MANILA – “It is a realization of a vision.”
This was how KZ Tandingan described what her new song “11:59” means for her and her career, as this is her first-ever international single.
“After my ’X Factor’ stint in 2012, the dream was always to go international. The dream was always to represent the country in the world stage of music. Now, after nine years, I get to release ‘11:59’ which is my first international single. It’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” she said in a virtual media conference on Thursday.
Produced by Grammy-nominated Lugo Gonzales, the track was years in the making and is the culmination of everything Tandingan and her team have worked on in the past two years.
Asked to share what the song is about, Tandingan said "11:59" is about a couple and their journey trying to find out what’s next in their relationship.
“But the problem is parang isa lang yata ang sigurado kung gusto ba nilang mag-move forward together. 'Yung isa is asking questions kung ano ba ang mangyayari. 'Yung isa medyo hindi niya sinasabi 'yung mga sagot na hinihingi sa kanya,” she said.
Talking about the privilege of working with Gonzales, Tandingan said she just didn’t want to disappoint him.
“I wanted to be ready na alam nilang ‘She did the work, she did the assignment.’ Sobra akong kinabahan kasi it’s a new environment, new people tapos i-add mo pa na you are working with a Grammy-nominated producer, I didn’t want to disappoint him. Nandun 'yung pressure na nilagay ko sa sarili ko,” she said.
“When I got there, Lugo, they were super fun to work with. Super chill lang nilang katrabaho that it helped me relax. Mas nag-flow 'yung mga ideas namin. Naging magaan siya. I think that’s one of my most favorite sessions sa buong buhay ko. I can’t believe it,” she added.
According to Tandingan, Gonzales’ team already had many artists record the song and she was just fortunate enough to be the one chosen for the final version.
As to how she prepared for it, she said: “For my recording sessions, I always make sure that when I go in the studio, I am prepared. I know the song by heart. If I can memorize the song, I will memorize the song because I don’t want to be thinking when I am recording.”
Tangingan said she also appreciated how Gonzales and everyone involved gave her so much freedom in recording the song.
“'Yun ang gustong gusto ko, 'yung hindi ako nare-restrict sa pagiging artist when I am recording. Mas doon lumalabas 'yung emotion, mas doon ako nakaka-connect sa kanta. I appreciate that so much na ginawa nila 'yun. Kaya ganun siguro na it was so fast and so fun.”
Meanwhile, Gonzales shared that he sees a very bright future for Tandingan given her work ethic.
“She’s amazing as a vocalist, she’s got a great image and at the same time, she’s super humble. That’s something that in this industry can take you very far, especially in today’s industry. Somebody that talented and that humble, it’s something you don’t really find all the time. I think she’s going to do very well. I sincerely hope she goes international in every aspect because she’s definitely working hard for it,” he said.
“11:59” will have a global premiere at 11:59 p.m. Thursday and its music video will be unveiled on 11:59 a.m. Friday.