Kurt Tijamo

California-based music artist Kurt Tijamo was in Manila recently to touch base with his record company Curve Entertainment. It was an epic trip for him as he also sought to rediscover his native roots. “Making it back to the Philippines” has always been his goal.

Like most Pinoys in the US, he considers himself a proud product of the great Filipino diaspora. His grandfather served under Gen. Douglas McArthur during World II which gave his maternal family the privilege of migrating to the United States in the 1980s. Kurt was born and raised in the US but the Pinoy influence was definitely a huge part of his upbringing. The trip he made to the Philippines was the farthest he’s ever made in his life but it was significant as the “mythical land” of his grandpa that formed in his mind became a reality.

“It’s amazing being in the Philippines. It’s a transformative experience seeing where my mom grew up,” he told us while eating “dinuguan” at Cafe Adriatico one Tuesday.

The first impression Manila had for the young singer was that it was one happy, chaotic place, especially after seeing the city’s infamous traffic. “I can’t criticize because I did not see anybody get into an accident. Seems like all that chaos works,” he observed in an amused tone.

With his music career starting in this part of the globe, it looks like we will be seeing more of the 29-year old charmer in town. Here are Top Five major reasons why Kurt Tijamo should be on your next playlist and get your attention:

  1. “U & Me” – his first single. It is a light, breezy song you want to listen to on feel-good days, whether you’re on a road trip or just hanging out with a loved one.

You and me/ Am seeing you and me on sandy shores and summer breeze// Palm trees sway/ Just say the word and we can get away…..

Kurt has an interesting story on how the production of this song was all done online, especially with the pandemic lockdown in place.. A talent spotter for Curve Entertainment discovered him while he was doing a virtual performance for the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra.

“I produced a demo for the song and Curve was generous enough to put me in contact with a team of producers called Kindred Productions (based in Mandaluyong). We were collaborating via Google Drive. I sent them all the tracks as WAV files, and then they sent me back a demo. I recorded a bunch of more music. I uploaded it to the Google Drive, and then they downloaded it. We did that, like, four times then we had the song done. How cool is that?,” Kurt recalled.

His brother, Sean, helped with the album artwork and then “U And Me” was ripe enough to be released in November 2021.

  1. His mestizo looks. Not only that. Kurt towers at over six feet. The pleasant blending of his American father’s genes and that of his Pinay mom only means that Kurt cannot be ignored in the looks department. He already knows some basic Filipino phrases but we really just want him to be more fluent in Tagalog to be closer in spirit to his Filipino fans.
  2. Kurt lives and breathes MUSIC. The truth is, Kurt Tijamo is no accidental singer. He has a Master’s degree in classical voice and opera performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He obtained his college degree in music from the California State University Northridge and presently, he is pursuing further professional studies in voice from SFCM.
Kurt Tijamo with his family (from left) brother Sean, father John and mom Editha during their visit to the Philippines last September

Kurt said his love affair with music started during his teenage years. He credits his father,John, for expanding his musical vocabulary and teaching him how to play the piano. On his 13th birthday, his parents gifted him with an acoustic guitar. He candidly admits how he learned to be a guitarist just from watching another Filipino American, Gabe Bondoc, on Youtube. Doing an OPM cover is on his wish list, so does working together with some Filipino artists he admires like Lea Salonga, Zack Tabudlo and Ben & Ben.

4, He does other things aside from singing. He writes his own songs. A sample of that can be seen in “Hitchihiker”which is featured on his Spotify. He’s into opera and is also a pianist. Back in high school, he was the lead guitarist of a pop-punk band, aside from being its main singer. When strumming the guitar, he specializes in the fingerstyle technique using his right hand.

A look at Kurt’s long bio also lists his experience in theater, having played Inspector Javert in a school production of “Les Miserables” Also among his favorite roles were playing Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf in “Into The Woods” and Horton The Elephant in “Seussical The Musical.”

  1. He loves paying it forward. During his short visit to the Philippines, Kurt performed in a benefit concert for Child Haus which is a shelter for children stricken with cancer and other dreaded diseases. He is passionate about teaching the love of music to the young, something he does in his present job as a music teacher at an elementary school in Marin County, north of San Francisco.

“Teaching is like a second passion of mine because music, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful and amazing things that human beings do, that is uniquely ours. If I get to pass on that joy of music to a new generation, that’s one of the greatest gifts ever,” Kurt declares.

“U And Me” by Kurt Tijamo is now streaming on major streaming platforms like Spotify. The lyric video of the song can be viewed on Curve Entertainment’s YouTube channel.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/10/10/top-5-reasons-why-fil-am-singer-kurt-tijamo-should-be-on-your-radar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-5-reasons-why-fil-am-singer-kurt-tijamo-should-be-on-your-radar)