A Dream Come True For Erik Santos

A Dream Come True For Erik Santos
By Vanessa A. Balbuena (The Freeman) Updated July 03, 2010 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines – Back in high school, Erik Santos used to sing the famous ballads of his idol Jim Brickman during school programs. He had no way of predicting that he would be working with him someday, much less have songs specifically penned for him by the American songwriter who gave the world such hits as “Valentine”, “The Gift” and “Destiny.”

The acclaimed Prince of Pop serenaded the audience at the SM City Cebu Event Centre last Saturday with songs from his “Erik Santos: The Jim Brickman Songbook” album. As an added treat to his Cebuano fans who were wanting more, he sang his version of “I Miss You Like Crazy”, the theme song of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’s movie of the same title that came out early this year.

The FREEMAN interviewed Erik backstage after his show, wherein he narrated how his collaboration with Brickman came about.

“Pinapili ako ng Star Records among a list of artists na gagawan namin ng remake and I picked Jim Brickman,” said Erik. “Sobrang espesyal lang yung mga kanta niya dahil puro love songs. Ako naman, I’ve been singing so many love songs. Kumbaga, ito ang forte ko.”

Erik went on to say that it was a dream come true for him to work with the famed singer and pianist.

“Jim is special to me, lalo na sa influence niya sa music ko. Fan ako ng songs niya. Hindi ko naisip na ire-record ko pala ang mga kanta niya in the future, and that he will be there para sa arrangements at pagtugtog sa piano,” he said.

The album consists of 10 love ballads namely, “By Heart,” “Valentine,” “Where’s The Good In Goodbye,” “Love Of My Life,” “Destiny,” “The Gift,” and “Your Love.” Three are songs specifically written for Erik: “It’s A Sin To Break A Heart,” “If I Just Believe” and” My Love Is Here,” which is the carrier single. Original piano score sheets of the songs are also included in the CD.

It has previously been released in Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Erik has now something in common with Lea Salonga, Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Sharon Cuneta, Ariel Rivera and Agot Isidro, who all have previously collaborated with Brickman.

The crooner mouthed nothing but praises for Brickman. “Sobrang bait niya tsaka I really had a great time working with him kasi yung knowledge niya sa music talagang napakalawak. Ang dami kong natutunan, like how you deliver a song, kung paano mo siya kakantahin na in such a way na heartfelt yung dating sa audience. At bilib talaga siya sa mga Filipino singers,” the 27-year-old shared.

Asked what his favorite song in the album is, the first grand champion of ABS-CBN’s “Star In a Million” revealed that “Your Love” is closest to his heart because that was the theme song he shared with his first girlfriend.

“Pero hindi na siya yung naaalala ko ‘pag pinapatugtog yun,” he shared with a smile.

This year is extra special for Erik because his birthday will fall on a perfect triple ten (it’s on October 10, 2010, so 10/10/10) and he plans to stage a concert to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime date.

While he might have been uncomfortable at the thought of acting before, he hinted at finally giving it a try this year. He talked of a project that is being cooked up for him but refused to give us a clue whether it will be a movie or a teleserye.

He has much time in his hands now to prepare for events such as a concert, as well as other projects because Erik finally completed his Psychology degree last March at the Centro Escolar University. His thesis was about the effect of fame on the behavior of artists.

After all the time juggling and management he had to do for school and his singing career, Erik is elated that he can now finally focus on work. It wasn’t easy as he had to sacrifice a lot of offers when it fell on the same day as an exam or a thesis defense.

“Ang sarap ng feeling na tapos ka na. The recognitions I got as an artist are nothing compared to the joy of finally getting my diploma,” he said. And because he was able to do it, he has been encouraging his former Pop Icons bandmates (Piolo Pascual, Sam Milby, Christian Bautista and Mark Bautista) to follow suit in pursuing their education.