With singing competitions discovering new talents almost every day, it becomes a challenge for long-time performers to keep up with the influx of artists. Iconic as they may be with record-breaking hits, younger singers always pose a challenge to them especially with the need to expand one’s presence and following online today, beside churning albums and mounting concerts.
One OPM icon who continues to thrive amid this very different landscape in music is Martin Nievera.
The Concert King, a title no one has taken from him to this very day, is celebrating his 35th year as a singer with a concert at The Theatre of Solaire Resort and Casino on December 8.
“It’s another excuse for me to sing my old songs again,” Nievera shared in jest at the show’s press conference.
“You know me, I don’t want a tribute concert or anything like that. I just want an orchestra and the chance to sing my songs. There will be no LED screens, no distractions. What you’ll have is the chance to really hear the lyrics and put your focus on me, the singer,” the 55-year-old noted with a knowing smile.
Nievera later divulged that the inspiration of the concert stemmed from his comparison of the digital world he now shares with the new generation and that of the “analog” generation where his career flourished along with those of colleagues and friends Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla and former wife Pops Fernandez.
“I want to make it a sort of tribute to the ‘analog’ period. This is the digital world but when we started our careers—Pops, Zsa Zsa and Gary alike—it was the analog world and we made big long playing albums with no filter, and no auto tunes,” the singer noted.
“When we were doing our songs three decades ago, there were no digitally produced or digitally mastered music. Back then it would take an hour just to record a song. But now, I put my voice on track—do it three or four times—and they can do the whole thing for me. They can turn my voice from Pavarotti to Anne Curtis,” Nievera chattered away without pause, realizing in the end he may have said too much.
Then again, it is for this very nature that his concert has been titled #NoFilter.
“Well, yeah, I have never filtered myself,” he laughed. “Maybe I should have,” he added sheepishly.
Another indication that Nievera is still thriving amid the tight competition among singers today is because he is officially the first celebrity to ink an ambassadorship for a casino. Now the face of Solaire Resorts and Casino, he is tasked to promote the casino’s amenities and lend his voice to the property’s theme song, “Follow the Sun.”
“It’s a new thing; they are just trying it out. My role is to be the guy in front and I hope this will open more doors for other artists, especially those who have been in the industry for a while like me to be the face of other casinos,” the singer noted.
Inevitably, the conversation moved on to the shocking and unfortunate shootout in Las Vegas last week, which, besides being the world’s gambling capital, also holds a special place for Nievera. It will be remembered that the singer lived there for a time and pursue a career, holding concerts at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts the Golden Nugget, the Steve Wyrick Theater at Planet Hollywood, Flamingo Las Vegas, Suncoast Showroom and M Resort, among many others.
“What happened in Vegas is a true tragedy. If it’s your hometown, you’ll always think, it’s not gonna happen here, it’s gonna happen somewhere else. So I was so devastated with that news because it was so close to home,” Nievera offered.
For Nievera this is a time when he and other performers can make use of their status as celebrities.
“As a people, terrorism cannot and should not change our lives. We should move on and go on. I know it’s easier said than done especially for all those whose lives will never be the same again, and those who lost loved ones. But we as entertainers, that’s our job—we have to continue to make you smile,” Nievera said after expressing sympathy to the victims.
“We are the court jesters of the world. No matter what the tragedy is, we always have to keep the people positive,” he ended. Whether in analogue or digital.