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Get to know “KAYA”, the Mabalacat Songwriter who penned “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari”

TikTok, one of the most popular social media platforms, is a preferred destination for users who want to enjoy short-form content. Users can be entertained, laugh, cry, engage in comment wars, and so much more. But more importantly, it’s an avenue to discover raw and new talents from different creators across the platform. 

One of the latest attestations to it is “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari”, the first original song penned by a creator on TikTok. According to their social media announcement of the song, TikTok aims to bring forth undiscovered talent onto the world stage and that’s where they came across with the viral TikTok video of Kaya that’s almost viewed 1,000,000 times! 

Listen to the song here:

But of course, in Metro Clark Guide fashion, we are definitely proud of this achievement because that songwriter happened to be a Mabalaqeuño!

Behind the stage name “Kaya” is a humble and talented artist who also happens to be just like any ordinary college student trying to survive their online classes. When she’s not singing original songs on TikTok or painting her next artwork, Rose Marie Nario a.k.a Kaya spends her time studying Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Mabalacat City College. 

I sat down with Kaya for an exclusive interview to discuss her experiences on the social media platform, about her latest composition and her ordinary life. Read on to know more:

Jim: Let’s start with your stage name, what’s the story behind “Kaya”?

Kaya: Nagsimula po sa fact na ayaw ko yung real name ko. Kahit pa sa mga kaibigan ko mas gusto ko na apelyido ko (Nario) itawag sa akin. Tapos natripan ko lang po mag-isip na pwedeng gawing stage name. Medyo natagalan nga lang. Wala po kasi talaga akong mapili, walang dating kumbaga. 

Gusto ko po kasi yung gagamitin ko, tumatak sa mga tao, na ako agad maiisip nila pag narinig o nabasa nila yung pangalan na ‘yon. Hanggang sa mabasa ko po yung word na “kaya” nainlove ako agad hahaha it became a little reminder na kaya kong gawin lahat kung gugustuhin ko, kaya ko kahit mahirap, at kakayanin ko kahit imposible.

Jim: You went viral on TikTok because of your composition for this line – ‘bakit hindi mo ako isayaw sa dulo ng bahaghari’, and it has almost a million views. A lot of people requested and demanded that a full version of the song should be released on Spotify, which eventually happened! What are your thoughts on this?

Kaya: Naalala ko po yung unang araw na napansin yung song ko. Napuno yung notification ko sa TikTok and I was so happy to the point na lahat nirereplyan ko ng “thank you”. Kahit pa ang sakit ng pakiramdam ko kase may lagnat ako noon, I still can’t stop reading their comments. 

Pero kahit pa sabihin nila na i-release ko sa Spotify or upload to YouTube, hindi ko alam paano kase wala po talaga akong idea how to produce a song. I was just lucky enough na may nag reach out. Manager sya from TikTok PH, and sinabi niya na may gustong mag cover ng song ko. Akala ko pa nga scam kase who would’ve thought diba? 

Then I posted a video on TikTok telling my followers that my song “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari” will be released on Oct 22, 2021, and that it will be covered by Steven Peregrina. Natuwa ako sa mga nag-comment. Ang tagal daw nila hinintay yung song and they were all happy for me. Some also said na sobrang tagal daw nila hinintay yung song, to the point na yung mga special someone nila, na minention nila eh break na. 

Pero pinaka natuwa ako and naiyak din at the same time nung nabasa ko po yung mga comments na they’re waiting for my version, na medyo nalungkot sila kase hindi ako yung kumanta sa ginawa ko, na gusto rin nila yung marinig version ko. But still, sobrang thankful ko pa rin kase may maiiwan akong name kahit pa nakasulat lang sa credits. Pero someday, sana, if mabigyan ulit ng chance, ako na po ang kakanta sa mga gawa ko.

Jim: When you turned a short composition into a full song it imparted a new meaning, but what’s the message behind  “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari”?

Kaya: It’s actually a song for our people in the LGBTQ+ community. “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari” is more than just “isayaw mo ako sa dulo ng bahaghari” kase uso (trend), it’s more like a promise na someday, there will be a safe place for us dito sa mundo and we don’t need to cry for it. 

Jim: Since when did you realize, or when did it hit you that you had a passion for music?

Kaya: Bata palang po ako, mahilig na akong kumanta. Pero sa usapang paano ako nagsimula sa paggamit ng gitara, it is because of “someone”. Kapitbahay namin siya and I saw her playing a guitar. She was so pretty and cool. I was so young at that time, elementary student palang po ako noon tapos siya highschool student po ata noon. 

Nagpabili ako ng gitara kila mama at papa for the sake lang na mapalapit ako sa kanya. Kaso ilang days lang after ko magpabili, lumipat sila ng bahay, at sobrang nalungkot ako noon. After that, natigil ako sa pag-aaral ng guitar and bumalik na lang ‘yong hilig na’yon noong senior high school po ako. Yung mga friends ko kasi mahilig din sa music so parang tinry ko nalang din ulit. 

Doon ko na medyo sineryoso yung music. I started from jamming with my friends until mas marami na akong natutunan na chord progressions and that led me into writing songs. Nagkaroon nalang po ako ng lakas ng loob ipost mga gawa ko sa TikTok simula nung napansin yung “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari.” 

Naging way narin po siguro yun para maboost yung confidence ko, lalo na there are some people na kahit hindi ko po kilala ay nag eenjoy marinig yung sulat ko. So then I decided to continue what I love doing and at the same time may mga napapasaya ako kahit papaano. 

Jim: We noticed that your songs seem very personal to you. They are deep and they hold value. What are your inspirations to write these songs? How did you get those inspirations?

Kaya: Most of my songs came from my own experiences. Dedicated sila sa mga taong malalapit sa akin. Some are from heartbreaks, some are written for a special someone, and some are just for myself. 

But there’s this one song that I wrote na sobrang special sakin – ito po yung “Liham para kay mama.” It’s a song about how much I miss my mom and kung gaano ko siya kagusto makausap and mayakap but sadly, hindi na pwede. It’s like an unsent letter kase hindi tumatanggap ng ganon ang langit. But hoping na marinig niya nalang through this song.

Jim: Who are your biggest influences in what you do?

Kaya: Marami po eh, pero sobrang gusto ko ng mga kanta from Shirebound and
Busking, Munimuni, Arthur Nery, Bruno Major, and Akong Ayalam. Lagi ko naiimagine sarili ko na makagawa ng mga ganong klase ng kanta someday. Simple pero tagos. 

Jim: I heard that you are also into art and commissions, how would you connect art into singing and writing songs?

Kaya: Art is also like creating music, but instead of writing or hearing words and melodies, you can see pictures and colors. They can both tell a story or narrate an experience. Artists are like the author of a book or a sailor who maneuvers a ship. They can bring you to another world at depende ‘yon sa artist kung saan ka nya gusting dalhin. 

Jim: Can you talk about your artworks and drawings? What’s your favorite piece so far? 

Kaya: This is the most recent artwork I have.

I actually made it not because it had a deeper meaning but because I want to challenge myself. Eto yung first artwork na pinaglaanan ko talaga ng oras at pinagtiisan. Hindi kasi ako yung tao na gumagawa ng piece na lalagpas sa isang araw ang paggawa. I took my time and enjoyed myself creating this artwork pero na stress din at the same time kase sobrang detailed nya at sobrang na-test talaga yung patience ko. It turned out pretty great and better than what I had expected. It became so special and also my favorite not because of the outcome but because of the effort I’ve allotted to create it. It may be meaningless sa iba, pero sa tuwing nakikita ko yung piece na ‘to, all I can say is that I’m so proud of myself. 

Jim: I really like it. I can see it hanging on a wall in my room.

Kaya: Thank you!

Jim: Let me ask you this, if music and arts were not your interests, what would you be instead?

Kaya: Sa totoo lang po sa arts and music lang talaga umiikot ang mga hilig ko and without it, parang ang boring ng buhay. Pero kung wala talaga sila, I think I would be a business woman. I’m taking BS Accountancy at Mabalacat City College and I’m trying to balance my time at school and for my art.

Jim: What would you tell those musicians or songwriters that are set out to start in their own paths?

Kaya: Ang masasabi ko lang po ay, wag kang tumigil kase mahirap, magpatuloy ka kase may pangarap ka. Wag kang ma satisfy sa kung ano lang ang alam mo ngayon. Also, be confident, sa sarili and sa craft mo. Never stop learning, and never stop growing.

Jim: Agree, you have to really love and believe in yourself first before you show the world who you are. So for my final question, what is your message to those content creators on TikTok and other social media platforms that want to showcase their talents to the world?

Kaya: Don’t let any amount of likes, views, and negative comments neither stop nor control you from doing what you love. I myself am struggling with this actually, di ko naman ipagkakaila. Masyado kong inaalala yung iisipin ng ibang tao tungkol sa ginagawa ko to the point na nakakadrain na and need ko muna ng ilang araw para magpahinga. But I’m working on it.

Sana sa mga gusto rin mag share ng mga hilig and talents nila sa TikTok or sa iba pang social media platforms, wag din sila pigilan ng hiya at takot. Gawin mo para sa sarili mo, wag para sa iba.

Jim: Great! That’s all the time we have for today. I’m looking forward to your own version of the song. Please do it soon!

Kaya: Sa susunod po siguro gawan ko ng version ko. Thank you po!

The best things in life always happen unexpectedly. The key is stop doubting yourself and start believing in what you can do. Just like Kaya, she just does what she loves. Her works are full of inspiration and confidence and the power to make people what they are supposed to feel when they come in contact with her works.

Listen to Kaya’s original compositions, covers and more on her TikTok account and on her YouTube channel. “Sa Dulo ng Bahaghari” sung by Steven Peregrina and composed by Kaya is also available for streaming on Spotify. Let’s support local talents! Support local artists!

Jim
Jim
Jim has been in a relationship with marketing for 6 years and counting. He's a passionate achiever, talented, but most important of all, humble. He helps brands show off their essence in their online presence and will ultimately guide you to discover great finds and hidden gems in Metro Clark. Connect with Jim on Instagram: @jimmarvelous
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