‘Kitchie Nadal renaissance’: How early 2000s OPM singer-songwriter regains popularity among Gen-Zs

March 1, 2024 - 5:41 PM
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This composite photo shows Kitchie Nadal's album cover and her performance pic uploaded in December 2022. (MaRi Arquiza via Kitchie Nadal/Facebook)

Kitchie Nadal vibes are in.

Hit songs “Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin” and “Same Ground” are classic OPM (Original Pilipino Music). But Kitchie’s name is making a comeback for reasons other than her heartbreak anthems.

“I am living for the Kitchie Nadal renaissance,” wrote one Filipino online.

It is difficult to determine the origin of her “renaissance.” However, there could be a number of reasons for her renewed popularity.

One of the reasons could be related to Gen-Z’s current obsession with early 2000s fashion, thus giving birth to “Kitchie Nadal Core”.

In one video that has 850,000 views, a TikToker wearing a mesh top, a long black skirt, and leather boots is seen showing off her outfit with the caption, “It’s me and my Kitchie Nadal outfit against the world.”

@siiverf4iry😁♬ original sound – 🇨🇿blackladygirl27🇨🇿

This type of clothing that loosely takes influence from alternative rock and indie genres had been in style among the youth for a while back, only now Kitchie gives them a niche.

“Pasok na ba sa Kitchie Nadal outfit?” asked another TikTok user in her fit check video.

For others, it’s Kitchie enough without question when they decide it is.

One Filipino online posted pictures of herself at a mall, simply rocking a black tank top and a pair of headphones, captioning her post with “the Kitchie Nadal vibes lives on.”

One element to this Kitchie craze is nostalgia, which is addicting some.

A social media user said “SORRY GUYS I’M HAVING A KITCHIE NADAL HIGH” on X (formerly Twitter) as she sang along to “Same Ground” in the video.

Kitchie’s songs helped express unspeakable heartbreaks of a generation, Gen-Zs included.

“Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin”, a song for yearning with just the right amount of rage, has a trend of its own in this corner of TikTok, where users scribble a word over and over on a notebook.

The words are often names of an old flame or love interest, while some are adjectives that describe themselves in the affair or the lack thereof, like “torpe” and “backburner”.

Surely, matters of the heart are not a laughing matter, but some Kitchie references elsewhere could be humorous too.

“Magagalit ba si Kitchie Nadal pag sasabihin ko na?” read one tweet that has over 30,000 likes.

Kitchie is set to release a vinyl version of her self-titled album in March.

This is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the album, which topped charts in 2004 when it first came out.

Its second song “Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin” became the most-played OPM single at the time.