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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How I (re-)Discovered Regine Velasquez

I remembered the song in my head tonight. Only a portion of the lyrics was in my head - "The moon and stars came out to play". 

http://www.lyrster.com/ gave me the title I was looking for: It was 'Zoom' by Fat Larry's Band. I was quite fond of the song for a long while. Interestingly there was another hit on the same title. The singer was Regine Velasquez. 
Next I went to Grooveshark.com to look for the song. I found the original one from Fat Larry's Band. When I searched for Regine Velasquez's version, I could not find it. Instead I took a listen to all her other songs. She has a lot of her own cover version of popular songs. When I listened to them I was quite blown away by her voice, her singing technique, and the sincere emotions showing through. I felt her voice was very pure and refreshing and the music was tastefully done to bring out her voice. 

I can tell that the music was not mainstream sounding. The arrangement style was mostly 80s and 90s pop, but was a bit sparse, a bit budget sounding, not really as thick and not as richly processed as the mainstream recordings of that period. However I felt that the music arrangement did get the job done more than adequately. I also saw her other songs that were in a foreign language. I thought she was either Indonesian, Malay or Vietnamese.

I then went to do a Wikipedia search of Regine Velasquez. It was only when reading through this extraordinary singer that I realised this was the very same female Filipino singer was the one that did sang together with Jacky Cheung in his very popular song called "In Love with You". 

She was raised from a musical family which fully supported and nurtured her since her youth. This equipped her and enabled her to win many awards first in the Philippines then the region, and finally worldwide acclaim. She was also the first Asian singer to perform at the Main Hall of Carnegie Hall for her debut solo concert in New York. Over the years she also did acting and hosting for TV shows.

I was very touched by her humble beginnings. It seems to me that she could have been anybody, but her passion, perseverance and hardwork enabled her to rise above the rest and become an international name. It must not have been easy for her to rise to her international stardom at that time, when the media was not as effective like it is today. There was no YouTube, no video sharing websites. Being an Asian myself I feel proud and inspired by her story.

Regine Velasquez, your story of success and hard work which enabled you to become an international star, has inspired me and earned my respect!