Living the Fangirl Dream
It is the 13th of February and we are en route to Baguio for a Valentine show. The radio station that our driver Kuya Dodong listens to has already played Westlife songs twice, reminding me once again of the Lord’s recent wonderful surprise for me.
Oh, but my fangirling heart still can’t believe it.
How amazing this gift of a singing life has been, how full of surprises. I am on my twelfth year of singing since Cafe Bossa’s release, and of course, as with life, not everything is sunshine and roses. There have probably been as many downs as ups, but it is the ups that make the downs more bearable, and the downs that make the ups sweeter. And what life has suddenly thrown at me last month, last week, definitely ranks at the very top of ups.
Until now, my mind still fails to wrap itself around the fact that I just had my first collaboration with an international popstar. And not just any popstar, but someone whose songs my best friend Marj and I would belt out back in high school with over-the-top feelings and matching choreography. The moment we would hear the first notes of Swear It Again, Fool Again, I Lay My Love on You, If I Let You Go (my personal favourite!), and the many other Westlife hits, we would surely sing it to the very end! Ah, our high school days were such fun because it was the start of the boy band era! <3
And now, now.. I not only got to collaborate on a song with Shane Filan, Westlife’s former lead singer, I also got to meet him when we rehearsed the song, I got to sing Need You Now with him in front of his many screaming fans in Robinson’s Place Manila last February 9, I got to hold his hand and share his breathing space and hear him up close and in wala-na-sa-sarili moments, lay my head on his shoulder, never mind if we’re both married.. and then after his performance when I said goodbye he said so many other things which my melted fangirl brain couldn’t process at the moment so all I did was smile at him and nod and say yes and then he made beso and said goodbye - OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
I still can’t believe my good fortune. Thank You, thank You, Lord!! Thank you, MCA Music!!!
At our rehearsal last February 8, the first time we met each other and sang together, he said “I was a great singer” and that I “sound exactly like the recording”. My warped brain had to ask MCA if they recorded his comment. I obviously would need evidence that I am not making any of this up! Hahaha!
Man, somebody pinch me again…
But yeah!!! I open Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Apple Music and see the evidence right there!! Need You Now by Shane Filan featuring Sitti.. his fans have been studiously monitoring the song’s progress, and I am so grateful to them for being nice and supportive (though I highly suspect some of them may have wanted to strangle me, haha!!). Currently, here is our song’s ranking on iTunes, as shared to me by Nela Micandro. Source: http://kworb.net/itunes/artist/shanefilan.html :
My voice reached these countries. Thank You, thank You, God.
Funny how the whole recording process came about, too. My Ninong Neil Gregorio, MCA’s Senior Domestic Label Manager, sent me a text last Jan 12 informing me of the collaboration and the intended schedule for vocal recording. It was such a casual text that I responded casually too - copy on Tues, Jan 16, negative on Feb 10 as I have a show in Legazpi. i shared the news with my husband in hushed tones, unable to believe how quickly, how surprisingly this came about. He was very excited for me while I was in limbo, still in a hazy state of disbelief. And even when I was recording, it still didn’t feel real.. it was really only when I met Shane face to face that it all became true for me.
Even now, I have to remind myself that it is true and that all this happened, haha!!
Thank you to all who have already downloaded or streamed the song. I continue to invite you to give a listen to it. Here’s the link:
And to all who might be wondering how Shane Filan is, only one word comes to mind - he is such a gracious person. For a superstar of his magnitude, he is kind.. And I am inspired by his character.
Hope you all truly had a happy Valentine week :).