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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Behind the hits with Belle Mariano and producer Rox Santos

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No less than the key producer of Kapamilya star Belle Mariano’s hit songs and rapidly increasing catalog would attest that the actress is on the ball, always alert and aware of what’s happening in the studio as they craft a song into a hit record.

That has been the observation of the head of StarPop Rox Santos, himself an accomplished mainstream Pinoy music stalwart and the overall album producer of Belle’s album Daylight and EP releases “Somber,” “And Solemn,” and the freshly out five-song package “Believe” which was dropped just last July 5.

“Working with Belle is fun and engaging because she knows what she wants as an artist. She knows her sound and musical vision,” said Rox who co-wrote with Belle and a couple of others the songs “Road Trip” and “Somber and Solemn,” both from the EP Somber released June last year.

The hit-making producer is elated about how the new EP Believe had turned out after listening to the songs tightly mixed and mastered. Its production has raised the level of excitement for Belle’s birthday concert of the same title, set this Saturday (July 13) at The Theatre in Solaire, Metro Manila.

Rox stressed, “As her producer, I help Belle create the sound that shall bring to life her vision. It is a very collaborative process with her in the studio every single time.”

It’s quite the thing in the Philippines for a famous showbiz face mainly associated with the field of acting to become a music sensation as well. But Belle’s numbers are unusually staggering and amplifies the obvious that she has the charm and enormous talent as a singer. She now has around 110 million Spotify streams, 80 million YouTube views, and 1 billion TikTok views.

Her hits, so far, include “Sigurado,” “Tanging Dahilan” and “Bugambilya,” a track that won at the BillboardPH Women in Music, specifically for its Listener’s Choice category. Personally I view “Tanging Dahilan” as a standout piece, with its strong chorus perfect for her vocal character.

The latest EP’s opening track “Biglaan” likewise achieved such an effective approach. Another song “Apelyido” is lyrically refreshing; hardly the subject of a woman using a man’s surname is tackled or significantly implied in a song.

Tickets to Belle’s birthday show had already sold out by the time I got to speak with Rox whose track record is glittered with A-list stars he produced albums and wrote songs for, including the biggest of icons Martin Nievera, Jaya, Erik Santos, Vina Morales, and Regine Velasquez.

Late last year Belle came out with a joint single with Ben&Ben called “Autumn.”

Back in 2022, Belle’s first-ever solo concert with big-name guests including screen partner Donny Pangilinan reportedly sold more than P300,000 worth of tickets in just a few minutes after selling time started ticking. The same year she made showbiz history as the first-ever Filipina recipient of the Outstanding Asian Star award at the Seoul International Drama Awards.

Come her birthday concert this Saturday, the list is long if she goes back thinking about things she should be grateful and celebrate for.

Rox Santos is not new to working with top-notch stars but he still finds himself extremely fortunate to be on the producer’s chair guiding one of today’s bankable stars who’s bound to stay in the entertainment industry for long.


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