Handpicked for first Filipino song, KZ Tandingan ‘happy and thankful’ to be part of historic Disney film

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5)— Singer KZ Tandingan only dreamt of becoming a “Disney princess” when she was little.

Like most kids her age, Tandingan grew up watching the same fairytale and princess flicks— which was why she was pleasantly surprised upon hearing that she was handpicked by Disney Philippines to sing the entertainment company’s first ever Filipino language song, part of the soundtrack of the movie “Raya and The Last Dragon.”

“I grew up watching Disney movies, and I’ve dreamt of becoming one of the Disney princesses,” Tandingan said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.

“I’m also very inspired by Ms. Lea Salonga, so now that I get like a tiny chunk of what Ms. Lea did for Disney – I feel very happy, I’m actually overwhelmed,” she added.

Tandingan lent her voice to the song “Gabay”— the first-ever Disney track sung in Filipino which reflects messages of trust, strength, and unity.

The “Asia's Soul Supreme” admitted feeling pressure, thinking that she wasn’t the type of artist Disney was looking for all along.

“Most of the Disney songs in the past, more on belting, more on ballad,” recounted Tandingan, who has crossed different music genres including pop, rap, and R&B.

“I never thought it would actually happen to me,” she added. “I’m very, very thankful sa Disney Philippines and sa buong Disney and sa team ng Raya and the Last Dragon for giving me this enormous opportunity.”

Historic song, historic movie

For Tandingan, recording the track was special not just because she was able to showcase her artistry, but also because the whole project hit close to home.

She explained that the new Disney film is something Filipinos and other Southeast Asians should be proud of, with the movie itself blazing a trail in the Hollywood scene.

Pareho kasing historical ‘yung movie and ‘yung ‘Gabay,’ Tandingan said. “‘Gabay’ is the first ever Filipino Disney song, and 'Raya and the Last Dragon' is the first ever Disney movie inspired by Southeast Asian countries."

Sobrang laki nitong bagay (this is a big deal) for all of us. This is something that we should be very proud of, and we should share it to the world.”

The song “Gabay” is now out on streaming platform Spotify. Listen to the track below: