How JM de Guzman ended up with daunting task of reviving Rivermaya’s ‘214’

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2019 11:59 PM

How JM de Guzman ended up with daunting task of reviving Rivermaya’s ‘214’ 1
Singer-actor JM de Guzman, and ‘Alone/Together’ stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. Instagram: @1migueldeguzman, @kitkatpajaro

MANILA—For JM de Guzman, reviving a classic he considers a formative part of his maturity as an artist is a daunting task, but now he can heave a sigh of relief with the glowing reception to his take on Rivermaya’s “214.”

His version of the 1994 track, from the iconic band’s debut album, is featured in the teaser for the romance-drama film “Alone/Together,” starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil.

The Black Sheep production is written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, de Guzman’s close friend whose 2015 breakout film “That Thing Called Tadhana” starred the actor opposite Angelica Panganiban.

How JM de Guzman ended up with daunting task of reviving Rivermaya’s ‘214’ 2
JM de Guzman and Angelica Panganiban co-starred in Antoinette Jadaone’s 2015 breakout film ‘That Thing Called Tadhana.’ Instagram: @tonetjadaone

“Actually, sobra akong privileged,” de Guzman told ABS-CBN News on Thursday, on the sidelines of rehearsals for his February 1 concert at Music Museum.

“Iyon ‘yung naramdaman ko noong sinabi sa akin na ako ‘yung gagawa ng song. Mahirap galawin ‘yung kantang ‘yun. Kahit noong kabataan ko, isa ‘yun sa mga bumuo sa akin.”

According to de Guzman, it was record producer Jonathan Manalo, audio content head of Star Music, who had suggested to Jadaone to tap the singer for “Alone/Together’s” soundtrack.

Referring to Jadaone and collaborator Dan Villegas, de Guzman said: “Natutuwa ako na binigyan nila ako ng trust. Sinubukan ko ibigay ‘yung best ko.”

De Guzman revealed that he recorded two versions of “214” — a rock one, and a slower version heard in the “Alone/Together” teaser.

“Iyong unang version na ginawa ko, as in rock na rock,” he said, noting that he would growl in parts. “Pero naisip ko, ‘yung genre ng movie, it’s a love story kasi LizQuen. Hindi yata ito babagay.”

“So baka puwede i-soften ‘yung mga [growl], kasi ‘yung mga eksena nila baka para silang nagpapatayan!” he added, in jest.

Watch more on iWantTFC

With the help of Manalo and music producer Kiko Salazar, they managed to calibrate the version that has now won over many fans, following the release of “Alone/Together’s” teaser.

“Hinayaan nila akong sarili kong feel ‘yung ibigay ko,” he said. “When it comes to ‘yung atake, ‘yung timing, correcting the notes, nandoon sila to guide me. ‘Yung areglo talaga nila maganda, e. Kahit siguro sinong artist na mag-revive noon sa ganu’ng areglo, maganda talaga kakalabasan.”

De Guzman’s version of “214” will be among his performances in his upcoming concert. The full track, he said, is expected to be released in the first week of February.