Lani Misalucha cover for Showbiz
Lani Misalucha cover for Showbiz | Foto: Lani Misalucha cover for Showbiz

Lani Misalucha: The Soul Equalizer

Por: Karen Limón

15, February, 2022 en Showbiz

Music justifies existence, communicates in a universal language, and bears no limits. Through her powerful voice, Lani Misalucha has harnessed music to produce a flawless rhythm, exquisite melody, and optimum harmony to be the amplifier of joy, the antidote for bereaved souls, and the window to freedom.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Lani never anticipated to be a singer/performer, yet there’s no doubt she was born to be an astounding star who shines over and above your expectations. “I dreamed of becoming a doctor and didn’t know I had musical talent back then. As a child, Lani and her four siblings learned to play the piano from their father. Although her parents were not professional musicians, they were musically inclined and taught their children to appreciate classical music. “I wasn’t so keen on playing the piano, but upon hearing my father sing the ‘Ave Maria’ song, I would mimic the tone while he coached me how to use my voice,” she shares.

Encouraged by her teacher to join the Glee club in grade school denoted that Lani had an ideal voice to sing. She also joined the High School choir and Church choir. When Lani was in fourth-year college completing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, her older sister who was performing in a band requested her to audition on her behalf for a band at the Manila hotel since she was scheduled for a European concert tour. Upon discovering her exceptional talent and appreciating her distinct voice, this spearheaded Lani’s career in the entertainment industry. “My parents always encouraged us to study hard and find a job after college and being a homebody and a domesticated person who preferred to open a business, I never expected to be in the limelight. Yet, life never goes as planned and the Universe presented this opportunity for me.” She winks.

To date, Lani has been in the entertainment industry since 1997 where she has performed solo and with other artists on TV and in concerts. Lani has several albums, has won awards, and has also hosted TV shows.

Dubbed to be Asia’s Nightingale, Lani has effortlessly demonstrated to sing cross-genres—jazz, pop, classical, and rhythm and blues. Her role models who have influenced the way she sings and performs on stage are Whitney Houston due to her powerful and soulful voice and Barbara Streisand who exudes clarity in her vocal sound. What sets this amazing woman apart from other performing artists is the ability to be versatile and natural―shining each moment with passion and conviction. “People prefer to hear pop songs, but classical music has always been my first love that was introduced by my parents and this is why I inject this type of music each time I have a concert. This technique has never really been done before and is extremely different, but it complements the performance act and has been my gateway to acceptance in the music industry.” She beams with pride.

The ability to switch from one genre to the other can be tricky, but Lani’s adaptable and multi-faceted nature has enabled her to step out of her comfort zone and maximize her potential. The first time she executed a Diva’s Medley in 2001, Lani portrayed the voice of renowned artists like Pilita Corales, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Jaya, by picturing their faces and expressions while she captured their voice. Everything fell into place and Lani went with the flow while the crowd gave her a standing ovation. During her performance in Las Vegas, Lani also sang the iconic song by Dionne Warwick called, “That’s What Friends are For” and wore a wig then transformed into another outfit chanting a different melody. “I credit this to my orientation with classical music. Once you learn how to sing in this genre, you can maneuver into serenading a different style. I have learned how to use various vocal placements wherein in some instances I use my diaphragm and flex my muscles. Recording Multiplex music helped me venture into different types of songs ranging from Celine Dion to Brittney Spears. I developed my skill on how to sound nasally, produce a falsetto tone, or sing from the chest, and combine a chest and head voice. I’m amazed and grateful that I have exerted effort to shift from one type of music to the other since, for me, there are no boundaries in what you can accomplish in life,” she relays.

Despite all the success and accolades, Lani has achieved, she experienced some painful obstacles ranging from having a miscarriage to losing a lot of money in a multilevel marketing (MLM) business which compelled her to move out of the country. “After encountering loss and heartache, we were hoping to gain that silver lining. We originally wanted to migrate to Canada to start a clean slate, but when our friends, the Leelin’s and the Racquel’s heard about our plans, they encouraged us to try Las Vegas where they could help produce some shows for me. After paying a visit to Sin City, we considered their idea to be fruitful and promising. In 2004, we packed our bags without informing other people except for our family and migrated to Las Vegas and have been residing here ever since that fateful day,” she informs.

Lani has graced the stage with her incredible performance at various Las Vegas hotels like Bally’s, Flamingo, and the Hilton. She was proclaimed as the “New Siren of the Strip.” Lani also has concert tours around the US and Canada and goes home several times a year to do TV projects, appearances, and concerts in the Philippines. After spending decades in the entertainment industry, Lani has truly refined her craft and established longevity in her career. “I’ve met so many talented people along the way and this industry defines the importance of finding the right people to work with. A combination of knowledge, skill, and a stellar team will help you with your career. There will always be someone more talented or better than you are, but it’s essential that you find your unique voice. Even if you sing old songs of the departed, their music will reign among generations—music is the legacy you leave behind,” she states.

Beneath the glamour and prestige, Lani comprehends first-hand the nitty-gritty details and behind-the-scenes involved in creating a show. Her humility, vulnerability, and sincerity have garnered loyal fans and followers. “Everyone looks alluring on stage, but this entails a lot of hard work. As a singer/performer, instead of putting yourself on a pedestal, you need to share a piece of yourself―your heart to the audience so you can obtain that deeper connection with them. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since 1997 and it’s important to always be kind to everyone you meet and work with. I’m grateful to my viewers and fans because, without them, I wouldn’t be here,” she voices out.

In 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, Lani flew to the Philippines for a two-night concert with Basil Valdes and Ryan Cayabyab. Scheduled to return to Las Vegas in April, Lani and her husband were forced to stay due to the lockdown. During their stay, Lani’s husband who is very health conscious and particular in the food he eats suffered a heart attack and had to undergo triple bypass surgery. This transpired before Lani’s TV show, The Clash. Two months after, the couple contracted bacterial meningitis and were hospitalized in the ICU for five days. Just when they thought the worst was over, another adversity emerged—a residual effect from bacterial meningitis—deafness in one of their ears including balance problems. “We never anticipated this would happen to us, yet some things are beyond our control,” she discloses.

During the course of taping for The Clash, Lani noticed that she couldn’t hear her voice. Another occasion when Lani observed her voice was out of tune was while performing in a TV show. Lani was caught off guard and haunted by a dark thought that this would be the end of her career. “My voice sounded so muffled like I was submerged in water. I felt like a ballerina who had just lost a leg. I told myself, how can I sing when I can’t hear the music. I could no longer recognize and determine the brilliance, texture, and rhythm of the music,” she confides.

After all the challenges she has encountered and been recently stricken with Covid which exposed mild symptoms, Lani’s faith, resiliency, and determination never wavered since she has anchored her life in God’s hands. Although Lani has hit the brakes on performing five days a week to focus on her health condition, she is scheduled to have a concert tour with Nonoy Zunica called Timeless around the U.S―March 20 – Los Angeles, March 25 – Seattle, April 1 – San Mateo, April 2 – San Diego, April 9 – Atlantic City, and April 10 – Chicago. “I want to focus more on concert tours and TV shows in the Philippines,” she divulges.

Lani draws strength and inspiration from her two children and enjoys spending quality time with her grandchildren. She keeps a healthy work/life balance by embracing two roles―Lani the performer and Lani the domesticated woman. “After an intense performance, I love to come home and embrace the simple things in life where I cook, catch up on my sleep, and entertain my grandchildren. I’m also fond of reconnecting with nature and meditating,” she says.

A phenomenal talent combined with hard work and determination led Lani to reach the pinnacle of her career. As she embraces a new chapter of her life, Lani plans to start a home-based online business that promotes different products on social media. She also hopes to encourage and coach talented youth as a way of giving back to the community. “I appreciate each day—to be alive and breathing. Life is a gift and it’s important to practice positivity and gratitude,” she concludes.

Whether you listen to her music on the radio or watch her live concert, Lani Misalucha’s songs are destined to always create the magic that will echo in the generations to come. Lani Misalucha is The Soul Equalizer.

Photographer: VINCENT GOTTI @vinniegotti