Kitchie Nadal is embracing her roots.

The celebrated Filipino rock icon is set to make a triumphant return to the Philippines with her highly anticipated homecoming concert, this June after spending several years in Madrid, Spain. Her upcoming show ‘SAME GROUND’ signifies both a literal and metaphorical return to her roots — offering a heartfelt reunion with the country that first embraced her powerful voice and compelling lyrics.

Celebrating 20 years as a performer, Nadal’s influence as a trailblazer in the music industry continues to resonate. Her distinctive blend of rock, pop, and heartfelt songwriting has left an indelible mark on the industry, inspiring countless musicians and touching the lives of many fans. Nadal’s unique blend of rock and heartfelt storytelling has set her apart ––  earning her a dedicated following and critical acclaim. 

kitchie nadal

Courtesy of Lunar

Over the years, Nadal has consistently pushed the boundaries of her craft, infusing her music with depth and authenticity that resonates with listeners across generations. As an award-winning artist, Nadal’s contributions have paved the way for a new generation of Filipino musicians, proving that her impact extends far beyond her own music, which is why her show celebrates the vibrant, ever-evolving future of Filipino rock music that she has helped shape.

For Kitchie Nadal, this homecoming is more than just a return to the stage. It’s a chance to reconnect with her roots, her friends, and her fans, and to honor the journey that has brought her to this milestone moment of her career. As she gets ready to step back onto the Philippine stage, Billboard Philippines got to chat with Nadal about her ongoing legacy in OPM, her feelings about being back here, and what she looks forward to most about bringing ‘SAME GROUND’ to life.

First off, we’d like to say that it’s an honor to have you back here in the Philippines. How would you describe the feeling of coming back home?

Thank you! It’s great to be back, The last time I was here was from November to February last year 2023

How does it feel to return to your roots and perform a homecoming concert, Same Ground, to celebrate your illustrious career over the decades?

I’m excited to play with my band again. It will be my first time doing a solo concert of this scale. It’s also special because I’ll be playing with other incredible artists, who are not only guests but also good friends in the industry — my roots, you could say.

Celebrating 20 years in the OPM scene is quite a significant feat, so how did you go about planning the show to commemorate such a special occasion? 

To be completely honest, when the idea was proposed to me, I hesitated. I haven’t been playing as much as before, but as you rightly point out, 20 years in the music industry is quite an achievement. That convinced me to go ahead with this concert. Even though I’ve been away for years, focusing on family life and only doing a few significant gigs, the songs are still resonating with the new generation.

I also thought about international musicians I grew up listening to, some of whom didn’t have the chance to continue their careers due to tragedy or personal issues. I’m truly grateful that I’m still here, able to make music even when I’m abroad with my family.

You mentioned some surprises that there are some surprises in store for your audience. Would you happen to have any hints on what these are, as well as how these ideas came to you?

During the concert, I’ll be playing songs that I haven’t had the chance to perform much before because they weren’t singles or popular with the masses. I know that most of the people watching are true fans, those who request songs that weren’t hits. What might surprise many, especially our younger audience, are the projects and indie films I’ve been involved in in the past that we are featuring.

kitchie nadal

Courtesy of Lunar

With such a passionate and universal audience for your music, what is it that you hope to convey to your fans through this special homecoming and anniversary concert?

In this anniversary concert, it will be a celebration of our music over the years and it would be an opportunity for us to thank our fans. 

Throughout the years, they have been incredibly supportive of our music. Even when I thought maintaining a career while living in Spain would be impossible, I’ve been fortunate enough to continue making music and performing, not only in the Philippines but also abroad.

Throughout the ongoing legacy of OPM, your name has become recognized as a trailblazer for women in the alternative and pop music scene who never faltered with their distinctive flair. What emotions run through you knowing that your music is celebrated and recognized as a pillar of OPM, especially in the rock scene, here in the Philippines?

I’m deeply honored, and I just try to make the most of the opportunities that come my way and to simply enjoy this wonderful gift of music.

How do you feel seeing your eponymous debut album, Kitchie Nadal, continue to find life and resonate with new listeners even 20 years past its initial release? 

I’m surprised and encouraged by how the album connects with younger listeners. It’s motivating me to continue creating music.

Can you share any memorable anecdotes or experiences from the creation of your debut album? What does that say about your creative process, and how it carried over to your follow-up albums, Love Letter and Malaya?

I remember [the] home-recording sessions at Jack Rufo’s house in Marikina. 

We’d work late into the night to dodge street noise, but amusingly, random motorcycles or dogs barking occasionally made it onto our recordings. I got so used to it that I sort of carried it over to the rest of my albums. I still prefer to record in studios with a home atmosphere. My favorite now is Line On Studio where I get both the home feels and high-end recording equipment.

What messages or themes do you hope listeners take away from your discography, even well after all these years? In what ways do you think your artistry has influenced the Filipino rock scene over the years –– 20 years on?

Maybe influencing people, even musicians, to embrace authenticity and originality by creating and writing your own songs.

How do you perceive the evolution of OPM since the release of your debut on the scene and where do you see it heading in the future?

I enjoy the evolution of OPM in terms of genre. Lately, when I listen to bands, I’m amused by how the sound, which I might consider clique-ish, but still attracts a large following. 

Are there any notable acts or performers who you’ve found yourself a fan of from the modern-day acts? 

My perfect example would be musicians like Zild, Lola Amour, and Ben&Ben.

Looking at the future, what role do you see for yourself as someone who has shaped the landscape of Filipino music? Would you say if there is anything upcoming in the future for Kitchie Nadal and your legacy?

I hope to keep making music and perhaps draw from even more diverse musical influences, especially since I’ve been living abroad for years now.

kitchie nadal

Courtesy of Lunar

Listen to Kitchie Nadal’s eponymous debut album below: