While I’m rocking, I’ll continue with some musicology but this time staying current and contemporary rather than rolling around in the usual nostalgia. Let me introduce you to Charice Pempengco, though you may tell me that she’s old news.
What a voice, ay? Turns out her musical muse is David Foster, who is the music industry’s version of Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation. It is quizzical to me to read an online biography that Foster “erupted” on the musical scene with his band Skylark in 1973. Sorry if I offend you, but their “hit” song Wildflower doesn’t exactly portend the greatness that he would be destined for as a session musician to the stars.
I admire his principles, as detailed on his website: “Before he became one of the most successful record producers in history — creating albums that have collectively sold in the hundreds of millions — David Foster received a valuable piece of advice from legendary music impresario Quincy Jones. “He said to me, ‘If something isn’t exactly the way you think it should be, don’t put your name on it,’” Foster recalls. “His words of advice had a great impact on me, and since then I’ve always fought for my artistic vision. I don’t always win, but I know when an artist hires me, it’s my job to push them toward greatness, and to get something out of them they didn’t know was there. My personal motto has become, ‘compromise breeds mediocrity.’”
Foster has lived up to his name in encouraging the development of others, with Pempengco being only the latest in a long line ranging from Andrea Bocelli to Michael Buble, the latter having written hits with Foster’s daughter, Amy as performed here with Blake Shelton.
And looking outside at all the snow, why not finish with a Bocelli – Foster – Muppets collaboration on a seasonal classic?