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'Concert King of the Bathroom'
That Gabby Concepcion is a versatile actor is a given. We all know that, don't we? He can swing both ways. I mean, he is effective as a bida or a kontrabida as he has amply proven in his past films. His 13-year absence from showbiz hasn't really dulled his thespic talent, as he showed in a recent episode on Maalaala Mo Kaya where he played a taxi driver. Even before the pemiere of his ABS-CBN soap Iisa Pa Lamang (with, among others, Susan Roces, Claudine Barretto, Cherry Pie Picache and Diether Ocampo) on Monday, July 14, Gabby is already reaping good reviews for his performance, judging merely from the previews.
But as a singer?
Since his homecoming (from his self-"exile" in California) three months ago, Gabby has started sorting out the mess in his life (court cases, etc.) and career (bungled contract, etc.), signed up as endorser for some products (including the controversial Lucida-DS) and, don't look now, a deal with Warner Music Philippines to produce and release his debut album, untitled just yet.
"I sing very well in bathroom," confessed Gabby tongue-in-cheek.
What many people don't know is that Gabby has been a frustrated singer until he was invited to sing in concerts of Filipino artists in the US. He actually began singing years ago, long before he established himself as an actor.
"The first song I ever sang publicly was Come What May by Lani Hall," recalled Gabby in a one-on-one with Funfare. "That was for Dear Heart, my first movie with Sharon (Cuneta, his ex-wife). After that, ayoko ko nang ulitin because, I told myself, 'Wala kang career sa singing.' Later on, as I started singing in the bathroom, I could hear the echo and it sounded good. I told myself, 'Aba, mayroon pala akong singing talent!' Pag mayroong reverb, iba pala ang dating.
"One time, FPJ told me, 'You should master only one song, so that if you're asked to sing in a social function hindi ka mapapahiya.' (FPJ's 'signature' song was Kumusta Ka? - RFL) So I chose two, one by Rey Valera and another by Ogie Alcasid. (He forgot the titles. - RFL) Then I started singing songs by other artists. Ganda nila i-revive, di ba? When I guested on Wowowee, I sang two songs, Hanggang and Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang? which I dedicated to Mommy Rose (Flaminiano, his manager). You know, 'Bakit ngayon ka lang dumating sa buhay ko? Thirteen years na ako dito sa Amerika!'"
Which means that Gabby's debut album will consist of remakes of his old favorite OPMs.
When Warner Music made the offer (that he couldn't refuse), the first thing Gabby asked the company executives was, "Are you sure?" Added Gabby, "I told them, 'Ang boses ko ay pang-bathroom lang talaga.' Suddenly, I could hear the echo of my voice in the bathroom tiles. I wanted to call my album Tiles, with the CD designed like a tile, but the Warner guys didn't like it."
Why not, ehem, Bathroom Blues?
"Good idea," said Gabby.
Asked why he didn't volunteer to sing the theme song of Iisa Pa Lamang, Gabby thought for a while.
Why not, 'no?
Make way for the "Concert King of the Bathroom."