NY-based Filipino singer jumpstarts career with heartbreak song
Even a virus scare won’t stop an aspiring singer from letting people hear his voice.
Temi, a 26-year-old artist based in Queens, New York, flew to the Philippines recently to promote his first single “Kunwari.”
“Natakot kami ng sobra sa COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019), but mas nangingibabaw pa rin ‘yung desire ko, ‘yung feeling ko para sa music. That’s why we decided to come here,” he said.
His love and passion for singing manifested in his pre-school years. One song that influenced him more than the others is “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.
He later joined various singing competitions, including “Duet Bulilit” on ABS CBN. There, a musical director spotted Temi and eventually cast him as member of boyband group XY Kidz. Asia Pacific Excellence Awards named the group top young entertainer in 2004 and 2005. After that, Temi dabbled in acting by appearing in an episode of “Maaalala Mo Kaya.”
It was in 2010 when he and his family moved to New York where he learned new styles of music and singing. He sang his heart out at various open mic gigs where he met one of his mentors.
The latter would later get him to sing duet with Rasmin Diaz during the 7th TOFA Awards Night (The Outstanding Filipinos in America). Temi is a TOFA artist since 2017 and a resident artist of RJP. This is where Jeanette Marco USA Team team director of WCOPA saw and got him to join WCOPA 2019 (World Championship of Performing Arts).
Given his talents, Temi became a semi-finalist at WCOPA. He won three Gold medals and two silver medals, besting other contestants coming from over 60 countries.
Despite spending years away the Philippines, Temi said his heart remained here.
“I am always a Filipino. Dito ko pa rin talaga gusto i-pursue ‘yung career ko,” he said.
“Kunwari” is composed by Agat Morallos and arranged by Dominic Benedicto. The OPM ballad is about false hope, pretentious love and trying to get over it.
“I want people to connect with the song and alam mo naman tayo, sometime we have that heartbreak season,” he said. “So this song got me into feels na hindi ka-maka-move on. The thought of that persons still lingers in your head na hindi ka makawala.”
He, who listens to the songs of Sam Smith and Bruno Mars, named Filipino singers he hopes to collaborate with: Erik Santos, Daryll ong, Michael Pangilinan and Jay R, as well as Sarah Geronimo, Morissette Amon, and KZ Tandingan.