting her time and effort in finally promoting her eponymous album “Klarisse,” a seven-track collection with its carrier single “Wala Na Talaga.”
Officially her first album under Star Music, de Guzman explained, “I just got signed up by Star Music now because part of my prize as runner-up of The Voice before was to be under contract with MCA Music.”
Also part of her album’s tracks are a remake of a Rachel Alejandro hit, “Paalam Na,” composed by Dingdong Avanzado; “Sa Pangarap Na Lang,” which is already generating buzz on the airwaves; “Eto Na Naman Tayo;” and “Mahal Mo Pa Ba Ako.”
Besides these, “The Soul Diva” as de Guzman has been called, is proud of a heartwarming duet with her co-Birit Queen Morisette, titled, “Ikaw at Ako.”
Meanwhile, album producer Rox Santos said of the collection, “Basically, the theme of the album is hugot so we have songs here that listeners can definitely relate to. It’s also a treat to Klarisse fans, themselves aspiring singers, because we have songs that can definitely be used as contest pieces,”
Moreover, much like the songs she performed on stage with the Birit Queens, the tracks on de Guzman’s albums will showcase her wide vocal range.
“Gusto po talaga nila ako pahirapan kaya mahihirap po yung kanta,” the singer jested, reacting to observations that every title seems to push her voice to the limit.
“In all seriousness, hindi po talaga ako ma-birit at first. If you compare [my voice]with the other Birit Queens’, mas mababa po ang register ako. I was just trained and encouraged, first by my coach Sarah, to hit much higher notes,” she admitted.
Now a biritera herself, de Guzman still believes her lower register sets her apart in the group’s performances. “I think that’s what makes my voice unique, mas makapal po siya and mas may soul.”
Agreeing, her producer noted, “Klarisse’s voice range is so wide that she can play with different ranges—she can sing powerfully pero buo pa rin pag mababa. And this album will highlight that capability through songs that allowed her to play with her range.”
On a final note, de Guzman shared her sentiments at this long-awaited crossroads in her career. Very simply and honestly, she declared, “Masasabi ko pong gusto ko umangat pa as a solo performer” she ended.