Even amongst the handsomest of the crooners and the diva-est of the divas, Kyla remains that not so ordinary girl. That endearingly pretty face coupled with her sweet good natured-ness and distinctly cool voice has earned Kyla her own stellar spot in the ever-expanding universe of OPM.
Melanie Calumpad. Born on the fifth of January 1981, Melanie Hernandez Calumpad was immediately drawn to music. Weaned on her parent’s old school soul and jazz records—Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin—Melanie soon developed an affinity to singing, hugging the mic every single chance she gets. By her 10th birthday, Melanie was already joining over prestigious TV singing contests. She was lording Tanghalan ng Kampeon for six straight weeks, and with her powerful interpretation of Jennifer Holiday’s “I Am Changing,” became the show’s grand champion in 1993.
Veteran director Al Quinn saw her potential, encouraging her to join the immensely popular That’s Entertainment. Melanie represented the country in the Fourth Yamaha Music Quest in 1995, where she interpreted the Vernhee Saturno original, Only World.
In 1997, she brought home the third prize trophy in the Metropop Young Singers’ Competition (later renamed Metropop Star Search). Soon GMA’s Infiniti Records offered Melanie, along with fellow Metropop Star Search winners Carmela Cunta and Jonard Yanzon, to wax a couple of songs for a compilation album entitled Kung Umiibig Na. She recorded two solo tracks: I Wish You Love and the folksy love song, Kung Magkikita Tayo Muli, which would later re-emerge as a Vina Morales signature hit, Muli.
The Birth of Kyla. Armed with a Raymund Ryan composition, One More Try, Melanie once again joined the Metropop Song Festival in 2000. The song failed to make it in the Top12. It did, however, make it to EMI’s A/R Manager Francis Guevarra’s consciousness. Guevarra immediately signed her to a recording deal and renamed her Kyla. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kyla Brings It On. Kyla made her big debut in 2000 with Way To Your Heart with its hit carrier single, “Bring It On.” The album brought out the realization that yes, the country’s first honest-to-goodness R&B has arrived. Comparisons to R&B super stars Brandy and Aaliyah began to surface.
It was her second single, the piano-driven ballad Hanggang Ngayon that turned out to be Kyla’s breakthrough hit, topping a host of FM radio charts. The song’s music video, which was directed by Lyle Sacris, further boosted the song’s popularity.
Bring On The Honors. The video won for Kyla two big honors trophies at the 2001 MTV Pilipinas Awards: Best New Artist and Video of the year. Her video even went on to win the MTV Southeast Asia Video Music Award.
Along with Lea Salonga and Regine Velazquez, Kyla was listed as Best Female Singer in a survey held by popular teen magazine Meg in her first full year in the music business alone. Kyla also has six Awit Awards, including Best New Female Artist. FM Radio station KF FM even hailed her as Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
Second Servings. Kyla’s second album I Feel for You marked Kyla’s debut as a songwriter, penning two compositions: I’m Into You and This Day. It is with her sophomore offering that Kyla was given the opportunity to collaborate with popular recording artists like Freestyle and Gary Valenciano.
Kyla opened 2002 with a band, receiving the award for Female Artist of the Year from two of the country’s most popular radio stations Magic 89.9. and Monster Radio RX 93.1. She was also invited to perform at the MTV Asia Awards with popular boy group Blue.
The Third Album. Kyla’s third album, I Will be There is aided by the country’s most popular and respected artists. The title track is penned by none other than Ogie Alcasid , while Naghihintay Lamang is written by Janno Gibbs and Feel So Good by Rhada. There are a couple of reunions in I Will Be There, as well. First is with Mr. Pure Energy Gary V . as they do a duet with Sana Maulit Muli. After their performance at the MTV awards, Blue collaborates with Kyla wit the funky Flexin’.
Not Your Ordinary Girl. Onto her fourth album, Kyla dishes out what may be Kyla’s best work just yet. There are a lot of collaborations, a bunch of revivals, and some cute original materials, making Not Your Ordinary a not so ordinary album, too.
Currently on its way to the top of the charts is Kyla’s first single, Human Nature. The song is a Michael Jackson original that is one of the several covers in the album. Kyla remakes Claire Marlowe’s Till They Take My Heart Away, as well as Gary V.’s What More Can I Say?, and Ella Mae Saison’s If The Feeling Is Gone.
Collaborations with Keith Martin and Jay-R make Kyla’s latest album a fun and funky album. From R&B to pop to a bit of hip hop and the good ol’ ballad, Not Your Ordinary Girl demonstrates Kyla’s versatility as a singer and performer. And at press time, Kyla’s conquest to stardom paid off as her latest album attained its Platinum status in November 2004.
Kyla, as one of the most popular faces in the entertainment industry, she remained as simple as she is in person. She is now co-hosting GMA Channel 7’s Sunday variety show SOP.
Kyla shares her Beautiful Days. In June 2006, Kyla’s blend of singer-songwriter sensitivity and a big voiced R&B have proven more as she released her fifth album under EMI Phils entitled BEAUTIFUL DAYS where each track takes you to the emotional high of love to return and the lows of a love unrequited in five covers and nine original singles.
The album features the first single Ngayong Wala Ka Na, a sumptuous combination of soul and heart with the song’s composer, arranger and producer is R&B hit maker himself, Keith Martin. This song is also written by Jason Balibay and Diana Dayao.
Aside from Kyla’s album she also hosts Popstar Kids on QTV and SOP in GMA7. Kyla will also be part in musical plays and be performing shows abroad.
Self-assured, illuminating performance underscores Kyla a boundless passion for her craft. She explains “BEAUTIFUL DAYS for me means moving forward, moving ahead, looking at things in a beautiful way.”
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