Gretchen Espina started to sparkle when she captured the hearts and minds of Filipinos who voted for her as the first Pinoy Idol in August of 2008.
The future singing superstar from Biliran went through rigorous auditions, performed live for weeks and never placed among the so-called “bottom group.” Coming from a musically-inclined family, she proved week after week her versatility with her impressive choice of songs coupled with her sweet-sounding voice. Having been a member of The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors also became an advantage. Gretchen recalls being with the singing group when it won first prize in the Inter-Collegiate Singing Contest held in Shantou University, Guangdong, China. Those experiences prepared her for the grueling months of competing in Idol.
“’Pinoy Idol’ opened a lot of doors for me,“ Gretchen said.
One of it included being signed with major label Sony Music. With her newly-released debut album “Shining Through,” Gretchen firmly glows in the music map and is set to shake up the industry. Her first single “Kasalanan Nga Ba?” is now a heavy favorite among listeners of radio stations nationwide and will make you think of 70’s songstress like Eva Eugenio or Didith Reyes with the oozing sexiness yet simple elegance of the song. You can further see that with its glossy music video directed by Paul Soriano shot at Hotel Celeste with Gretchen donning gowns from famous fashion designer Frederick Peralta.
Gretchen bares her soul on this new album which showcases the diversity of her voice with collaborations with many of today’s seasoned writers Ogie Alcasid, Arnenio Mendaros, Totop Suzara, Hannah Romawac and Cecile Azarcon-Inocentes.
It also includes remakes of OPM hit songs “One More Try” (originally by Kuh Ledesma), “So Slow” (Freestyle), “Suntok Sa Buwan” (Session Road), and original songs “Pangako Sa Yo,” “Di Man Sabihin” and “To You” (Gretchen’s winning song in “Pinoy Idol”).
Four songs in “Shining Through” were penned by international songwriters. These are the title track by Nina Ossoff and Tanya Leah; “I Promise” by Nina Ossoff, Steve Skinner and Jimmy Santis; “I Know You By Heart” by Stephanie Salzman and Matt Senatore; and “Never In My Life” by Nina Ossoff, Kathy Sommer and Porter Carroll, Jr.
“I’m so excited about this album as I was able to sing new songs as well as my favorite tracks recorded by other artists. I had a fantastic time recording it and I hope people will like it,” Gretchen said.
This is her time to shine—and it shows.
“Shining Through” is now out in CDs under Sony Music.