Singer Marvin Velasquez has a voice strong enough to handle the challenge of singing in different styles.
His latest single “Nag-iba Ka Na” is proof that he could jump to pop ballads from bossa nova without a sweat. Those who are familiar with his past releases should easily be amused to hear him sing in another genre.
The track is released today (January 25) in digital stores under the supervision and distributorship of Side Projects Productions. Well, that’s not just some side project, but one based in the City of London, where the singer spent much of the Yuletide season last year.
The song is likewise a composition of the main man behind the London outfit. But while residing in the English country, this guy’s very much Pinoy by tongue and heart. He’s Port Mallillin, son of the late Jun Mallillin, who wrote a couple of classics sung by The Boyfriends.
“Sobrang honored ako that Port gave me the opportunity to interpret his beautiful composition,” said Marvin, who is actually managed by Port’s uncle Rusty, Jun’s brother and also a prolific songwriter in his own right.
Just last year Marvin put out an album called “Bossa Et Al: Rusty Mallillin Masterpieces.”
But “Nag-iba Ka Na” is an obvious departure from the sound Marvin is trying to make a name for himself. It’s even a detour from the music its composer used to immerse himself in. By all indications, its creation and production are steps towards maturity for both of them and universality in the name of music.
The keyboard-powered ballad allows for Marvin’s voice to find a range that both challenges with the right amount of sentimentality. “Nag-iba na ang ihip ng hangin. Di na tumitibok gaya ng dati. O bakit nga ba nag-iba ka na?” he sings with power and passion.
Apart from Port’s support, Marvin is also backed by saxophonist Stephen Rivera, arranger Ritchie Ramos, and sound engineer Inigo Mortel.
The song’s official music video was uploaded on YouTube back in Christmas, shot in London and featuring also-England based Pinay singer Cherry Valencia as Marvin’s leading lady. The two of them frequently perform together when Marvin’s in town.
On that note, it’s a cue to tackle that there was more to just recording a new song for Marvin Velasquez. The experience behind it meant he had to travel abroad, professionally work with Port, and perform in a couple of packed venues to promote the new song. But not without some risks and loads of patience on his part as the world continues to battle an ongoing pandemic.
The versatile singer shared, “Traveling abroad while there’s a pandemic is, by no exaggeration, so hard. But it’s worth it. I get to perform at a place called Circa Loca and at one named Park View nursing home. The audiences as are always very welcoming. You need not worry because I was safe from the virus all throughout the trip.”
Marvin spent 20 memorable days in London, including shooting the music video at London’s Richmond Park. He had been to the city multiple times performing around, but his latest visit proved to be extra memorable.
The adventure didn’t end when he left one of Europe’s most loved cities. Back home, he had to go under quarantine and spend New Year’s eve inside a hotel room.
Marvin added, “It’s the first time I spent the New Year that way. It’s sad to be away from my family. Thank God the trip to London was really special and the hotel here back where I was quarantined had real friendly staff they even posed for pictures upon learning I came from London for the purpose of entertaining Britons and Filipinos there and promoting my new single.”
“Nag-iba Ka Na” is in essence a piece of gem cut in London yet shining in all its OPM glory.