Korean-American singer Ailee’s collaboration with musical director Troy Laureta for his Kaibigan album is one for the books.
In an online media huddle last week, the K-Pop star said that this opportunity is a huge start as she never thought that she’d be singing in Filipino.
“Doing music at these times really is a blessing. It’s just a great opportunity to blend different worlds into one,” she said.
Laureta met Ailee at a David Foster concert. Since then, he thought that her prowess as an artist made her the perfect choice to sing “Kahit Isang Saglit” for the album. The track was originally sung by Martin Nievera.
“The song is lyrically emotional, gentle, delicate but still powerful. For me that was Ailee. It’s the way she carries the song and tells it. This song didn’t go far from what she is used to. When she came and recorded it, I thought I was listening to a Filipina. She’s perfect. She tailored it and made sure she was singing it the way it was. It didn’t get lost in translation for sure,” Laureta said.
Despite her worries, Laureta was there to guide Ailee as she recorded the song virtually.
“I was wondering the whole time while I was with the group. Am I seeing this song right? Am I reeling the correct message here? Am I saying this word right? We got to record it in a virtual setting. I was in the studio and he was on the laptop, fixing my pronunciation and translating the lyrics for me. It surprisingly went pretty well.
I was a little nervous but Troy helped me to get through. He was great to work with,” Ailee said.
Kaibigan is a co-production with ABS-CBN Music International. It pays tribute to Filipino romantic ballads and introduces them to listeners around the world.
Ailee said, “This means a lot of music from different countries are starting to become more mainstream and being recognized. Music has no boundaries. I feel like these days that’s becoming more true. It makes me wonder how far these boundaries between music that we have so far will become one. Great music will be great music.”
Aside from Ailee, Kaibigan also includes classic love songs interpreted by Cheesa, Jake Zyrus, Matt Bloyd, Nicole Scherzinger, Pia Toscano, Regine Velasquez and Sheléa.
“It’s also having more Asian representation, especially with what’s going on. I think it’s important to show pride and celebrate who we are especially as Asians. If we get together and unite, we can show the world that Asians have so much to offer. Growing up I never had that. There was such a limited amount of Asian representation. I’m truly grateful for this collaboration. It’s a blessing,” Laureta said.
Ailee is slated to complete her album trilogy this year with the release of its second installment, Loving, this spring. The first album, titled I’m, was released in October 2020. She is the voice behind “I’ll Go To You Like The First Snow,” the original soundtrack of the hit K-drama series Goblin.