Titus John Monterde also known as TJ Monterde is a Filipino songwriter and singer who is now currently making a name in the music industry and studied Bachelor of Science in Developmental Communication in Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro. Currently pursuing his singing career in Manila.
He was described as a big fan and an advocate of OPM this is how newbie acoustic singer TJ Monterde describes himself.
With his unique soulful voice, heartwarming and soulful storytelling that have left you with a smile on your face after watching his YouTube video, TJ Monterde is changing the game as he releases his first record, “Ikaw at Ako” via Galaxy Records. From being Cagayan de Oro’s radio personality to a local TV host of ABS-CBN’s regional show to YouTube-born balladeer he surely has the package for entertainment. He auditioned to MYX VJ Search 2012 Auditions.
According to him, singing is his passion. TJ’s song “Ikaw at Ako” undertakes the story of the song that the persons who hear the song are his family only but dream come true, the whole nation is listening to it now.
Getting to know more of him.
Full name: Titus John Dabuan Monterde
Nick name: TJ
Date of Birth: December 30, 1989
Place of Birth: San Pedro, Davao City
Current location: QC, MM, Philippines
Motto in Life: “Just when you think everything’s falling apart, don’t fret, everything’s falling in place.”
General interests and hobbies: Music, Guitars, LA Lakers and everything basketball.
At some points, TJ remains a childlike heart by expressing his own favorites in life like expressions, food, color and more.
Expression/s: “That’s right!”
Food: Korean food, chocolates, street food!
Drink: coffee, coffee, coffee
Fruits: Mangosteen, green apples, bananas
Vegetable/s: Maybe carrots? Medyo picky ako sa vegetables, haha.
Cartoon character: Captain Planet and Hey Arnold! 90s kid represent!
Sport/s: Basketball, basketball, and all basketball.
TV shows: Don’t watch much TV anymore, but I check out some Jimmy Fallon on the internet, and some “Got talent” episodes too, I love it when I see more talented people.
Music Influences: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Apo Hiking, Gary Granada, Rey Valera
Aside from knowing his favorites, our interview wouldn’t be complete without asking him some personal thoughts and feelings.
TJ described himself as sweet as ever.
As an entertainer, how do you describe yourself?
Sweet? Haha. I treat every performance na parang harana e, haha. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of harana, sana nga maibalik natin yun e.
What makes you unique?
I’d say my music’s pretty easy listening, chill lang, not everybody may like it, some would say it’s boring, but some would also completely appreciate it, kanya kanyang trip lang yun.
What is your ULTIMATE DREAM in your career?
To be able to inspire people through this music that I have. Pero you know what, in my wildest dreams, I’ve always imagined to be a motivational speaker, I mean, I’ve always believed na we are meant to be on stage for a deeper purpose, more than performing for people. And since we have this authority while on stage, I’d rather speak life to those who listen
What do you consider as the turning point in your career?
When I decided to get out of my comfort zone, when I decided to move to Manila from CDO, it was really a leap of faith. Moved here with nothing, but my guitar, my music and a dream.
Do you consider acting?
Maybe, but actually, I miss hosting on TV more; it was my former job in CDO. Twas Awesome! Getting paid for having fun.
What inspires you the most? Or who inspires you now?
LIFE itself, and what it has in store! Inspired by the people around me, and those who believe in me.
Are you fearful that you will lose your Internet fame once you grow old, and doing the things you do now are no longer cute?
Well, that’s why I always wanted to share my music and not me. I mean, most of the time during shows, people just go “Who’s this?”, coz admittedly, I don’t have that much TV exposure, so they just sit and watch, but when I sing my songs, then nagugulat ako na some of them know of it coz they have it their phones but don’t know that it’s me. Sometimes, I like it that way. I like the Music>TJ setup, I like the element of surprise on it.
When you start your career, what are the struggles you face?
Adjustments talaga. It was pretty much of an easy life back home, but when I got here, I didn’t know what to do, who to approach, and where to go to, I had no idea about Manila, but what I knew was that there was a plan and a purpose for me, and I wanna play.
Is there a time you want to quit your career? Why or why not?
The time I thought about quitting were in my first few months of stay here. But, yeah, the first step is always the hardest. Parang moving on lang, haha.
Most embarrassing moment so far?
It’s embarrassing sometimes when some people say “Sino yan? Ay, di ko kilala yan e.” literally, in your face, as if you’re not there. Well, actually until now, I still experiences this a lot of times, kasi hindi naman ako super sikat e. But, it builds me up, it makes me want to strive more as a songwriter.
Being known as a newbie acoustic singer, he plays the vital role in OPM. He is promoting OPM and always does OPM songs, doing covers and more. He writes his song based on how it feels and how it will bring hope and love to listeners.
What was the toughest challenge you had to face?
When I had chosen between a regular job and a music career, this career’s just so uncertain, but I’m happy, and that’s what’s important to me.
What was your most unforgettable moment/experience?
Of course when I got the chance to release an album, it has always been a dream. And, now, by God’s grace, I’m working on my second album
What was your biggest frustration?
Dancing, I always admire people who can dance. Pang gitara lang talaga ako e. Haha
What was your biggest regret?
Everything happens for a purpose, no regrets
If you are not living as an artist, what is your other career?
I couldn’t Imagine, a teacher? I don’t know. Haha
As an artist, how do you develop your skills more?
I spend time with myself a lot. I lock myself in my room, listen to music, and try to write. Plus, listening to different kinds of genre also helps.
On a personal note, who is KZ Tandingan in your life?
She’s my best friend, my sweetheart, and my last, hopefully. Haha. I mean, mahirap magsalita ng patapos, pero sana, sana siya na Sabi nga, “kung tayo, tayo talaga. Kung hindi, tayo parin.” Hahaha
Five years from now, who is TJ Monterde?
A successful singer/songwriter, but still a maturing artist, coz we never really reach that certain point of maturity as an artist, growth and learning is unending.
Any parting words for your fans?
I wanna thank those who listen to me and continue to inspire me every day through social media, thank you so much, I appreciate every tweet and every comment. To those who bash me, sana one day I’ll be able to write a song you’ll probably like, hopefully. To my TJFs, thank you for always believing, thank you for never giving up on me, as I continue to write songs to those who want to listen to me. I love you.
Aside from these questions, TJ also shares that he wants to do music in the mainstream like Mark Bautista and others who really give inspirations to others. He even wants people know him as a singer-songwriter that able to relate his songs in people’s lives and put smiles and “kilig” in their lives.
Check out our IS cover for TJ Monterde:
TJ is busy doing some songs under Polyeast Records and currecntly working on his next album and sometimes doing covers with KZ Tandingan. You can follow him in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.