Many Filipinos have a penchant for singing, as evident in our love for karaoke and numerous singing competitions. While some view singing as a lucrative career, others consider it a hobby.
And some found a deeper purpose in music, much like OPM artist DK Tijam. He is known for covering songs from classic to modern hits on streaming platforms like KUMU and SoundCloud. Unknown to many, he was also a grand finalist for the television competition Star in a Million on ABS-CBN during the early 2000s.
Unlike the other competitors on the show, DK didn’t pursue his passion for music outright. Instead, he moved to Toronto, Canada, to provide for his family. Yet his life there wasn’t a walk in the park.
DK worked three different jobs while overseas. One being a barista for an internationally-known coffee shop and the other as a music coach for kids. Although some people convinced him to join Canadian Idol, he still had to fix his citizenship, thus hindering him from participating in the competition. While there, however, he learned to appreciate and sing classic OPM hits by Basil Valdez and other icons.
Eventually, DK slowly lost confidence in himself and succumbed to depression. Despite the overwhelming waves of self-doubt, he held on due to his love for his family. But life gave him opportunities to shift his attention to the positive side.
As a vocal coach for children, DK saw how his teachings, partnered with positive affirmation, brought life to his student’s dreams. It renewed a sense of purpose and brought him back to his love for music. But life had other plans for him back then.
For 16 months, DK lost his voice. It rekindled his self-doubt because his voice served as his bread and butter and brought him self-assurance. His doctor advised him to rest his vocal folds, but he found it impossible because of his work.
Shortly after the diagnosis, the pandemic happened, allowing DK to get the much-needed rest for his vocal folds. By August 2020, he got on KUMU to pass the time and sing his heart out. He started with ten to 12 viewers at the time, but his following later grew until his fans showed their support for him on the platform.
This 2022, DK returned to the Philippines to pursue music, but not for selfish gain. Instead, he planned an intimate homecoming concert for his KUMU fans and other supporters to show how much their support helped him regain his confidence and reconnect his love for music.
Audiences can expect DK to perform covers of hit OPM songs, medleys, and more. Afterward, the OPM artist plans to focus on developing the original songs he wrote.
It may have taken years before DK pursued a more active presence in the Philippine music scene, but he’s not late to the party. All good things take time, and the ups and downs in his life made him a musician who values kindness and positivity above all else.
Catch DK Tijam at his intimate homecoming show on October 1, Saturday, at the Bevitore in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.