Dubbed as the country’s “Prince of RnB”, Fil-Am singer-songwriter Kris Lawrence has always worn his heart on his sleeve. On interviews, he’s never shy about declaring his strong feelings for partner Katrina Halili and, now, their baby daughter Katrence who will turn a year old this month.
Such declarations of affection also extend to the songs in his latest album for GMA Records, “Spread The Love”. During the album’s recent launch, Kris admits that the new record, which took him six years to complete, is partly autobiographical.
At least two of the songs, “Di Na Matatanggap” and “Sabihin Mo Naman” are love letters to Katrina.
“I wrote ‘Di Na Matatanggap’ when she broke up with me. Hindi ko matanggap kasi I felt like I supported her so much. Yun bang ibinigay mo sa kanya ang lahat pero wala kang itinira sa sarili mo. I just couldn’t accept it. If you listen to it, it’s like a bitter song. All the little things, all the problems I had in our relationship, nilabas ko lahat dun,” he confessed.
As for “Sabihin Mo Naman” which is now used in the soundtrack of the GMA afternoon soap, “Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig?” where Katrina is part of the cast, Kris said the song was about the five months that they were separated and he was still trying to win her back.
“Nililigawan ko siya ulit. That’s why part of the lyrics go, ‘sabihin mo naman na ako yung mahal mo’,” he revealed. “Sabihin Mo Naman” was supposed to be the album’s carrier single but was cast aside by the record label, at least for the time being, when another ballad in the album, “Ikaw Pala”, was picked up by the hit Koreanovela “The Innocent Man”.
Katrina did take him back. With the actress back in his arms and their relationship further strengthened by the arrival of their daughter, Kris has all the inspiration he needs to write more original music, unlike previous recordings that were dominated by covers. “The song ‘Make Me Whole’ is dedicated to [Katrence],” beams the proud dad.
“Fatherhood has changed me in so many ways. It has made me more responsible, wiser and more mature. It made me appreciate a lot of things, especially my parents. A lot of the things I didn’t understand when I was growing up, I understand now.”
Sound-wise, the artist, who first rose to prominence when he became the fourth winner of ABS-CBN’s “Search for Star In A Million” reality competition series, said he’s more confident in terms of exploring other genres that can further enhance his signature sound.
“It’s a really big fusion now. I was classically trained on the piano. That’s why a lot of the songs on this album are also piano-based. I hear a lot of Michael Jackson’s influence in my songs too. I grew up listening to MJ, and to this day, not a day goes by that I don’t listen to ‘Liberian Girl’ and ‘Man In The Mirror.’ So, it’s pop, RnB, classical, and rock all fused together. Whatever works,” he pointed out.
In terms of collaboration, “Spread The Love” also boasts of arrangements from Vehnee Saturno, Homer Flores, Marcus Davis, Q-York, Vincent Bueno and Cal Aubin.
Elmo Magalona and Rachelle Ann Go are also featured guests in the album. Kris said he and Elmo have been wanting to do something for the longest time but only found the right opportunity when “Nightmare”, a song originally written for Justin Bieber landed on their laps instead.
“The song was actually written in the States by my friend Jon Doe who I went to the same college with together. He actually pitched it to Justin Bieber and everything. But in the end, Jon decided to let me have it instead,” Kris enthused.
As for Rachelle, who sang in the dance duet “Unbreakable”, Kris said he had the highest respect for the multi-awarded singer.
“Rachelle is one of my most favorite girls that I’ve wanted to do a duet with. Tamang-tama, this song came along which incidentally has the same title as her last album. So I’m happy to have her in the album,” he quipped.
As for the album’s title itself, Kris said it has something to with him feeling truly blessed. Through live performances and GMA Network’s “Sunday All-Stars” where he is a mainstay, he is thankful for having the platforms that allow him to share his talent not only to his fans but fellow artists as well.
“It’s another way of saying, ‘share your God-given gifts’. When I use my gifts to hopefully make people feel good when I listen to my music, that’s spreading the love.”(MNS)