From the headline above, the question begs to be asked: Why would Sarah Geronimo—a multi-awarded concert and recording artist, a blockbuster movie star, and A-list Filipino celebrity—want to start over again?
This was the curious revelation of the 27-year-old superstar who on Thursday announced sold-out ticket sales to her December 4 concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and consequently, the last minute addition of an extra performance date on December 5 due to insistent public demand.
To explain herself, Sarah said her statement has everything to do with the title of the show, From The Top.
“Umpisahan ko po muna doon sa concept at bakit tinawag naming siyang From The Top,” she began. “Ang nakaisip po nung title ng show ay si Teacher Georcelle [choreographer of dance group G-Force].
“Sabi namin, ‘Anong gagawin natin this time around; paano natin maiiba ito sa previous shows na ginawa natin?’
“Sabi ko tuloy sarili ko, ano nga ba talaga ang gusto kong gawin? Ano ba talaga yung gusto ko namang ipakita this time? Kasi sa previous shows ko, marami-rami na rin po yung nai-offer namin. So sabi ni Teacher Georcelle, ‘Alam mo, Sarah, sa tingin ko nasa transition stage ka, kasi hinahanap mo pa talaga yung sarili mo as an artist.”
The Viva and ABS-CBN talent—who has held nine successful major solo concerts since 2004, in venues such as the Music Museum, The Big Dome and Mall of Asia Arena—went on to analyze how the local music industry has effectively packaged her since winning the 2002 Star for the Night singing contest with her “birit” voice at age 14.
“Kasi yung title na sinasabi nila na, yung ‘Popstar Royalty,’ it’s just a title na binigay lang ng isang tao sa akin. So, ako, yon yung tanong sa sarili ko: ‘Gusto mo ba talaga na maging pop star? Ano ba talaga ang plano ko sa sarili ko ngayon, for my career? Yon yung [realization]ko sa sinabi sa akin ni Teacher Georcelle,” Sarah continued.
It was that point, according to the “artist in transition” that her dance mentor suggested, “Why don’t we take it from the top?”
“Sabi ko, ‘Wow, ang gandang title niyan, ah! From The Top.’ Mag-re-restart tayo, babalik tayo sa umpisa,” she rounded up, adding that she is still in search of her true sound, even with a combined total of 50 Platinum Record Awards to her name.
“Connected siya [starting over]sa aim ko . . . at sa dream ko [from watching]foreign acts na talagang music nila ang ibinibigay. As in, gagawa lang sila ng isang cover, dalawang cover and that’s it. Talagang music nila yung focus nila at ng concert,” the singer enthused.
“Dream ko na pag pumunta ako ng Amerika, pag tinour ko ko ang isang concert sa ibang bansa, gusto ko sariling musika ko ang ibinibigay ko, yung pini-perform ko sa stage. Hindi lang yung alam naming gustong makita at marinig audience. Yon po ang gagawin namin for the first time dito sa From the Top.”
Popular for being a female version of her declared music influence, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, Sarah’s concerts generally show her as a power belter with complicated moves all over the stage.
Most recently though, her songs have taken on a more laidback beat, such as her chart-topping single “Kilometro,” which also won Australia’s 2015 Gold Global Sound Award. Her ballads from her latest album Perfectly Imperfect, among them “This Fight” and “Until Forever” have delivered more mature lyrics and overall sound.
“Papunta na naman po ako doon,” the ever-humble Sarah told The Manila Times when asked where she sees herself in her search for her artistry right now. “Nakikita ko na po siya kahit hindi ko pa siya natutumbok talaga. Ang goal ko po ay yung hindi lang ma-please yung mga tao sa gusto nilang marinig at makita sa akin, pero mga kanta na may meaning at may lesson din.”
She went on to say that she is seriously going into writing and composing her own songs, having already produced one with Louie Ocampo entitled “Make Me Yours.”
“Hopefully masundan,” she crossed her fingers.
Until then, it will be very interesting to witness how Sarah evolves as an artist and reinvents herself as a singer. Because, after all, she really has done quite impressively thus far in the music scene and beyond as the Philippines’ so called Popstar Princess.