Filipina singer KZ Tandingan has been chosen to sing “Gabay,” Disney’s first-ever song in Filipino. The music will be part of the soundtrack for “Raya and the Last Dragon,” an upcoming Disney original heavily inspired by different Southeast Asian cultures.

/ 5 March 2021

Kristine Zhenie Lobrigas Tandingan-Monterde better known as “KZ” has definitely made a mark in the Philippine music industry through her singing styles that vary from jazz, rap, and R&B. 

KZ’s claim to fame was her win on the first season of The X Factor Philippines in 2012. But unlike any other winner, KZ was not a “one-hit-wonder.” Through her talent, the pop singer continues to prosper on and off stage.

On Tuesday evening, Disney announced that it has chosen KZ to sing the entertainment company’s first-ever Filipino language song. Titled “Gabay,” (“Guide”) the song will be part of the soundtrack for “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

The movie revolves around the adventures of a Southeast Asian-inspired princess and warrior, stirring excitement from fans to see cultures close to home, influenced by the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, and Cambodia. 

KZ feels “very proud” for singing a Filipino language song that she can share to the whole world.

“I am very grateful and I feel very proud to be singing in my language, and show off its beauty to the rest of the world. I am proud to be part of history,” KZ said in a statement. 

“I grew up watching Disney movies. Finally, there is a Disney Princess who I can feel a very strong connection to, and that is Raya as the first one inspired by Southeast Asia,” she added.

According to KZ, the lyrics of “Gabay” would remind its listeners of the power of trust:

“I love that the song reminds us that sometimes we feel we are weak, especially when we are alone, but if we just learn to trust each other, to come together, and to unite, only then are we able to change the world,” she said. 

“Gabay” just dropped on Spotify today, March 5, 2021, the same day “Raya and the Last Dragon” premieres.