Angela Ken: TikTok sensation-turned-TV musical actress

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2022 08:36 PM

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Eighteen-year-old Angela Ken was in her bedroom in November 2020 when she recorded herself singing her unfinished composition and uploaded the clips to TikTok to chronicle her progress.

The song about mental health and prioritizing oneself, which she later titled “Ako Naman Muna,” resonated with listeners on and beyond the platform, drawing over 10 million views and making Ken a viral sensation.

“To be honest, wala akong ini-expect. Sobrang saya ko na na marami na akong na-touch na hearts. Ang akala ko, iyon na ang plano ni Lord, pero meron pa palang mas hihigit pa. And now I’m here,” she told ABS-CBN News.

The tune opened many doors for Ken. In March 2021, she released the full version of “Ako Naman Muna” as a full-fledged Kapamilya, having signed with Star Music and Star Magic.

@anqelaken HIIIII 👋🏻 Here’s an original of mine with chorus na!!! The full version will be uploaded on my yt channel : Angela Ken LUV U 💙 #foryou #fyp #opm ♬ Ako Naman Muna with chorus - Angela Ken

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Since then, Ken’s original compositions have been heard in numerous ABS-CBN programs, including “Sila Pa Rin” for “Marry Me, Marry You,” and “Hanggang Sa Muli” for “How to Move On in 30 Days,” among others.

“Feeling ko ibang tao [ang naririnig ko]! Feeling ko normal akong tao na nakikinig ng kanta, na nakikisabay lang sa trend na naririnig ng mga tao. Nakakatuwa po, lalo ‘pag sinasabi ng mga kaibigan na, ‘Andiyan ka na!’” she said.

The fast-rising singer-songwriter also marked an early career milestone in January 2022, when she was featured on a massive New York Times Square billboard as one of the faces of Spotify Philippines’ EQUAL campaign for the month.

Starting August 10, Ken will also see herself on TV screens as one of the main cast members of the musical series “Lyric and Beat” — her acting debut. Written and directed by Dolly Dulu, the iWantTFC title features songs from Jonathan Manalo, in celebration of the ABS-CBN Music creative director’s 20th anniversary in the industry.

“Doon pa lang sa ‘iWant’ logo, tumaas na ang balahibo ko,” she said of the series’ trailer. “Being a part [of this project], to be one of the main cast, to be featured in a musical series, I feel very blessed.”

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Another indication of Ken’s promising career is her headliner stint in “Beyond the Stars,” the 30th anniversary concert tour of Star Magic in the US, with stops in New York City on August 6, San Francisco on August 12, and Los Angeles on August 14.

Ahead of the tour dates, she will join the celebration’s kick-off at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Pasay on July 23. 

The significance of being included in the list of performers for the talent agency’s celebration is not lost on Ken.

“Para sa akin, kailangan araw-araw, ibigay ko ang best ko, kasi lahat ng bukas walang kasiguraduhan. So why not make the most out of every day? Siguro iyon po ang nakita nila sa Angela na kausap ninyo ngayon… Kailangan kong ma-prove sa mga tao at sa sarili ko na I’m worthy of being here,” she said.