M4D: Martin Nievera recalls highlights of past 40 years

A show celebrating 40 years of one of the Philippines' greatest balladeers will undoubtedly be epic. The fans will surely get their tickets' worth, especially as the performer is the Concert King with the gift of gab - the one and only Martin Nievera.

"M4D : Martin Nievera 4 Decades" unfolds at the Theater at Solaire tomorrow (November 19). He could have chosen a bigger venue, like the US version of M4D which was the historic Walt Disney Concert Hall. But Martin said for the Manila staging, he prefers a more "ïntimate" event where he gets to be closer to his avid local fans, "telling the stories behind the songs" of the past four decades.

One of the memorable songs he will belt out is the little-heard "Nasaan ka Man" which was composed by George Canseco as an answer to the hit song " Ikaw."

"No one knows this story but shortly after I recorded Nasaan Ka Man, George died. It's such a beautiful song," Martin narrated.

At the media conference announcing the staging of M4D, Martin expressed gratitude to industry legend Vic Del Rosario of Vicor Music who made his career possible. " The least I can do is to dedicate the whole evening to the person who actually discovered me."

Another significant person is Louie Ocampo who has been Martin's musical director for the past 40 years. For M4D, Louie will be Martin's "very special guest" and not the MD.

Martin's repertoire for his concert is something to look forward to. The good news is that "there will probably be more than 40 songs, but some of the songs will be made into medley form. As you know, the attention span of people nowadays is very short," the Concert King pointed out.

The premier balladeer promised that M4D will be "98 percent Martin."

"I have to relearn my old songs because I don't sing those songs anymore. But the good news is at this point in my life, I've learned to embrace me. I've always tried to be someone else or sound like someone else or sing someone else's song kasi sikat sya. But I think after 40 years, I've now been given the license to just sing me, just do me. And that's what people will hear," Martin noted.

At this point, Martin was asked what the four most memorable events in his 40-year career were. As expected, the singing host was game enough to reply.

  1. The first one is my very first concert at the Folk Arts Theater - Aug. 20, 1983. It was never televised because it was so bad. We didn't have any of the special effects you have these days. I couldn't hear myself on stage.
  2. The first time we did a football stadium show which nobody was doing at the time - March 17, 1984, Martin's Rage at the University of Life Football Field. The tickets were 10 pesos and 45,000 people attended.
  3. The third would be when I became a father for the very first time. Then my singing changed, my writing style changed. I thought everything was forever and there was no end to anything.
  4. The fourth was when I was no longer a husband. Because then, I started writing songs of regret, songs of being sorry and 'look what I've done.' I was suicidal at one time.

"In showbiz, you go through these stages. These four highlights helped me with who I am today," Martin noted.

Ticket prices for M4D are: Platinum P13,000; SVIP, P8,600; VIP, P7,000; Gold, P5,500; Lower Balcony, P2,500; Upper Balcony, P1,500. To book online, just go to https://tinyurl.com/martinm4d