Jake Zyrus recorded his own version of the Visayan song "Usahay" for the Kaibigan: A Troy Laureta OPM Collective album of Filipino-American musical director Troy Laureta which the latter co-produced with ABS-CBN Musical International.
On why he decided to sing a Visayan song for the album, Jake shared in a digital conference as reported by ABS-CBN News, "I am Filipino and I wanted to do something challenging yet special as well. Then we remember, probably a decade ago, I did this concert in Cebu and 30 minutes before the show Troy was like 'Kapatid, we should do a Visaya song.' And 30 minutes before the show I literally tried to learn it. So I had an idea what this song was. And we both looked at each other and we were like 'yeah, we have to do 'Usahay.'"
“Usahay” was originally performed by Pilita Corrales.
Jake confessed that he was initially anxious to record the song knowing that it was a classic hit by Pilita.
"For me, it's challenging as well and I hope I did justice kasi may mga Cebuano and Davaoeños talagang music lover din ang mga 'yan. In fact, we have so many famous singers in the Philippines na mga Visaya. Kay Ma'am Pilita pa lang. Oh my God! Thinking that Ma'am Pilita is the original singer, that made me really nervous. This is such a classic iconic song," the singer admitted.
Jake relayed that recording the song was also special for him because it is the first time that Troy heard his voice after he transitioned.
"It's really special to me too because it was his first time hearing my voice ever since I transitioned. So when I recorded it with him it was really special. So thank you, kapatid, I'm always grateful for you," Jake said.
It can be recalled that Troy used to be the musical director of Jake in his concerts around the world way back in 2013 before the singer’s transition.
Troy admitted that he became emotional after hearing Jake's voice.
"When he started singing, it was the first time that I got to hear his voice after the transition and I just started crying," said Laureta, who has been working with Zyrus for nearly a decade. And to hear just how he has grown as an artist it was just so magical," Troy remarked.