Jerry Donato – The Philippine Star

January 23, 2022 | 12:00am

After a seven-year hiatus, Christian Bautista and Julie Anne San Jose came together again for the single, Everybody Hurts, released under Universal Records, as proof of their continued duet collaboration. It took off when the two made a version of the Smokey Robinson original and Gwyneth Paltrow-Huey Lewis cover, Cruisin’. Both singer-songwriters did well in reminding listeners about the chill vibe and promise of young love. In their recent track, however, they will jog everyone’s memory and touch their heart in a different way.

“Definitely, that is one theme the song is trying to say,” answered Christian when inquired about the “It’s-OK-to-be-vulnerable-but one-needs-to-stand-up-again” message of Everybody Hurts in a recent virtual press conference, in which Julie Anne was also featured, “because another angle of it is, merong ibang mga tao na parang try nang try nang try, pero bakit hindi gumagana, bakit hindi ko maabot… ginagawa ko ang lahat pero nasasaktan pa rin ako (there are those who have tried to be fine several times, but failed. They still feel hurt at the end).”

One will find that sounding board in a friend or a partner that says, “It’s OK to get hurt once and a while, ‘OK lang yan, sige relax ka muna and then try again,’” said Christian. “It’s OK to be vulnerable and then try again (to be fine).”

With pandemic or without it, life is a roller-coaster ride of emotions and presents tunes that “validate” everyone’s feelings and usher them on the road to normalcy.

“It’s such a great song,” said Julie Anne. “Actually, when it was presented to us, after the listening session, (my reaction was) parang wow… it’s very relatable, it’s very, very timely, when you’ve listened to the song, (you think that) it sounds like na merong hugot, pero meron pa rin siyang hope (it carries some strong feeling, but remains hopeful).”

In some extent, Everybody Hurts speaks about making sense of a hurtful feeling is a process and part of it, as Julie Anne said, “you’re acknowledging that it’s OK that we’re not at our best every day, kasi the more we try or the more we force ourselves, parang mas lalo tayong nahihirapan, and then again, it takes time para maghilom ulit, para makabangon ulit (to fully recover from it and bounce back).” The song encourages one not to dwell on the situation and the emotion and offers a first step.

“It’s really important to talk to your friends, to your family and to anybody else that you feel comfortable with so, at least, you won’t feel alone,” said Julie Anne and added that “most importantly, talk to God.”

As the voice of hope and encouragement, Christian and Julie Anne didn’t have the heart to let this chance pass. As singers, doing a duet is something they love to tick off on their list again and again.

“The dynamic is different,” said Christian on such musical work. “‘Do I look forward to it?’ Yes, I look forward to it as well.” Solo performing and doing a duet give artists a different and unique experience and feeling of joy. Following his line of thought, one could say that Christian loved that sense of trust and support that he gets from collaborators, who, like Julie Anne, have done good work together many times in different platforms and capacities. Simply put, he enjoyed the art of being on the same musical page with another person and bringing out the best in them.

“It’s like a dance for me,” said he of duets. “I can’t dance, but I can do a duet pretty well.” Julie Anne could vouch for that and said, “Importante kasi talaga yung energy na naibibigay ninyo din sa isa’t-isa, you know when you’re trying to make something (work… like in) a production number or (recording) a song, kumbaga it takes two to tango, eh.” This comes handy, too, added Julie Anne when the tune involves a lot of harmonies that the singers need to perform and put together. The overall concept of doing a duet is dependent on the unity the two singers, who represent distinct vocal timbre and perspectives, can provide to the song.

“For some reason, I can’t explain the energy (that Christian and I have), but it’s always a great feeling every time I duet with him, parang yung space sa aming dalawa ay parang ang safe lang palagi,” said she. “And then I know also, when we do something a number together, we always have each other’s back, sa kahit anong performance. That’s why, siguro yun ay isa sa mga reasons why nag-wo-work ang isang song number kapag kaming dalawa yung kumakanta.”

From there, Christian and Julie Anne’s voices impeccably blend and complement and “I’m thankful that we blend, and his voice is soothing, I’m also thankful that he shares his talent with me and I learn so much from him as well.”

Although the song is about the inevitable getting hurt in the name of love, falling in love was also touched during the press conference. Julie Anne was asked about the real score between her and fellow Clash Master and Limitless: A Musical Trilogy guest performer, Rayver Cruz.

“We’ve always been close. Best friends talaga kami nyan ever since,” said she, “we’re very good friends… isa talaga siya sa mga taong nakakaintindi sa akin, isa siya sa mga tao na napagku-kwentuhan ko kung anong meron sa akin, kung ano yung mga problema ko, mga pinagdadaanan ko like matters of the heart, family and life. I’ve always been comfortable talking about those things with him because he’s a good person, caring and thoughtful, he’s really someone that you can count on.”

The singer added that “we enjoy each other’s company… sobrang OK po talaga kaming dalawa.”

Everybody Hurts, on the other hand, provides that musical company to listeners and reminds them that after every hurtful experience, people learn a lesson or two from it and deserve to be smiling and finding their pace to live and love again.

(Everybody Hurts is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms.)

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