Letters From KENJI's Heart—The Cebu-Based Music Rookie Releases An EP
KENJI, who's dubbed as Cornerstone Entertainment's male version of Moira Dela Torre, has just released an emotion-charged 5-track EP titled "LIHAM"
The first song KENJI performed in front of people was “Open Arms” by American rock band Journey. It was a rendition he sang in front of his parents. But the first time he performed in front of a big audience was when he was in second year high school when he represented his section in a gospel school contest.
Years later, KENJI pursued a professional music career when he was discovered by Jonathan Manalo, creative director of ABS-CBN Music, who included him in G2B Boys under Star Music back in 2013. The group sang “Ikaw Na Na Na Na,” which was composed by Jonathan as the official theme song of the series Got to Believe (starring Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo).
Fast forward to 2022, and he is now being dubbed as the male version of Moira Dela Torre. To which, KENJI comments, “Such a compliment for me. Sobrang honored na tinawag akong ganun.”
In a roundtable interview with members of the press, the newest and most promising artist of Just Music (a sub-label of Cornerstone Entertainment’s CS Music), expressed his gratefulness now that his dreams are becoming a reality: “I’m very happy na kung ano talaga ’yung gusto ko mangyari sa career ay nabigyan naman ako ng chance.”
Recently, this Cebu-based musician launched his first EP titled LIHAM, a five-track offering featuring themes of love, heartaches, and life in general. It includes the songs “DONE,” “PARAISO KO,” “NIGHT AND DAY,” “HER” (song for moms), and the title track “LIHAM,” and offers poignant verses and soulful vocals that are relatable and dreamy.
Through LIHAM, KENJI wants you to experience his world: “You’ll be inside my story. Mapasok kayo sa mundo ko dati at ngayon. I just want you to see the world sa aking perspective.”
KENJI then expounds on his EP’s title track: “’Yung lyrics kasi nun, ’yung sa chorus, may part dun na exact lines dun ay sinabi sa akin, like exact words sinabi sa’kin before, way back in 2017… So sobrang special siya sa akin. So sobrang realistic ’yung lyrics.
“Kahit na happy naman ako sa life ko, may mga times talaga na you feel down or napapaisip ka. ’Yung mga pain na na-feel mo dati, ’yun ’yung mga nagda-drive, especially when I’m alone kasi I feel down eh, so balikan ko kaya ’yung pain na ’yun. So kunwari, binalikan ko ’yung moment na ’yun, and then I put it in a song.”
KENJI’s ultimate dream is to write songs for Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, and perform those compositions with them. He considers them his ultimate foreign musical influences: “’Yung sa Coldplay kasi parang puzzle ’yung lyrics nila, you’re gonna have to really read the lyrics. Sobrang ganda ng songwriting ni Chris Martin talaga. Siya [Ed Sheeran] talaga ’yung peg ko sa performing. Sobrang ganda ng song pattern niya. May sarili siyang pattern in making songs. ’Yun ’yung sobrang naging unique kay Ed Sheeran para sa’kin.”
Stream LIHAM in all major digital platforms worldwide! All songs written and produced by Kenji. Exclusively released by Just Music (a sub-label of CS Music).
Lead photo from Cornerstone