MANILA -- Singer KZ Tandingan cherished her moment at the 11th Himig Handog songwriting competition last Sunday as she interpreted the winning song “Marupok.”
In a media conference on Monday, Tandingan said she felt the song was made for her, noting how her musical director rearranged it to fit her style.
Tandingan, who also recently made headlines after singing the first Disney Tagalog song “Gabay,” said she and songwriter Danielle Ann Balagtas wanted the song to stand out even after the annual competition.
“Sobrang special niya kasi paulit-ulit ko ding sinasabi sa ibang interviews ang ‘Marupok’ is a song na pinakamalapit kung sino ako as an artist, 'yung kung hindi man siya naisama sa Himig Handog this year, this would still definitely be part of my album,” she said.
“Para siyang sinadyang isinulat for me. The first time I heard this song, it just sounded like it was meant for me. Tapos nalaman ko pa na i-a-arrange ng aking musical director. The thought in my mind was this was going to be for a competition but we really wanted this song to stand out and be there and be relevant kahit na tapos na 'yung Himig Handog.”
The “Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako” singer also relished winning the contest, recounting how she jumped for joy after receiving the Best Song and Best Music Video awards.
“It still feels like the first time. Hindi mo talaga puwede i-expect kasi na mananalo ka kasi iba-iba 'yung beauty ng bawat kanta na part ng Himig 11th Edition. So what I could do was to hope na magawa ko ang lahat ng kailangan ko gawin at sana mag-hope na makakuha ng isang spot sa top five 'yung ‘Marupok,’” she added.
Tandingan went on to thank Balagtas for collaborating with her and allowing her to do her personal interpretation of the song.
“Danielle was very supportive. Sabi niya gawin ko daw kung ano sa tingin ko 'yung dapat gawin. And for an artist like me na ang daming tumatakbo sa isip, para niya akong binigyan ng freedom,” the "X Factor Philippines" winner shared.
Despite being in the music industry for years, the 29-year-old singer admitted she felt pressured to give the song justice and to connect the energy and emotion of the song to the judges.
“Sabi ko, ‘Lord just make me remember everything I have to remember. Be my voice and just perform through me.’ Sabi ko if manalo man then Your will be done but I just want to do this right, I just want to perform to the best of my abilities,” Tandingan added.