Singer Rachel Alejandro could not help but be apprehensive about how the public would receive her if ever she made a comeback after an absence of 11 years in the recording industry.
Now back in the music scene, Alejandro has come up with eight classic OPM tracks that are given fresh arrangements in her new album, “Rachel Alejandro: The Great OPM Songbook Vol. 1.”
“I think everything talagang fell into place, eh. It’s so weird nga how our lives can change in just a blink of an eye,” she said during her online conference on the album last Nov. 17.
She recalled how she wondered, over a year ago, if she was still musically in demand.
“About over a year ago, nakaupo ako doon sa couch namin sa New York, sa couch naming mag-asawa. Of course, ito ‘yung kasagsagan ng pandemic,” she narrated. (About over a year ago, I was seated in our couch in New York, in our conjugal couch. Of course, this was at the height of the pandemic.)
She thought that her career was over.
“Honestly, I was thinking of my future. Hindi ko talaga makita. Relevant pa ba ako? Kakanta pa ba ako? Parang ang layo-layo na ng possibility na magkaka-concert at magkaka-album pa ulit but for some reasons, naging masuwerte naman,” she said.
(Honestly, I was thinking of my future. I really couldn’t see it. Am I still relevant? Will I ever sing again? It’s like the possibility of having another concert and a new album was so remote, but for some reasons, I was sort of lucky.)
First, she got an offer to do a soap opera, “The Broken Marriage Vow,” where she plays Nathalia Lucero.
“One thing happened after another. Una, nagkaroon ng offer nga to do this teleserye, my very first one under ABS- CBN. Pangalawa, nakausap din ng manager ko of more than a quarter of a century, si tita Girlie Rodis, si Lauren Dyogi ng Star Magic,” she said.
(First, I had an offer to do this TV series, my very first one one under ABS-CBN. Second, my manager of more than a quarter of a century, tita Girlie, was able to talk to Lauren Dyogi of Star Magic.)
Under the agreement, Alejandro’s career will be taken care of by Star Magic as Rodis plans to stay in the US for the meantime.
“So, kinausap niya (Rodis) si direk Lauren and sabi naman ni direk, ‘ah, we’ve always love naman Rachel. We always wanted to work with her,’” she said. (So, she talked to direk Lauren and direk said, ‘Ah, we’ve always loved Rachel….)
After coming from New York came Star Music’s offer to record an album through Roxy Liquigan and Jonathan Manalo.
“‘What?’ Biglang all of a sudden ang dami nang nangyayari (there are so many things happening),” she said.
“It’s a proud day for me kasi nga eleven years din akong walang album. ‘Pag ganoon kasi naiisip mo, gusto pa ba ako ng mga tao? Gusto pa ba ako ng mga fans, ‘yung sumubaybay sa mga awitin ko, sa mga luma kong kanta? Hopefully naman ay nandiyan pa rin sila,” she said.
(It’s a proud day for me because I haven’t had an album for eleven years. And so, you would think, ‘Do the people still like me? Do fans still like me, those who follow my songs, my old songs? Hopefully, they are still there.)
The album’s key track is “Ang Pag-ibig Kong Ito,” a ballad originally recorded by Leah Navarro that now bears a striking jazz sound. Other tracks included are “Catch Me, I’m Falling,” “Hanggang,” “Ikaw,” “Kahit Habang Buhay,” “Kung Ako Ba Siya,” “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana,” and “Sabi Na Nga Ba.”. /ra