Kwento Ni Toto readers would possibly ask ‘Who is TJ Monterde?’ Especially once they’ve read the title of this post. For some who have been hearing and seeing TJ Monterde, he is no stranger to them but for the others who first heard his name and his music he is indeed a stranger in the music scene. Personally, this is the first time that Kwento Ni Toto has met him and was able to jam with him as well. Thanks to PolyEast Records for having a Bloggers’ Event with TJ Monterde.
So, Who’s TJ Monterde? To start with TJ Monterde is one of the known disc jockey or DJ in Cagayan de Oro then later on became a TV host of ABS-CBN’s regional show and then became a Youtube-born balladeer in which proves that he has some good entertainment package to offer. Although Monterde sang a bit in several shows in CDO and no matter how diligent his efforts during his radio stint, he has never been able to translate his command of language into songwriting and able to use social media to his advantage.
During the bloggers’ event TJ Monterde was shy a bit because according to him this was his first time to have a bloggers conference. Great and this is Kwento Ni Toto’s first to feature him as well. After a few introductions he did his song for us. He sung his first song “Wag Na Lang Kaya” which made me thinks that he sounded like one of my idols in singing which is Gary V and made others think of it as well. Well it seems that I still have my ears musically inclined but with the voice, never mind about that.
TJ Monterde shares the stories behind his original songs and most of them were stories of love with heart broken on the side. One of his songs entitled “Ikaw at Ako” was used in one of the short film in youtube.com that actually seen by many the “My Super Fan Girl”. The song “Ikaw at Ako” became his signature song.
He also shares the story about one of his fans who finds comfort in his songs and he was shocked when he found out what happened to the girl. His even more shocked when the whole family knows about him when he visited the wake.
TJ Monterde’s debut album “Ikaw at Ako” is now available in record stores. Released under Galaxy Records and distributed by PolyEast Records.
Recorded at Studio 1103 in Quezon City (owned by Lito Camo), “Ikaw at Ako” finds the singer/songwriter pushing six OPM old hits and five originally penned songs in about equal measure. Collaborating with top-notch producers and musical engineers, Monterde’s debut album boasts the first single “Ikaw At Ako” and showcases his soulful wail and guitar playing.
Currently, “Ikaw at Ako” is playing on local radios and it’s music video has caught positive feedback online garnering 40,000 YouTube viewers in two weeks and Pinoy MYX Countdown charted on #4.
“This album is a conscious decision and what I thought really needed to happen. It just felt like I needed someone to rattle my cage, take some risks and continuously love what you do. With the accessibility of the social media, I was able make it work” Monterde shared.
Fast forward to 2013, Galaxy Records signed Monterde in 2012 and have finally giving fans what they have been waiting for. As the album lightens up with a few remakes, Monterde, a big OPM fan himself included six OPM classics “I enjoy singing songs I grew up listening to. My parents, being artists too, have influenced me a lot. These are the songs that, for me, we should be proud of and I’m taking this part to relive them.”
Leaning back to the old OPM sound and yet giving another life to each song, seven covers include “Cold Summer Nights” (Francis Magalona), “Hindi Mo Ba Minamahal” (Dingdong Avanzado), “Iyong-iyo” (Big Thing), “Mabuti Pa Sila” (Gary Granada), “Mahal na Mahal” (Archie D), “Pangako” (Kindred Garden) and “‘Wag na Lang Kaya” (Truefaith).
Taking a different path aside from his hosting stints, Monterde said “I’m just being true to my craft. Sometimes it’s great to take the leash off and share a little of what you have—to my listeners, viewers online and to OPM as a whole. Although it doesn’t stray too far from what I’ve done as a host/radio jockey, I can still share my stories through this album and that was the result of taking risks.”
Original music does exist and if you want all OPM acoustic songs in its purest form, then look no further than TJ Monterde’s debut album called “Ikaw at Ako”. Laced with guitars and subtle singing, Monterde is probably the wordiest singer you will ever listen to nowadays.
Special thanks to Hairshaft Salon (Podium Mall), Mossimo and Red Box (EastWood Mall).