Nothing beats a couple making good music together.
This was proven true by singer/songwriter TJ Monterde and his real-life girlfriend KZ Tandingan when they collaborated for the former’s new song titled “Ikaw At Ako Pa Rin.”
Listening to a snippet of TJ’s new song felt like watching a scene from James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s blockbuster hit movie This Time. The song perfectly fits the premise of the movie—how to deal long distance relationships.
TJ admitted he was nervous while working with his girlfriend but also considers this collaboration a “dream come true” after more than a year of being together as a couple.
The new song is included on TJ’s self-titled sophomore album.
“Kasi lagi kaming magkasama pero parang bilang isang couple na mahilig din sa music, siguro pangarap din na makagawa kami ng song together,” the “Ikaw At Ako” singer said in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press.
TJ added, “I was kinda nervous about it, actually, nung una kasi siyempre dati kanta-kanta lang kami kung nasaan kami pero ngayon, professional na yung gagawin naming recording.
“Although kahit may experience kami sa recording, medyo kinakabahan pa rin pero it was a fun ano naman. Kulitan lang ‘tapos very natural lang.
“And I’m so thankful to both labels—Polyeast and Star Records—na pinayagan nila kaming mag-collab with a song together.”
With KZ being hailed as one of the country’s new generation divas, loyal followers want to know if TJ also feels pressured to step up his game and level with his girlfriend.
TJ confessed that he does feel a little pressure especially from their fans but his girlfriend is very much supportive of his music. The singer explained, “I think it depends on the person, with your partner, because she never gives me that feeling.
“When we’re together, she’s always supportive and wala akong nafi-feel na ganun. Siguro from other people but from her, it’s okay pero medyo, may pressure din konti siyempre.”
Both artists hail from the south—TJ came from Cagayan de Oro while KZ was discovered in Davao.
Watch his medley of Dawin's "Dessert" and Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself":
NEW AND IMPROVED. It took him three years to release new music after the viral hits from his debut album Ikaw At Ako.
When asked about his growth as a musician, TJ said, “Yung mga songs, kahit musically dun sa [unang] album, simpleng simple lang.
“Pero ngayon mas ano na siya, mas malalim yung lyrics ng ibang kanta and mas maganda na rin siya musically.”
The singer added that there is a conscious effort to promote OPM by writing songs in our own language. This is why he decided to release an all-Filipino album.
TJ further explained, “I’m more of an advocate for OPM at saka personally, mas masarap sa puso yung Tagalog, e, kaya ko napiling magsulat ng Tagalog songs.
“Especially, na-kuwento ko kanina, may isa akong Bisaya song. Hindi ko alam e, hindi ko siya ma-explain pero mas masarap mag-Tagalog.”
TJ wanted to write heart-wrenching love songs but found it hard since his heart is in a happy place at the moment. To help him write such songs, he sought inspiration from his heartbroken friends.
He told PEP, “Sa iba, it’s more of… gusto ko kasing magsulat ng mga masasakit na kanta. Pero ngayon, masaya yung puso ko so nahihirapan ako.
“Pero more of stories from friends yung [songs ko]. I talk to my friends a lot, kahit sino. Lalo na yung heart broken lagi kong kinakausap yan para makuha ko yung inputs niya and magawa ko siya ng kanta.”
Aside from his new album, TJ also hopes to headline an acoustic concert in the future.
He said, “Of course, pangarap ko rin magka-concert kahit na acoustic concert lang. I’m fine with it so sana soon.”
Here's a performance of his carrier track titled "Imahinasyon":