After 20 Years in Showbiz, Here’s How Christian Bautista *STILL* Has Us Listening
Dec 22, 2023   •   Cristina Morales
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Dec 22, 2023   •   Cristina Morales
It takes a special kind of star power to last in the ever-changing, fickle world of Pinoy showbiz. With new faces constantly emerging and trends quickly evolving, staying relevant is no easy feat. Yet singer and actor Christian Bautista has managed to stay a force to be reckoned with for over two decades now.
From the first time he graced television screens in 2003 as a contestant on the singing competition Star in a Million, Christian has captured the hearts of Filipinos with his smooth voice, charming personality, and genuine talent. His appeal has even transcended borders, his songs even topping charts in other Asian countries like Indonesia and Singapore.
But what sets Christian apart from the rest of the pack? How has he managed to remain a prominent figure in showbiz for so long? In an email interview with the man himself, 8List.ph sought to find out from the man himself.
One of the secrets to Christian’s longevity in showbiz is his ability to adapt and embrace change, rather than be daunted by it. On social media, he’s always on the hunt for new ways to connect to different kinds of people, watching out for fresh elements he could incorporate into his sound, or just fun things he could share to engage with his audience.
“The key to remaining relevant isn’t to be overwhelmed by these trends, but to actively participate in conversations around what’s currently happening,” he says.
The thing about trends, though, is that they’re often cyclical. And thanks to Gen Z, what was trendy at the beginning of his career is now back in style. What 2000s trend is he happy to see again? “I miss cargo pants, so I’m happy they’re in again! I can stuff all my pockets with everything I would ever need. But after I do that, I always get a scolding!”
Despite the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, Christian has stayed true to his roots as a balladeer. But even as he has stayed in his lane, his craft has continued to evolve.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue pursuing my passion after two decades in the industry,” he says. “At the heart of my music is romance, which has remained a constant, even as the production and songwriting aspects have evolved. This evolution has refined what defines a ballad, but the central theme of love is always present.”
Since ballads are his forte, Christian’s always on the lookout for ways to add modern musical influences to take his craft to the next level. This might mean bringing in new instruments or sounds or experimenting with new vocal techniques. Christian also works with new producers “who may be able to teach me new tricks.” For example, in the 2017 song “Kapit” (which he co-wrote with composer and producer Bryan Lotho), he went with a more upbeat sound with a stronger electronic influence than his usual ballads — an experience he “truly enjoyed.”
Christian recognizes that today’s aspiring artists have a different set of challenges compared to when he was starting out in the industry. With the rise of social media and digital streaming, the competition is tougher than ever.
“But one must never give up,” he says. “We should always be proud of the art we create. And the world always deserves to hear it. It takes a lot of work. And a knack for knowing when the right time to strike is.”
Success also needs a strong support system. Christian knows that he wouldn’t have made it this far without the people behind him: his fans, his family, and his team.
“In the entertainment industry nowadays, collaboration and partnership is key,” he says. “I am happy to see TV networks joining forces to create content. Music labels and their artists bridging gaps to make new music creations.”
Christian has been under the management of talent agency Stages for the past two decades. However, earlier this year, he also signed with NYMA (Now You Must Aspire), and now he is jointly managed by both Stages and NYMA.
“With the guidance of both companies and my label Universal Records, I am excited for the strategic plans we plan to execute both here and abroad, both in the traditional and the digital,” he says.
NYMA is headed by his wife Kat Bautista. What’s it like working with his spouse?
“A blessing,” he says. “She is smart and driven. From time to time, we would ask each other if we are in work mode or husband-and-wife mode when facing a difficult question. We do try to find balance in our lives. But it feels more like a dance. We give and take. There are moments where, if one of us knows more about a certain area, then we follow that person’s lead. We both believe in each other and what we can do. Honesty, cooperation, and communication are essential.”
2024 has a lot in store for the balladeer, not just in the Philippines, but also abroad.
“I am very excited to create more content for next year both in the Philippines and Indonesia,” he says. “Through NYMA, we have already started with our strategic digital efforts and campaigns to reach an even wider audience. Stages has announced a concert with Julia Fordham in Solaire in February featuring myself as a special guest.”
GMA is also returning with a beloved singing contest, and Christian will have some involvement (though in what capacity, he didn’t say). And we’ve got exciting news for his fans: Christian is also gearing up to return to the studio to work on new music.
“There are truly lots to look forward to for next year, he says I’m always thankful and grateful for these opportunities that I am able to do. I thank God for all of them.”
Though a chronic dabbler in whatever tickles her fancy, Cristina claims she can count her passions on one hand: feminism, literature, the environment, embroidery, and the power of a solid pop song. She lives in Uniqlo lounge pants and refuses to leave the house without a winged eye.
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