DK Tijam “Restart” Homecoming Concert

11 years after DK Tijam left the country, he’s back in the Philippine music scene and his recent homecoming concert proved he’s badly missed by his fans and supporters.

DK (born Dean Kristoffer Peñalosa Tijam) is only 16-years-old when he joined ABS-CBN’s Star In A Million in 2003 together with Christian BautistaSheryn Regis and the show’s first grand champion Erik Santos.

DK Tijam’s promotional photo for his 2005 debut album

Dubbed R&B Heartthrob, DK Tijam recorded his soulful rendition of Whitney Houston‘s ‘Run To You’ in the Platinum album of Star In A Million under Star Records (now Star Music) and was part of a compilation album (under Star records as well) named “Weekend Love” with his Ella Mae Saison’s ‘Til My Heartaches End’  version reaching #1 on a radio station in Baguio. He releases his debut album “DK A Different Kind” under Alpha Records in 2005 featuring the song ‘I Still Love You‘ and was nominated at Awit Award for Best Performance by a New Male Recording Artist.

Everything was doing good in his music career and then he left for Toronto, Canada in 2006 leaving everything behind.

DK has since been working as a barista and voice coach in Canada and has been constantly recording and sharing his covers on Soundcloud and YouTube as his way of keeping in touch with his fans.

Music makes me high, and it’s a damn beautiful feeling when you get to express yourself through it, and being understood by people by it.” DK posted in his Soundcloud profile.

Days before his homecoming concert, Orange Magazine had the opportunity to meet DK personally thru the invitation of our common friend Myk Cruz. He just came from a TV and radio guesting that day to promote his concert, looked a bit tired, but was still accommodating to all our questions. Watch our interview below:

Fast forward to his homecoming show entitled RESTART, the sold-out concert was held on a busy Friday (January 27) at Teatrino at the Promenade in Greenhills, San Juan.

Aside from it being a homecoming show, it is also his first major concert since his Star In A Million days. The 2-hour show showcased his amazing voice together with his equally-talented guests and long-time friends Musica Cristobal, Tim Pavino, Froilan Canlas (Tawag ng Tanghalan grand finalist), Erik Santos and their fellow Star In A Million Season 1 finalists and Kyla. Front acts include Soundcloud Philippines and Elements (DK’s voice students in Canada).

DK opened the show with a cover song from Disclosure featuring Sam Smith entitled ‘Restart‘ which is only fitting to set the mood of his audience. DK is not a dancer but will give him an A for effort because he did managed to show some grooves.

It was hard to pick which songs that he performed that we liked best but standouts are his versions of Brian McKnight‘s ‘One Last Cry‘, Up Dharma Down‘s ‘Tadhana‘, Sitti‘s ‘Para Sa Akin‘, Michael Buble‘s ‘Feeling Good‘, Aiza Seguerra‘s ‘Ano’ng Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa‘, and a medley of Ella Mae Saison‘s hits (‘Now That You’re Gone‘, ‘If The Feeling Is Gone‘, ‘Till My Heartaches End‘).

DK performed ‘Closer‘ with Elements and shared to the audience their love to their voice coach. DK in response said, Elements made me realize that teaching is one thing I really love doing. I love seeing them grow each day and I love that they know that someone is there for them. I didn’t have a mentor when I was their age, so it fulfills me to know that I’m able to help them.”

His first guest, The Voice of The Philippines Pop Balladeer Tim Pavino sang ‘How Did You Know‘ and performed Ebe Dancel‘s ‘Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak‘ with DK. The two actually did a good job with the song making it more pleasing to hear compared to Gary Valenciano‘s version.

His next guest, Musica Cristobal performed ‘Stuttering’ while Tawag Ng Tanghalan grand finalist Froi Canlas performed ‘Dahil Sa Iyo‘. He later did a duet with DK singing a mashup of ‘Say You Won’t Let Go‘ and ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved‘.

One of the highlight of the concert is the reunion of some of his Star In A Million family. Czarina Rosales performed ‘If I Didn’t Love You’, Michelle San Miguel did ”In My Life‘, Johann Escanan with ‘You‘, DK Tijam performed ‘Run To You‘, and Erik Santos belted out ‘I Believe I Can Fly‘. To those who’s not aware of the song choices, these are actually the songs they performed and popularly covered during the competition.

Erik Santos also revealed his plans to produce a reunion concert for Star In A Million (Season 1) and hopefully it includes Christian Bautista, Sheryn Regis and Marinel Santos.

Another highlight of the show is the duet of DK and his idol Kyla. DK have long time expressed his admiration and hopes to perform together on stage with the R&B Queen. Kyla acknowledged the compliments telling DK “You deserve a bigger stage dahil napakalaki ng talent…”

Kyla performed first her hit songs ‘On The Wings of Love‘ and ‘Til I Met You‘ both used as theme songs to James Reid and Nadine Lustre‘s TV series.  She was later joined by DK to perform her first single, ‘Hanggang Ngayon‘ and it’s awesome.

DK ended the show performing Justin Timberlake‘s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling‘ with Elements, and his encore song ‘Because of You‘.

The over-all experience in watching DK Tijam’s Restart concert is actually a great treat to all the fans who missed him and new supporter like me. If you will compare his voice now, DK retains his sexy raspy voice but with a more matured tone. I’m impressed with the versatility of his vocal range.  As a bonus to everyone who attended the concert, he gave out for free his 2005 released album and gladly signed all of it to the delight of his fans. The concert ended late but everyone are happy.

DK Tijam’s sold-out concert proved how great he is as a performer, and it’s all up to him if he will embrace the music spotlight once more and if he will stay for good. We’re all hoping for a repeat and If you’ll ask me, here’s what I will say to DK: please stay.

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