After 3 years, TJ Monterde finally finishes song, thanks to K-drama and quarantine

by Nikko Tuazon
Jul 8, 2020
Singer-composer TJ Monterde is excited about the release of his new single titled "Puhon," a love song he worked on during the community quarantine.
PHOTO/S: @tjmusicmonterde on Instagram

Singer-composer TJ Monterde is excited about his new single titled "Puhon."

TJ worked on the song with PolyEast Records while on self-isolation during the community quarantine.

In an online press conference with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press on June 24, 2020, Wednesday, TJ shared the story behind his latest song.

According to him, "Puhon" is a word in Bisaya which means "God-willing," "in God’s time," or "someday."

The word inspired him to write a love song.

"Istorya siya ng isang lalaki na nagustuhan niya iyong isang babae pero out of his league kasi medyo mahirap abutin si ate.

"So gumawa ako ng kanta na para sa kanya na sana, someday, magkaroon sila ng pag-asa o puhon."

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TJ can also relate to the word on a personal level since his wedding with fiancée KZ Tandingan has been postponed to a later date because of the pandemic.

He said, "Very fascinated ako with the word ‘puhon’ kasi isang salita lang siya, pag tinanong ka sa Bisaya na, ‘Kasal na ba kayo?’ Sagot mo is, ‘Hindi pa, pero puhon.’

"Pag sinabi mong ‘puhon,’ looking forward ka sa positive in the future.

"Nagiging positive iyong outlook mo automatically when you say the word ‘puhon.’ Very fascinated ako with that term na ang ganda naman talaga ng word na ito and very unique. Dun ako nag-revolve."

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WRITER'S BLOCK

It took TJ over three years to finally complete the song.

"Ngayon ko lang siya natapos talaga, during this pandemic. Kasi may balcony ako dito sa kuwarto ko and maganda iyong sunset dito.

"'Tapos lagi akong nakaupo sa balcony na iyon, every now and then, lagi ako nanonood ng sunset doon, nagkakape."

TJ said he usually starts with writing the chorus of the song.

"Ganun po ako lagi magsulat, 'tapos lagi akong nagsisimula sa isang word which usually becomes the title.

"Kunyare, magsusulat ako sa papel ng isang malaking puhon, 'tapos ngayon mag-i-incorporate ako ng words na puwedeng umikot doon sa word na iyon.

"Para siyang art na doodle 'tapos iko-connect ko siyang lahat."

TJ admitted that it was quite a challenge to overcome the writer's block he encountered a month into the quarantine.

"Akala ko noong una kasi we have all the time 'tapos solitude is your best buddy when you write the songs.

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"Noong una masarap, pero after one month, na-realize ko na nagkaka-writer’s block na ako kasi wala na akong makitang inspirasyon.

"Kasi wala ka namang lakad, e. You’re just really in your house.

"Dun mismo umiikot iyong [inspirasyon] ko, kung ano lang meron, kung anong pwede kong pagkunan."

TJ found himself watching K-dramas to keep himself inspired and motivated.

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"Like iyong ‘puhon,’ sometimes I write when I watch K-dramas kasi iyon iyong pinaka-evident sa ating lahat.

"Kung ano iyong meron sa Netflix na K-drama, pag nag-K-Kdrama ako minsan, in the middle of watching it, I sometimes pause the series and go to the piano or the guitar and write everything I feel."

TJ ON OVERCOMING SOLITUDE

Meditation was one of the many things TJ learned during the community quarantine.

"Ako kasi, I live alone. So ang hirap minsan na mag-isa ka lang talaga and wala kang kinakausap.

"So nagiging challenge sa akin minsan iyong sobrang silence.

"I try to read about meditation. Nagme-meditate ako mga five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes.

"Habang tumatagal, humahaba. Narealize ko na ang sarap pala, na kaya ko naman pala iyong meditation."

He also enrolled in online classes that not only helped him get his creative juices flowing, but also provided some much needed social interaction.

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"Na-pick up ko naman iyong inspirasyon when my songwriting classes started.

"Nung nag-start iyong class, iyon medyo napi-pickup ko na ulit kasi I talk to a lot of people na, alam mo iyon, we speak the same language.

"Nagshe-share-an lang kami ng mga kanta dun sa klase sa Zoom.

"Medyo mahirap kasi Amerikano sila lahat. Alam mo iyong kumakanta na sila, 'tapos ang ganda na ng verses nila."

"'Tapos ako ina-analyze ko pa. Masyadong malalim iyong ginagawa nilang [kanta]."

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Singer-composer TJ Monterde is excited about the release of his new single titled "Puhon," a love song he worked on during the community quarantine.
PHOTO/S: @tjmusicmonterde on Instagram
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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