• Sitti’s sensational decade

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    MARK BONIFACIO

    MARK BONIFACIO

    In the Philippines, the name Sitti is synony­mous to Bossa Nova. Credited for popularizing the music genre in these shores, she did so with the debut album Café Bossa in 2006, which catapulted her to musical stardom. Since then, many artists have tried to penetrate this beautifully seductive sound but only Sitti has remained. She is to this very day the country’s one and only Queen of Bossa.

    With countless successful albums under Warner Music and her current label MCA Music, Sitti is rightfully celebrating her 10th year in the music industry via a concert entitled Electro Sitti, on November 25 and 26 at the Music Museum. And to make her anniversary more memorable, the bossa nova artist is exploring a new genre in electronic pop, which she will preview on the two-night show. Titled “Bid You Love,” she hopes to catch the attention of younger listeners, with a promise to her loyal bossa nova fans she will never stop singing what they love.

    Today, Music Geek talks to the Philippines’ Queen of Bossa Nova on her 10 years in music as well this experimental side she is unleashing at this crossroads.

    How does it feel to be celebrating 10 years in the music industry? Did you expect that you will last this long in the industry?

    It feels incredible and at the same time, unbelievable! Was that really 10 years already? I feel so blessed to still be doing gigs, and so grateful for the fans who have remained loyal and in touch all these years. Didn’t expect that I would last this long, but praying that I do last longer still. I’ve been singing for more than half of my life and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

    What do you remember most when you first released your debut album Café Bossa in 2016?

    In a separate interview with The Manila Times this week, Sitti also looked back on how her personal life blossomed in the last 10 years with many good friends made in the business. The year 2015 is especially precious to her as it was when she married Bacolod-based triathletebusinessman Joey Ramirez. “It’s been a year and five months and we didn’t expect to be happy as we are,” gushed the beautiful singer. “My husband’s Ilonggo so he’s really very sweet and very caring. Believe it or not, between the two of us, it’s him who sings to me!” Still very much the picture of a glowing bride, Sitti revealed that her plans for the coming year include not just a new sound, but hopefully a new baby! TMA

    In a separate interview with The Manila Times this week, Sitti also looked back on how her personal life blossomed in the last 10 years with many good friends made in the business. The year 2015 is especially precious to her as it was when she married Bacolod-based triathletebusinessman Joey Ramirez. “It’s been a year and five months and we didn’t expect to be happy as we are,” gushed the beautiful singer. “My husband’s Ilonggo so he’s really very sweet and very caring. Believe it or not, between the two of us, it’s him who sings to me!” Still very much the picture of a glowing bride, Sitti revealed that her plans for the coming year include not just a new sound, but hopefully a new baby! TMA

    I remember thinking what a shot in the dark this was! So in the acknow­ledgement page of my album, I wrote in all the friends, family, and supporters I could think of! It was probably the longest thank you for any artist of all time—of course I exaggerate, but it was lengthy. I remember my very first mall show / album launch at The Podium… there were so many people who came to watch, and they all lined up after to have my autograph!! It was unbelievable. I wanted to pinch myself over and over to check that all this was truly happening.

    What have you learned and what has changed about you through the years?

    I have learned that you cannot please everybody, and that having a genuine and kind heart is what is most important. I have learned that God will lead you through this life, and that He will always provide for your needs. I have learned that music can unite and bring about the most positive changes in people—it has led me to the dearest of friends. I have learned that singing from the heart is sometimes all that is needed—authenticity, being true to who you really are.

    I am more comfortable in my own skin now—I have graduated from a nene who gets easily discouraged from negative criticism to someone at peace with the voice and ability I have been given, however limited that may appear to some.

    After doing Bossa nova, I heard you’ll be changing your genre to electronic pop? Why the change of genre?

    It’s not really a career change. It’s more of an exploration, a dip in different waters. I’ll always be the girl who sings and loves bossa nova. Electronic pop has gained such a substantial following in recent years, and as an artist, I wanted to try something new. When my friends and I go clubbing or have simple get-togethers, we find ourselves dancing crazily or jumping around and singing along to let’s say, “Titanium,” and I wanted to be a part of that through my music. I wanted to introduce a different side of me to the younger ones as well.

    How do you think your fans that are used to hearing you perform bossa songs would react to this change?

    Feedback on the new songs have been great—most of those who listened to them find them “refreshing.” I can’t believe the fact though that surely, some of the more “purist” ones will be turned off. But I am hoping that everyone will lend an open ear, and just have fun with the music.

    Who are your idols/influences in terms of the electronic pop genre?

    I’ve listened to a lot of tropical house and electronic artists while preparing for the album. Most of them are from Spotify’s playlists whose names I can’t currently recall (laughs), but those whose styles stand out for me are Lady Gaga, Sia, Halsey, and Astrid S.

    How would you describe the new Sitti sound like especially for your new album?

    You know, I think I still sound the same, except that the background has changed.

    Can you talk a little bit more about your first electronic single, “Bid You Love”?

    I’m so excited for everyone to hear it! I wrote it especially for this album inspired of course, by the husband. It’s electronic dance and I do hope it will be a part of everyone’s playlists.

    How excited are you with this 10th anniversary concert?

    Very. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a show. Probably, a lot of it is really due to that fact that we’ll be sharing something entirely new. And I can’t wait to celebrate Café Bossa’s 10th year with the fans as well. They who made it so successful, they who put me where I am right now.

    What can we expect from your concert?

    A look back on Café Bossa, and a glimpse forward into the future. And because it’s also my birthday, we’ll have some surprise presents for the audience.

    A message to your fans?

    Thank you all so much for sticking by me all these years. Please know that you are all appreciated, thanked, and prayed for. I wouldn’t be a singer without all of you so thank you all so very, very much. I wish I could return all your kindness.

    Guests to “Electro Sitti” include R&B singer Jason Dy, rapper Loonie, Silver Filter and the UST Percussion Ensemble. Log to at ticketworld.com for more information.

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