MANILA -- A TikTok influencer is releasing her first single on Spotify and on YouTube, written no less by up-andp-coming songwriter Lolito Go who was a recent finalist in the PhilPop songwriting contest.
It isn’t like it is impossible, but when one goes through an annus horribilis, a spectacular rebound is good enough reason to celebrate. Music included.
For Meiko Montefalco, the year 2020 -- like for everyone else -- was a terrible year. Life literally was put on hold with the COVID-19 virus wreaking havoc across the globe.
Right before the March lockdown, Montefalco’s eldest child of 11 months was burned in a freak accident (he is better now). Furthermore, her husband was in the midst of transitioning jobs when the lockdown occurred and the job opening dissipated.
What made matters worse was Montefalco, who began vlogging in 2015, had stopped, owing to personal things she needed to attend. So any opportunities and sponsorships she had dried up.
What was supposed to be a one-month lockdown stretched into months. Montefalco’s father and grandmother passed away within an eight-hour span.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, she found herself pregnant with their second child.
“I was at my wit’s end,” she recalled. “I was depressed. There didn’t seem to be a solution in sight.”
A solution presented itself by accident this past February when Montefalco turned to video-sharing app TikTok to distract herself.
“I did a simple video. I didn’t really think much about it. But within a day, it had a million views,” she recalled. “I was shocked. So I did another one and it got even more views. I asked myself, ‘What’s this?’”
Within four months, she had over 2 million followers on TikTok. Suddenly, there were endorsement offers.
“I was asked to provide content for these brands and as a content creator I do not do anything that I don’t really want to do. I make sure that I have something relevant to say or do that will help people, entertain them, or even give them tips," she said.
Necessity, clearly, became the mother of invention.
And music was but a natural progression.
“I love music,” she said. “Who doesn’t? I know it is going out of my comfort zone, but when you have dreams, you pursue them. You have to try.”
That initial foray into music put her in touch with Go who was one of the finalists of the 2020 PhilPop MusicFest for his song “Balikan.”
For Montefalco, Go penned the song “Tantanan” – and its Latin American flavor -- which is about a spouse who is separated from her husband but has found a way to thrive in his absence.
The corresponding video features dancer friends of Montefalco who are from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A follow-up single with an entirely different theme is in the works.
“Who would have thought that TikTok would save me as in literally,” paused Montefalco in a moment of reflection.
“I was going through postpartum depression and was wondering how our family would survive then it changes. While it has given me a platform to provide content and to entertain, I am mindful of the responsibilities so I do give a lot of thought to what I do. But right now, I am happy because it did allow me to find my second wind. And it saved my soul.”