Two artists who have conquered the international arena come together for a surprise collaboration that captures the soulful and complex journey of every Filipino proving their worth to the world.
KZ first came to national prominence when she won a major reality TV show. She joined the contest so that her family could help out in the building of their parish church.
But the singer went beyond her comfort zone when she joined a singing contest in Beijing.
“Even if the schedule would allow me to be home only for one day, I would go,” she said. “I just couldn’t be away from home too long. Home is where I can just really be myself and I needed to feel that so I could be my best at the competition.”
Apl de Ap, born Allan Pineda Lindo, was legally blind as a child and this condition qualified him for an operation in America, sponsored by the Pearl S. Buck foundation. When he got to California and settled there, he befriended a neighbor, William James, who then became more famous as rapper and songwriter Will.i.am. Later, the two, along with other members of BlackEyed Peas exploded onto the international music scene.
Still, Apl always made it a point to remember his roots. “I try to follow in the footsteps of those who came before me. The Pearl S. Buck foundation helped me and so I want to do the same. If I come back to help my countrymen, it’s because I love my country and want to see us be competitive among the best in the world,” he said.
In this light, he has set up the Apl de Ap foundation, which concentrates on empowering Filipino youth especially in the fields of arts and technology.
When it was time for KZ and Apl to collaborate, it is reasonable to imagine that the younger KZ would be intimidated.
“I had followed Season 1, and I did want to be included. But when it was time to meet Apl and also start recording, I was a bit quiet. He was always asking me, ‘How do you feel about it?’ or ‘How would you change it?’ And my first thought would always be, ‘Who am I to do that? What gives me the right to tell you anything?’” she recalled.
“But after a while , I would give my inputs and suggestions, and I think I was able to add my own flavor to it. He allowed me to see that my complexity can be my strength. And so our song reflects the story of the Filipino who has to go away, how they manage their fears. ”
Apl said of their song, “It’s the story of every Filipino. It’s about trials and tribulations. It’s about having to seek a better life.”
The KZ Tandingan and Apl De Ap collaboration for Coke Studio Season 2 is later at 11:15 a.m. before “ASAP” on ABS-CBN.