Krista K: From beauty queen to glam diva
Tinnie P. Esguerra (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There’s more to Krista Kleiner than meets the eye.

While most of her Filipino fans know her as the tall, svelte and stunning mestiza who bagged the 2010 Bb. Pilipinas International title, not many know that the beauty titlist is well on her way towards marking yet another personal victory — this time, as a singer, songwriter and concert artist now known as Krista K.

To date, the versatile actress/host has launched her first single, Feels So Good, in Malaysia and Singapore late last year. The bouncy, up-tempo dance anthem has already hit the charts, generated rave media reviews and amassed thousands of page views in the social networks as well.

The remarkable turnout surprised Krista, who’s been recently busy finalizing the final details for her full album, which she plans to launch in Manila early this year when she signs up with Universal Records.

So, what led to this fortuitous career shift? “My experience touring with Julio Iglesias, after I won my Bb. Pilipinas title, most definitely played a large role in my decision to pursue my dreams of becoming a singer/performer,” she explains. “Getting to spend all of that time with him, seeing what it was like to tour the world and perform, and getting all of the advice and input I received from him, helped me turn my dreams into serious goals.”

Asked as to which came first, her beauty queen dream or her glam diva dream, she admits, “To be honest, I never dreamt of being a beauty queen growing up. It was something that I just ended up getting into along the way of trying different things. To be a respected artist performing on a huge stage…putting on exciting shows around the world…now, that’s a fantasy I always had growing up.”

Now, how many aspiring singers do you imagine would be lucky enough to have a famous celebrity as their vocal coach and mentor? Krista recalls, “My vocal training started when I was on tour with Julio Iglesias, when we would have rehearsals during downtime. I’ve been practicing on my own since then, and have tried my hand at composing songs as well.” Julio’s legion of female fans must be turning green with envy.

The 22-year-old beauty queen ranks Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Gary Valenciano as her musical idols. Such influences clearly indicate her penchant for high-adrenaline performance coupled with fun, danceable music. Given the chance, she would want to collaborate with international artists such as Pitbull, Snoop Dog, LMFAO, Timberland, Far East Movement, Akon, Flo Rida and Ludacris, along with producers RedOne, Timbaland, Calvin Harris, David Guetta,, Dr. Luke and more.

The inspiration for her first single, Feels So Good, came about while on tour with Julio. As she elaborates, “While on tour with Julio, I began writing when I was spending time on the plane traveling from country to country. I was in a state of just absolute bliss feeling on top of the world, and I decided that I wanted to have a song that conveyed that.

“After I competed at Miss International in China, I began working with producer Bojam to make a track that would fit this feeling. Once we had the right track, I began writing the lyrics and melody trying to put into words the emotions the music made me feel. It was the first song I ever wrote and I was so excited that it was one of people’s favorites after hearing other songs I later composed and recorded.”

From the way she’s singlehandedly overseen virtually all aspects of her recording career, it’s obvious how Krista is crystal clear about her artistic vision — from her imaging, packaging, marketing and even the conceptualization and production of her music video.

“I’ve heard stories of artists who have approached labels without having a firm vision of how they wanted to be packaged and what type of music they want to do. This often led to labels packaging them in a way that they didn’t feel true to themselves. This really encouraged me to be hands-on so that I could remain true to myself and push myself and my craft in ways that others could not,” asserts the taekwondo black-belter whose impressive martial arts and nunchuk routines never fail to dazzle audiences.

And push she did. In three weeks alone since its first posting on YouTube, her Feels So Good music video generated more than 1.3 million views!

With the single’s unprecedented success, Krista feels confident about launching her whole album in Manila soon. “We have a whole album ready!” she enthuses. This includes nine original English tunes and four bonus tracks — three original Tagalog songs and a club remix of Feels So Good.

But that’s just one facet of this multi-talented artist. Krista is also an accomplished actress who started out as one of the contract stars of GMA 7, but has been getting more offers to date since she started freelancing. She is currently managed by Arnold Vegafria’s ALV Talent Circuit.

While under GMA 7’s roster, GMA International/Pinoy TV booked her for performances in California in San Diego, San Francisco and Anaheim, Hawaii, New Jersey and Chicago.

She was also asked to guest at the recent Malaysian Music Awards and present the most prestigious award of the night, the Recognition for Most International Achievement — which she presented along with the head of the Music Awards company.

Krista was also asked to host the Screen Singapore Film Festival, as well as the high-end launches for Michael Kors and Seven For All Mankind in Singapore and Malaysia.

Just last week, Krista also signed up with Warner Music Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

In more ways than one, Krista feels privileged about the head start she’s gained from being a beauty titlist. “From my training and experience from the beauty pageant scene, I’ve learned the importance of stage presence, thinking quickly on my feet and connecting to people from different cultures.”

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