Heart-pounding. Invigorating. Mind-blowing. All these elements comprise the music of Kokoi Baldo.
This reggae man was born Juan Manuel Baldo on September 7, 1979 in Negros Occidental. His greatest influence washis mother who taught him “Three Little Birds” at a young age. And that was just the start of his love for music. As he grew up, his passion for music grew stronger. He favored Reggae for according to him this represents freedom and unity. Finally, after years of his music journey he set foot in the lovely Island of Boracay. Together with his band they shared their music with the locals and foreigners alike.
Then surprise of all surprises! Last 2014, he qualified for The Voice of the Philippines Season 2, a famous Reality Singing Competition in ABS-CBN. During the Blind Audition, he sang his own version of “One Day”. He entered the Audition Stage barefoot, simply wore a black shirt paired with blue shorts and wore a purple hat. His humble personality transcended the television sets of a lot of Filipino household. In an instant, he captured the audience and the Judges hearts. In the course of the competition ,he gained more followers as his style of singing is unique – boombastic yet pure. He was tagged as “Bob Marley of the Philippines” for that matter. During the Battle Round, he sang“ To Be With You”, and during the Live Shows, “Love and Devotion”, “Could You be Loved”, “Message in a Bottle” and “Bilog na Naman ang Buwan”. All these he delivered with power and soul. Week 4 of the Live Shows though was his last contest performance since his Coach, Sarah Geronimo, choose another singer instead of him to proceed to the Finals. Despite the halt, Kokoi beamed with gladness and pride onstage as he wanted to be with his family and live a simply life. He only had thanks in his heart for the immense support and love of his followers.
However, people wanted to see more of Kokoi. He was asked to sing in the different Regions in the Philippines and even abroad, to which he gladly favored. He became a favorite of gatherings, fiestas and company events. They wanted more and more of the Reggae Man. Despite the fame, Kokoi remained humble as ever. He was also given a chance to sing ABS-CBN’s Halalan Summer Station ID 2016 “Ipanalo ang Pamilyang Pilipino”together with KZ Tandingan. It was indeed a song to remember. His original composition,“Panugud” is still gaining a lot of views on YouTube. Up until this very day, Kokoi’s songs live on.
What’s next for Kokoi? His music journey continues.