Jose Mari Chan’s Manhattan connections
IKINATUWA NAMIN NA si Jose Mari Chan, ang first Pinoy recording artists na napasama sa Starbucks collectors edition ng Starbucks considering puro foreign artists ang nasa CD nila. Nakilala at naging kaibigan ng singer/composer sina Janis Siegel ng The Manhattan Transfer at International musician and producer Yaron Gershovosky, and team up in a special collector’s tribute CD dedicated to Jose Mari Chan titled The Manhattan Connection: The Songs of Jose Mari Chan.
“I was at the right place at the right time. Sometimes life is like that, you know. You’re walking in the street and lightning hits you,” pasimula ng Diamond Record awardee ng Pilipinas.
This is the very first time that an all-American group of musicians, arrangers, and performers did a musical tribute to a Filipino songwriter. “I feel complimented and honored by this album which was produced by no less than member of the Manhattan Transfer, Janis,” says Jose Mari Chan. “We have not yet approached any of the radio stations, nor disseminated the tracks to them. We are hoping that a few of them would pick up a couple of songs from the album and put them on their playlist.”
Malaki na ang pinagbago ng music industry, iba na ang kanilang standard para makakuha ang isang recording artist ng Platinum at Gold Record Awards in sales. “At that time, ang platinum was 40 thousand and then gold was 20. So, ibinaba nila, partly because the reality confronted us and what is the reality? Because of piracy, because of downloading and also music sharing. Because of that, the recording industry is going through a lot of problems. In fact, some of the things, maybe in another five years or three just fall in the waste, or go to other business. So, it’s very sad, but technology has over taking itself.”
Nakuha ni Jose Mari ang Diamond Record Awards in sales for “Constant Change”, a Double Diamond Record Award in sales for “Christmas In Our Hearts”, and several multiple awards. “Giving of Platinum, Gold Record Award is a marketing tool to encourage the music lovers to buy this particular CD because naging gold na. I feel lang, that it’s a little bit unfair to some of those artist.
“For example, let say somebody gets a gold now for selling only 10 thousand copies. In the past, there were artists that sold 400 thousand copies, okay? That’s considered a Diamond, but now, somebody will only get 200 thousand, diamond na siya. It’s unfair to those people, why don’t you give na lang? They won’t do that because it doesn’t serve the purpose.”
May royalty kayang makukuha si Jose Mari for this album, dollars or pesos? “We get paid with royalties. It will be sold in the Philippines, so pesos. I mean, until it’s sold in the United States. But right now, this CD is only available in the Philippines and so, it’s pesos.”
Is there any posibility na ma-release din sa US ang latest CD ni Jose Mari? “Sana, but we will see because it’s hard to penetrate the American market, you know.”
Why some of the hits songs of Jose Mari Chan was not include in the latest album? “I guess it’s a matter of taste and so, these are the songs that grab Janis, the other singer. So, I have no say in what song they we’re recording. They really hand-picked the songs themselves. I gave them a set of my CD’s and it’s up to them to choose.
by Eddie Littlefield