To any dedicated follower of the newest and latest in OPM, there are a lot of standout music artists and performers that totally deserve their fan-bases. One example is singer-songwriter Titus John (TJ) Monterde from Cagayan de Oro. Although a university graduate with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Developmental Communication, TJ decided to take the plunge with a singing career.
He started as a radio personality in his hometown, then a TV host for ABS-CBN Regional programming, then a YouTube performer and even joining the auditions for the next MYX VJ back in 2012. Under the guiding hand of Polyeast Records since 2013 and bolstered by a publicized warm pairing with OPM soul artist KZ Tandingan, TJ’s star has been on a steady rise in recent years, finally culminating in his first solo concert last Saturday.
As MYX Philippines tells it, TJ Monterde pretty much rocked everybody’s world at the Music Museum on June 17 for his debut live concert “Ikaw at Ako”, named after the hit single from his first album. Speaking of albums, this concert also served double duty as the launch party for TJ’s third and latest album “Kahit Kunwari”.
At times just singing with band accompaniment and in others joining along with his acoustic guitar, TJ went through his repertoire of songs from his Polyeast Records library to the adulation of his audience. Over the course of his performance his official Twitter page was swamped with photographs taken of him onstage captioned with squealing and genuine praises from fan-girls and fan-boys, a strong indicator of the cross-gender appeal of his songs.
It really helped that a number of his songs were inspired with his strong relationship with KZ. Speaking of KZ, she was also a special guest at TJ’s Music Museum concert. In a post-concert interview the OPM soul singer expressed her pride at the success of the evening, especially with their live performance of “Ikaw at Ako Pa Rin”. “Not all artists can open [their concert] singing an original song of theirs,” she remarked. “He took the risk and it paid off.” Also among TJ’s guests was young singing diva Sassa Dagdag of “The Voice Kids” fame.
In his own post-performance interview with MYX, TJ described how the whole experience had been very overwhelming for him to the point that he could barely believe he had finished his first concert ever. “I offer all this to God,” he declared. “Thank You for the music… I promise to continue to make more songs for everyone.”