KZ’s journey all started with a brief and simple audition piece that ended up sending shockwaves through the halls of the X Factor studio prompting Martin Nievera to declare, “A star is born in Digos!” Her audition piece was so good that she not only received a standing ovation but she was requested to sing a second piece that kept everyone on their feet the entire performance. From then on, as they say, the rest was history.
Although petite, this Davao del Sur native went inside our studio with enough personality to bless an entire army. Her presence filled up the whole room with her positive energy and charisma. Not to mention the fact that she is now rocking an ultra chic pixie cut that just makes you want to chop all your hair off just as well. KZ instantly pulls you in as she speaks about how her love affair with music started. “I started singing when I was three years old. Napansin ng tatay ko na lagi ko inaagaw yung mic at nagprepretend ako na marunong ako magbasa ng notes at lyrics kahit hindi ko alam (My father kept noticing that I would always grab the mic from him and pretrend that I knew how to read notes and lyrics). The first song my dad taught me was, When You Tell Me that You Love Me,” she says, waxing nostalgic.
It almost comes as a shock that she didn’t have any formal training because the quality of her voice is so pure that it can give even the more seasoned performers chills all over when she hits her high notes. KZ states, “Sa loob ng kubo yung first gig ko sa mga purok meetings (It was inside a nipa hut that I had my first gig during a village meeting). My first competition was in grade 1 and I started with Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Hanggang nagtuloytuloy nalang. (Until it just kept going.)”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for this soul singer. Trouble struck during high school when something seemingly career ending plagued KZ’s vocal range. “May isang time sa third year high school na biglang napapaaos ako. Tapos yung paos ko, hindi na siya bumabalik hanggang dumating sa time na never na siyang bumalik pa. Hindi ako nagpa-check dahil takot ako. Dumating lang sa isang araw na nagpa-check tatay ko kaya ginawa ko na din. Yung pumunta ako sa doctor nakahanap sila ng maliit na polyp kaya buti nalang pala dinala ako dun. (There was a time in third year high school when I suddenly started losing my voice. It came to a point that it wasn’t going back to normal. But the thing was I never got myself checked because I was scared. Until there was one day where my father decided he needed a checkup as well so I was forced to go with him. When I went to the doctor, they actually found a small polyp. I’m thankful that I went that day),” she narrates.
Her venture into the showbiz industry has most definitely been a colorful one that like any other artist trying to make it, was filled with ups and downs. But, KZ believes that everything happened at the right time. She made sure that she finished school first before anything else and immediately after that, X Factor followed. Her faith and relationship with God is what fuels her to keep on going because she knows that everything happens just when it should and nothing should be rushed. “Our God is a God of perfect timing,” she says, calmly.
KZ’s future is as bright as it can get with her first solo concert coming up on April 17 at the Music Museum. We can’t wait for what melodies this soulful woman will come up with next. Whatever it is, rest assured that we will be singing along to every note.
KZ’s Ultimate Spring Style
“I like to dress very comfortably but at the same time I like to keep things edgy even during spring and summer! I’ve only recently discovered how fun it is to try new things with how I dress and now, I’m becoming more adventurous with my look. With that, I’d have to say that my favorite style icons are Jessie J and Rita Ora. But I’ve always been after having a distinct look. I’m not out to imitate anybody, and although I get inspired by current rock icons like the ones I’ve mentioned, I don’t believe in following the hype.”
Art direction by: Alexandra Lara
Photography by: Jerick Sanchez
Styling by: Francesca Atendido and Nicole Blanco Ramos
Makeup by: Anthea Bueno
Hair by: Carell Garcia
Nails by: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Cover story by: Francesca Atendido
Special thanks to Skull & Bones, Big Guys Pizza, and Jo Cabuay Catering.