I’m a casual fan of Elijah Canlas. His “Unconditional” (a short series on the struggles of four siblings) performance hooked me in, while his portrayal in “About Us But Not About Us” solidified my admiration for his craft.
I’ve watched every single film and series he starred in, but I don’t follow him religiously nor do I dig deep into his personal details. To me, he has always been that guy on the screen—effortlessly bringing various characters to life while making the audiences laugh, cry, and question their life choices. I find comfort in supporting him from a safe distance, not once having the urge to know him outside acting.
But little did I know that beneath the layers of his on-screen personas, there lies another facet waiting to be unveiled—a musical alter ego.
The award-winning actor recently dropped his first single “Kilala Kita” under the mononym Elijah—stylized as elijah—and it seems to be just a tiny piece of the larger puzzle he’d assemble as a musician.
Not going to lie, though: Before pressing play, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Would it be a half-assed attempt to diversify his artistic portfolio? Or would it be a genuine expression of his passion for music? (Spoiler alert: It was the latter.)
“Much like how I studied acting for a long time, I have more to learn when it comes to music, and I am more than open to all of it,” said Elijah in a press release. He considers writing and making music an “outlet of expression” too, which is very apparent in the way “Kilala Kita” was made.
It’s a laid-back hip-hop track following a boy as he reintroduces himself to a girl who only thinks of herself. The verses unfold like pages of a lost diary; they offer a peek into the struggles that often come with self-discovery and relationships, especially the kind that involves making sense of absurdities.
The relatability of the lyrics and the sincerity in his delivery would make you wonder if he drew from IRL experiences. But considering the song was first played in “Senior High,” it could also be inspired by his character’s journey in the teen drama series. Whatever the case, it is a bold move to spill your thoughts and emotions in a musical debut, yet Elijah did it with finesse.
He also thanks Cavill of local eight-piece collective Kindred for “helping him build and discover who he’ll be as an artist.”
While the transition from thespian to musician isn’t always seamless—not to mention, most people would view them with a skeptical side-eye—Elijah seems to effortlessly glide between the two worlds.
He leaves us wondering if there’s anything he can’t do. Is there any hidden talent he’s yet to reveal? Perhaps he’s also a gourmet chef or an amateur astrophysicist. Well, time will tell. For now, let’s focus on the music.
Photo from Elijah Canlas’ Instagram