Kuh Ledesma pays tribute to top musical influence

Published September 22, 2018, 8:44 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Kuh Ledesma credits Barbra Streisand for teaching her about “voice placement” when the former was just starting her career.

Kuh Ledesma (Photo by Lester Ramos) /mb.com.ph
Kuh Ledesma (Photo by Lester Ramos)

“Cecile Azarcon became my voice teacher but my real voice teacher was Streisand in that as I would emulate her by actually singing her songs, I learned how to ‘place’ my voice,” Kuh said.

“And I learned to sing heart songs because Streisand always sings heart songs.”

The subject was brought up at the press conference for “Kuh Ledesma And Christian Bautista Sings Streisand, Groban And Legrand” media huddle. The concert is on Oct. 20 at The Tent at Solaire Resort.

“We love singing their songs. There’s a difference when your director says, ‘Oh, we need you to sing this kind of song.’ So, sometimes you make a compromise,” Kuh said. “But when Carlo Orosa, manager of Christian Bautista, told me about the concert, I said, ‘It’s okay with me because that’s like being home, being at home with all of these songs.’”

Championing OPM

Kuh acknowledges Pinoys will always have a place in their hearts for international singers and their songs – and that’s fine.

“Songs of foreign artists are going to seep into our radio station no matter what because it is a big influence more so right now when times have changed, there’s YouTube and all that. Their songs are all over the place. And then they’re in the Grammys where you will be shown how amazing their artists are,” she said.

However, Kuh believes in the Filipino talent as much. She is confident “one day a big, big Filipino star will be in America.” She praised Filipino singers for the “tonal quality” of their voices.

She felt that one artist cannot smack their talents into the collective faces of the audience.

She thinks it’s up to the Pinoy singers and composers to level up.

“If you come up with a fantastic Tagalog song or even an English song composed by a Filipino composer, people will buy it,” Kuh said.

That is, if the composers find the time to write them. Apparently, some have to find other work because living on royalties just doesn’t cut it.

Barbra Streisand (AP/Evan Agostini) /mb.com.ph
Barbra Streisand (AP/Evan Agostini)

“Some of our composers are not as hardworking to compose new songs because it’s not their bread and butter. Composers are busy with other things because they need to earn money in another way,” she said to that effect.

What can Pinoy artists learn from how their international counterparts run their careers?

“That it pays to have a good manager. A dedicated manager can do wonders for any artists because an artist is an artist although people like Streisand, Madonna, they have business acumen. But a lot of artists, they’re just really artists. They wanna sing, they wanna express. It’s a big deal to have a manager and their connections are very important especially if you’re somebody from here who wants to make it abroad.

“But real talent will always make it. And if it’s God plan for you, then that is all. God handles everything.”