Kamikazee’s relentless 15-year career of recording and touring came to and end with an emotional sell-out concert at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila in December 2015.

Dubbed “Huling Sayaw”, the action-packed show saw Jay, Puto, Jomal, Alan and Led give what was arguable their best ever performance as they bid their fans farewell and bowed out of the Philippines music scene.

There were cheers and tears, sing-a-longs and dancing as the five-piece rocked the 15,000 fans who had gathered to pay tribute to one of the most colourful bands ever to hit the OPM scene. They had certainly come a long way…

Comprising five members who met at the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Kamikazee’s early gigs were mostly on campus events in UP Diliman like the annual UP Fair.

Before they were signed to a major label, they went by the name “Kamikazee Cornflakes” (eventually shortened to its current state as “Kamikazee” which, let’s be honest, is easier to remember). Early shows included renditions of the songs “Mmm Sarap”, “Tsinelas”, a cover of Ariel Rivera’s “Sana Kahit Minsan”, and Britney Spears’ “Lucky”.

The band released their first eponymous album in 2002 with the carrier single being a heavy cover version of “Lucky”. In 2005, Kamikazee released “Chiksilog” as part of the compilation album Rok On!, while other notable songs include “Girlfriend”, “Ung Tagalog”, “Tsinelas” and their cover of “Sana Kahit Minsan”.

In 2006 they released their second album, Maharot. The carrier single of the album was “Narda”, thought to be about the fictional Filipina heroine Darna. “Narda” was a popular hit in 2006, and gained constant airplays in radios on the same year. Later in 2009, “Narda” was be used as a soundtrack for GMA Network’s primetime show Darna which stars Marian Rivera in the title role.

The band maintains close ties with another Parokya ni Edgar (PNE). Chito Miranda, PNE’s vocalist, met the band members in college as he was also studying in the College of Fine Arts. At events with Parokya ni Edgar on the line-up, one band’s singer would normally jam with the other band.

On Parokya ni Edgar’s live sessions, Kamikazee’s Jay Contreras frequently joined Miranda on songs like “Okatokat”, “Chikinini” and “The Yes Yes Show.” Contreras also does back-up vocals to PNE’s hit song “The Order Taker”, while Jomal Linao was on lead guitars.

In turn, Kaye Abad, Chito’s former girlfriend, was on back-up vocals on Kamikazee’s song “Martyr Nyebera”. Sarah Abad-Contreras, sister of Kaye Abad, was married to Jay Contreras on February 12, 2009 at Paco Park.

The third album “Long Time Noisy” took the band three years to construct as the they balanced their tough schedules. The album was recorded at Tower of Doom Studios with producer Eric Perlas.

Now enjoying a well-deserved hiatus from the music industry, the individual members of Kamikazee are enjoying life outside of the band thanks to a selection of business interests and other musical ventures. Will there be a day when all five get back together again and create that famous Kamikazee magic? Never say never…


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