Two girls, two broken hearts, a guitar, a pen, and a piece of paper.
Kim Bernardino and Laean Angeles of K/L (pronounced as “kale,” like the vegetable) have learned to transform the emotions that come with heartbreak into heartfelt songs that read like their own diaries. The two girls met in high school and immediately bonded over a shared love for singing. Back then, singing was just a fun pastime and they would play covers of their favorite songs. Now that they’re both in college, Bernardino and Angeles decided to turn their combined soulful vocals and moody acoustic rhythms into an official duo.
Since they were young, music had already been influential in their upbringing. Bernardino fondly remembers listening to the powerhouse vocals of Sarah Geronimo and Regine Velasquez on cassette tapes. “It’s crazy how the background is kind of similar,” notes Angeles. “My yaya tells me that I started singing like even before I could talk.”
Aside from being able to sing, both of them also learned to play the guitar early on. Angeles was skilled with the drums and the piano, as well.
The two met in second year high school at Miriam College. Bernardino says that they got together because both girls knew that the other could sing. They immediately liked their chemistry and so did a lot of their schoolmates. This inspired them to continue with their musical pursuits.
Though not an official duo until their first year of college, they performed in school events or fairs outside their campus. “It was just ‘Laean and Kim singing covers together.’ It was in Ateneo Musician’s Pool (AMP) where we considered making it a real thing,” says Angeles. Since college started, the two have performed at school events such as Under the Stars 2017 and AMP’s Rites of Passage.
In terms of style, Bernardino claims that they are a soulful, acoustic duo. “Soulful in the sense na we put so much heart in what we’re singing,” she says. They’ve also got more than soul to offer—the melancholy in their music is just as strong. Don’t cast them aside as one of your run-off-the-mill emo stereotypes, however. Just listen to their original song “2 Truths, 1 Lie” and you’ll not only hear their emotions, but you’ll also feel their personal empowerment.
The duo is still experimenting with their music. Bernardino mentions that she has been learning how to produce electronic music in order to broaden and diversify their sound. Although the two differ in taste in music – Angeles leans more towards RnB, pop, and soul, while Bernardino prefers indie music – the two reconcile these differences and combine them into their own unique identity. “We use that [polarity] para mag-intersect kami and siguro form our own style in singing,” Bernardino says.
Performance-wise, Angeles shares that the dynamism of their duo is highlighted whenever they perform their cover of “My Heart” by Paramore. She says they’re capable of understanding each other’s feelings while singing and are able to adjust to one another during passionate or heartfelt moments. “If you don’t have a chemistry with your partner, parang relationship lang (it’s like a relationship), it’s not gonna work.” Bernardino then says. “Parang dapat may tamang timpla, para maging masarap yung pagkain (It’s like cooking food. You need to have the right blend so it will taste good).”
There have been countless stories of friends forming bands who have become successful, but somewhere along the way, the passion and creativity that once fueled their dynamic disappears. This is definitely not the case with K/L. The two are just getting started on their music and they’re excited to see what’s in store for them. “For me, we want to go outside. We want to expand our sound and reach people outside of Ateneo,” says Bernardino.
Music and friendship go hand in hand with this pair. It’s their harmonious dynamic that keeps them going and will bring them success far in the future. Angeles believes in this too. “For me—‘cause we’re best friends right—I think that as long as we remain friends it’s going to last forever. As long as we’re friends the music will go on,” she says.