MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger realized her dream of singing in Tagalog when she was tapped to record her own rendition of the beloved OPM ballad “Pangako” by Fil-Am musical director Troy Laureta for his “KAIBIGAN: A Troy Laureta OPM Collective Vol. 1.”
“Singing in Tagalog has always been a dream for me and I think this song is special. I know that I was singing such an iconic song so I’m really grateful to be part of this amazing project,” she said, sharing she was immediately all in when Troy asked if she could be part of the album.
Nicole added she was honored and proud to do the collaboration but also felt quite a responsibility to give justice to the song.
“I think a lot of people know me from Pussycat Dolls but they don’t know in my heart how I love to sing big ballads, it’s in our blood, right? We love big songs and he chose this special song. It’s a classic song, it’s got a lot of heart and a lot of passion,” she shared.
Meanwhile, Troy said it was a no brainer that he chose “Pangako”—composed and originally sung by Ogie Alcasid and later recorded by his wife Regine Velasquez—for Nicole as he believed she has the “heart, spirit, and voice” to bring the song to life.
“’Pangako’ is so emotional and it needed someone who could emote that and really give it not just the notes, but the little things in the voice, the emotional parts of it. I wanted to give her in the Filipino fashion, that ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina’ moment, or that ‘Memory,’ ‘I Will Always Love You’ moment,” he explained.
The bigness of the collab’s quality and production, however, is in stark contrast to when they recorded it during the pandemic. “We were in Troy’s bedroom, I think I was on a bed, singing the song. We kept it real, we made it work, Troy has this unbelievable, beautiful, huge, setup—he’s got like the biggest speakers, the biggest screen, and all this technology and there was me, on the bed singing,” Nicole recalled.
Troy also shared what the album truly means to him. “It’s more than just good music and your favorite artists, you know? It’s about representation and spreading awareness about our culture. I’m so proud to be Filipino.”
Aside from Nicole’s “Pangako,” the album also features “Harana,” AILEE’s “Kahit Isang Saglit,” Matt Bloyd’s “Bakit Pa Ba,” Cheesa’s “Bakit Pa,” Pia Toscano’s “Kailangan Kita,” Jake Zyrus’ “Usahay,” Sheléa’s “Patuloy Ang Pangarap,” and Regine’s “Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan.”