Book 2 of PalabasTayo WishList concluded on November 26 and topped by a shy boy who was initially reluctant in participating. Below is our piece on Kimpoy Rivera and the magic of music in his life.

Kimpoy Rivera started writing poems and sonnets at a young age, he wrote for their school paper both in elementary and high school. In college, he moved to writing short stories and novels but his earliest memory about song-writing is a song he had written when he was in 5th grade. The song is entitled ‘Carry On’ which is about a heart-break and holding on to something that is slowly slipping away. 

Rivera has always known he has a way with words, and as words are powerful— they too, can create magic. As he would normally sit by his piano, first he said it all starts with a specific emotion and then he plays different chords that work together, next he tries singing some melodies into it and once everything is all set, the lyrics would just start flowing like it’s the song writing itself. 

And just like that, magic starts happening.

Gift of songwriting

Although he never had professional voice training, Kimpoy has been singing as a kid; but the lack of self-confidence crippled him and was the reason why he didn’t attempt to sing professionally. But things had a big turn in 2013, when he moved from the Philippines to the USA where music is the only thing he could turn to. 

Rivera then decided to actively play music online, started uploading his music in his SoundCloud account— all these, to help himself cope with the struggles of dealing with the total change of environment and calling a new place home. Gradually, he was honing his talent not only in singing but more remarkably in songwriting, which all started in 2015 after he had bought his very first keyboard.

Kimpoy confessed, 2018 was one of the worst times of his life dealing with anxiety where he questioned everything. But this was also when he wrote a set of four of the most personal songs he has ever written. And one of the four songs is ‘Safe With You’ which also serves as his own personal reminder that whatever storm he is going through, he can endure anything with God by his side.

The writer and the performer

The very talented young song-writer humbly admitted that he has never joined any singing competitions; but little do we know, apart from the slew of songs that he had written, he also had a number of performances to boot. In 2007, he played Prince Chulalongkorn in their school’s production of ‘The King and I’ and a year before that, he was a member of the varsity choir for a School Christmas production.

Since 2015, Rivera has written more than 10 songs, two of which— “Bibitawan” (release date:  September 24, 2018) and “Hiling” (release date:  September 27, 2018) both OPM/pop songs, were submitted as an entry in Himig Handog 2017 and ended up placing in the Top 500.  This year, his new OPM/pop song ‘Pag Dumating Na Siya’ which was released on March 25, placed in the Top 518 for Himig Handog 2019.

When asked about his inspiration, Kimpoy says he pulls from a lot of different sources. He shares, “I have a song I wrote for the wedding of two of my best friends (‘For You’), there’s also one that I lifted from an episode of a popular Philippine late-night talk show that really pulled my heartstrings (‘Pag Dumating Na Siya’), there’s a song I wrote after watching a movie on Netflix (‘One More Time’), and one I wrote about someone else’s brewing romance (‘Ngiti’).” Also, he adds that majority of his songwriting took inspiration from his own joy, sadness, and heartbreaks; his latest single called ‘First Time’ is a song he wrote that tackles the feelings of falling in love again after a previous bad relationship and reminiscing those dark days while comparing it to how easy and free it feels right now.

Music in him

Still, at times doubting himself, Kimpoy started and would just support others than be an advocate of his own artistry and potential in music; but it was also that same love that he had given out to his family in Kumu which found its way back to him as he started his journey in live streaming. He was chanced upon by PalabasTayo in another live stream where he was heard for the first time and was invited to participate in Book 2. He fought his way through, mustering all the courage he could, equipped with his passion he had shone bright which led him to be part of the finale with 7 other brilliant performers.

It seemed like only yesterday, when Kimpoy Rivera, was at a loss for words and could not contain the love he had just received from his supporters. While trying to compose himself and wiping tears from his eyes, the Vegas-based singer exclaimed: “wala po ako masabi, maraming marami salamat po sa inyong lahat, oh my God ‘yung family ko sa baba grabe kayo mag-supporta!” (I have no words, thank you very much to everyone, oh my God, my family down there, your support is overwhelming!). 

Rivera is the top performer of PalabasTayo Wishlist Book 2, a show that spotlights exceptional but non-featured streamers on Kumu. The other artists who gave stellar performances in the finale with Rivera  were Sen Diaz, Mary Ann Arinez, Jane Hazel Dela Cerna, Heydrian Dela Cruz, Kelly Ellen Garcia, Darwin Lomentigar, and Ron de Torres. Mary Ann Arinez placed second and Sen Diaz was announced the first runner-up. 

Catch Kimpoy Rivera daily from 1pm to 5pm and in his segments on Wednesdays at 1pm in ‘Sakitan Wednesday’ and on Thursdays at 10pm in ‘The Break-up Playlist’ only on Kumu!

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