Disclaimer: I do not own the photos used in this article. They are grabbed from Renelyn Barbarona and the Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc on Facebook.
What happens when a sweet, endearing crooner and an edgy, soul royalty share one stage?
TJ Monterde and KZ Tandingan showed it is so far the most unique blend ever.
The real life couple artists just enthralled and kept their Davao fans swooning throughout their TJxKZ Live in Davao concert Sunday, August 06 at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Gymnasium.
It is TJ and KZ’s first concert together and first in Davao.
“Gipili namo nga diri sa Davao kay taga diri mi (We chose to perform here in Davao because it is where we came from),” said KZ in one of chat with the audience. Both artists are from Mindanao. Monterde hails from Cagayan de Oro City while Tandingan is a pride of Digos City, Davao del Sur.
Soft and sweet ballad
Despite his fame, the musician still humbly introduced himself to the shrieking crowd. “Hello po. Ako nga po pala si TJ Monterde,” he said and went on telling the stories behind his songs. Monterde is known for his serenading approach to songs. His lyrics, which most of them he wrote are also quite unorthodox compared to most of the OPM songs.
Monterde, after a few chats, sang the soothing Majika, one of his latest songs which he said is dedicated to his partner.
“Sa kada album nako, naa gyud koy kanta para kang KZ (I always have a song for KZ in every album),” the 28-year-old crooner, who spoke all throughout the show in Bisaya, shared to his avid supporters. He said KZ is also his inspiration of his song Ikaw at Ako, the song that catapulted him to popularity. “Mao ni ang kanta nako katong nanguyab pa ko sa iyaha (That was my song for her when I was still courting her),” he said.
Edgy and beastly soul
From the sweet atmosphere, the mood gradually shifted into something heavy and soulful as KZ had her dramatic entrance. Her edgy style – blue, baggy top, glittery boots and bleached thinly braided hair, demands attention as her voice crept into senses. She is doing yet a breathtaking act. Not until she displayed her rapping prowess in her rendition of rap icon Gloc-9’s Sumayaw Ka. She seemed to have transformed into a beast.
It was about three minutes of awe.
Tandingan was taken far from by her jazz rendition of the 1955 Judy Garland song Over The Rainbow as her audition piece in the Philippine franchise of the singing reality show X Factor in 2012 and became its very first grand winner. Since then, she had been performing pop-belting songs but after she established a name in the music industry, she realized she can do better than just hitting high notes. She followed her heart’s delight and finally evolved into a soul and contemporary R&B royalty, with rapping on the side.
What is being concealed by her strong image is her comical demeanor. She, an effortless comedienne, lightened the ambiance with her usual Davaoeno humor.
Being an alumna of the university where the concert was mounted, she felt comfortable “catching up” with her fans in between her songs, retrospecting her memorable experiences in her school days and perpetually thanking the people behind her successes. She also granted hugs and selfies to few of her fans on stage and messed around with them at the same time.
Despite having members of the band coming from places other than Mindanao, Tandingan loosened up by sharing stories in Bisaya. She remarked that those who can’t understand the dialect should be the one to adjust since the concert is in Mindanao.
“Kanang mga katapad nga bisaya sa mga tagalog, kamo na bahala og explain unsa akong ginapang-ingon diri. Magbisaya ta. Naa ta sa Mindanao (To those Bisaya people beside those who can’t understand our dialect, just explain to them what I am talking here. We should speak in Bisaya. We are in Mindanao), ” she jested. The empowered fans cheered loudly.
Among the songs she sang in the show is Labo from her latest album Soul Supremacy. Aside from that, she performed her version of Tadhana by UDD, the OST of the prime time teleserye Ang Probinsyano, Wag Ka Nang Umiyak, electrifying renditions of a Parokya ni Edgar hit Bagsakan and Teeth’s Laklak, and finally, her one of the most requested song, Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako. She also granted the fans’ request to sing a sample of Two Less Lonely People, the official theme song of the high-grossing film Kita Kita.
Two different genres. A balladeer and a soul supreme. A romantic and an edgy.
They may, at some point, have contrasting appeals when it comes to their music but it only made them the most interesting couple there is. It is their love for music that kept them in harmony.
The moment the couple ruled the stage, it became a celebration of Vispop (Visayan pop). TJ and KZ sang few of the famous Cebuano songs to the delight of the audience. On top of the lineup are the frequently requested songs Hahahasula by Cebuano artists Kurt Fick, Pero Atik Ra by Jacqueline Chang, Balay ni Mayang by Martina San Diego and Kyle Wong, and Ay Labyu Langga by Jerika Teodorico.
But more than the blissful songs are the sweetness of the lovebirds. KZ fondly teased and messed around with her partner in front of the swooning crowd. The couple became official since January 28, 2015 but their relationship became public in February after they guested on a morning show in Kapamilya network. They considered themselves an inspiration to each other, especially to their music.
It was an awesome and love-filled concert. Aside from TJ and KZ, Mark Carpio serenaded the audience with his song Hiling along with few Davaoeno artists Rexvin Galang, the band Footwear, and Zhalia trio. The show was organized by the Positive Impact Productions.