Angela Ken may be 18 years old, but she has the demeanor of somebody slightly older, not to mention somebody who means business or somebody intent to run for President. Of course, no one can blame her for striking whilst the iron is hot. Her breakthrough hit song "Ako Naman Muna" must have gotten over 40 million combined streams and views by now.
One Music PH recently caught up with her for this interview about some of her songs...
One Music PH: How did you get your start in music?
Angela: I really loved music since I was a kid, parang nature na naming sa pamilya ang mahilig sa musika, na mahlig sa pagtugtog or pagkanta. As the years passed, parang mas nagustuhan kong makatugtog sa larger na audience, na mas maraming taong makapansin ng kakayahan ko. I feel blessed that I get to do that.
One Music PH: How do you walk the fine line between exercising your artistic freedom and being guided by the people around you at such a young age?
Angela: Para sa akin naman, I’m free to write about whatever I want and free to express what I want to express. Hindi naman ako pinagbabawalan whether ng management or ng family. They allow to share what I want to share, but their guidance is also important for me kasi tulad nga ng sabi nyo bata pa ako, and alam kong madmai pa kong kailangan matutunan, kaya kailangan na kailangan ko sila. When they guide me, it always has a point and there’s always a reason, na kung may time na kailangan kong limitahin yung gusto kong i-share, kasi hindi naman tayo pare-pareho ng experiences, so I also have to be sensitive on other peoples’ feelings. And I asl have to stick to my mission, which is to inspire people.
One Music PH: Can you please give us the lowdown on “KKK – Kasangga, Katuwang, Karamay”?
Angela: It was an amazing collaboration with Kuya CLR. It talks about mental health. It’s a dark song, but lyrically it aims to give hope to people na nagiging emotional in an unhealthy way. Nung kinanta ko siya sa The Music Room to be very honest kinabahan po talaga ako kasi inaral ko pa yung rap ni CLR (laughs), and ayoko namang i-perform yung rap na parang mi-nemorize ko lang siya, gusto ko rinvg maramdaman yung lyrics. So when I studied the lyrics, I found the rap parts and yung buong kanta really amazing. It’s about telling to people to rise up and mapadama na may masasandalan sila, na may tutulong sa kanila na makabangon sa pagkakadapa.
Angela: Para sa akin ‘yan yung pinaka-emotional song ko nung TMR. Nung pina-practice ko pa lang siya, iba yung impact sa ‘kin ng song. It was too powerful for me, and it also touched my heart because it reminds me kung sino ang nagbibigay sa ‘kin ng mga ganitong opportunities. For me, hindi ako deserving ng mga opportunities na ‘to, but the Lord gives them to me anyway. Kaya nung isang point when I was performing this naiyak talaga ako kasi overflowing talaga (yung mga emotions that I feel) kaya talaga paulit-ulit kong sinasabi na para akong nasa cloud 9 whenever I’m given the chance to perform. It’s a dream come true for me for God to allow me to experience this in real life.
Q: Can you please give us the lowdown on “Ako Naman Muna”?
Angela: I wrote it last year during one of the lowest points of my life. Siguro sa iba mababaw siya, pero iba-iba naman tayo ng nararanasan at nararamdaman. Iba-iba din ang tolerance natin sa pain, physical or psychological. I felt na sobrang fixed ng buhay ko noon, na paggising ko pa lang automatic nang alam ko na gagawin ko, parang wala akong nararamdamang excitement sa mga ginagawa ko, nawawalan ako ng passion sa mga ginagawa kong bagay, na parang robot ang pakiramdam, na paulit-ulit na lang. It made me feel useless, na parang unproductive kong tao. Isang gabi naisip ko yung first lyrics, which I posted sa Tiktok ko. ‘Di ko akalaing madaming tatangkilik sa verse na ‘yun. Then bigla na lang akong na-recharge, nagkaroon ng urge to finish the song in just two days. Then the rest was history. Parang ambilis ng mga pangyayari, pero punong-puno ng pagmamahal sa mga nakapaligid sa akin, na kahit given the opportunity to relive my life, I would still choose to go through the pain I felt during those days that got me to this point.
Here's the full video interview and all her The Music Room performances: