'I always downplay greatness'

AFTER 25 years of reigning as the Philippines’ Concert King, Martin Nievera says there are still times that he doubts his own drawing power.

By Aprylle Liabres (Contributor)

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Published: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 11:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:08 PM

“It’s always good to doubt it,” said Martin during the press conference for XXV, his 25th anniversary concert, which kicks off at the Araneta Coliseum on February 1, four days before his 45th birthday. The concert, which will be taped as live and shown as a special on The Filipino Channel (TFC) will celebrate the highlights of Martin’s 25-year career, from his first concert Wanted: Martin Live at the Folk Arts Theater in August 1983.

Martin has very fond memories of that concert. “It was the realisation of my life-long dream as a kid, which was to perform in front of a live audience. It wasn’t perfect because several things went wrong during the show, and we weren’t even able to record it, but it was still very memorable for me.”

Despite having done so many concerts over the 25 years he’s been in the business, he still gets nervous with each one that he does. “I always downplay greatness so I don’t get devastated. Las Vegas taught me the value of an audience,” he says, referring to his recent series of shows in Las Vegas which he had to produce himself after the original producer ran out on him and left him holding an empty bag. Martin reportedly had to sell his car and collection of expensive watches just to keep the shows going.

“That Las Vegas experience punched me in the face. It made me realise a lot of things, but most especially, that every performance should be treated like a farewell performance, whether there’s one person in the audience, or whether it’s full, you have to give the same every time.”

This early, the people behind the concert are already putting together an audio-visual presentation featuring photographs, film clips and other mementoes of Martin’s career. And it is but natural that some of those mementoes would include Martin’s ex-wife Pops, since the two started their career together on the variety show Penthouse Live. The show eventually became Martin and Pops: Twogether after they married.

Unfortunately, the couple’s marriage did not last. But that doesn’t mean that the public’s fascination for the Martin and Pops tandem has waned.

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