From its original four members, The Gold Squad’s barkada is now getting bigger and bigger as it welcomes more squadmates who are ready to conquer showbiz with their talents via The Squad Plus.
The Squad Plus boasts four artists who are passionate about music – Angela Ken is a newly minted OPM sensation, while Sam Cruz, KD Estrada, and Anji Salvacion are regularly seen performing on “ASAP Natin ‘To” as part of its new breed of singers.
Here are some fun facts about the group’s four fresh faces and voices:
1. Angela Ken
Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter Angela Ken got her first taste of fame on Tiktok, where her unfinished original song “Ako Naman Muna” went viral. Soon after, she was invited by Dreamscape Entertainment to join The Squad Plus, while Star Music offered to produce the full version of her song. The track, which she describes as an anthem of self-love and self-appreciation, is now part of the soundtrack of ABS-CBN’s inspirational series “Huwag Kang Mangamba” and has received over five million streams on Spotify.
With Moira dela Torre and Ben&Ben as her biggest inspirations, Angela believes her purpose is to empower and inspire the youth, especially those who are suffering from anxiety and depression, and make them feel less alone through her music.
Full name: Angela Ken Rojas
Birthdate: May 16, 2002
School: Josiah Christian Values High (Grade 12)
Hometown: Las Pinas and Imus, Cavite
Hobbies: Listening to music, reading fictional stories, eating
Talent: Singing, composing songs
2. Sam Cruz
Celebrity daughter Sam Cruz is here to prove that she’s worthy of a spot in the industry amidst the expectations that her last name carries. One of the three daughters of Sunshine Cruz and Cesar Montano, Sam wants to follow in the footsteps of her mom whom she considers her greatest source of inspiration.
She is currently juggling her studies and showbiz responsibilities, including gigs on “ASAP Natin ‘To.” Though singing is her first love, she has also set her sights on acting and has already appeared in the iWantTFC original series “Unloving U.”
Full name: Samantha Angelene Cruz Montano
Birthdate: August 24, 2002
School: De La Salle Santiago Zobel (Grade 10)
Hobbies: Learning to play guitar, drawing, singing
3. KD Estrada
KD picked up a guitar when he was 13, started lessons, and decided on becoming a guitar player, with Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix as his major influences. While he has always been passionate about music, it wasn’t until 2018 after he filmed himself singing that he discovered he could actually do both.
A Star Music artist, he has released self-written songs such as “Sa Puso Mo,” “One of Many,” and “Saves It,” which is also featured in “Unloving U.” While waiting for the opportunity to record a full album, KD connects with his fans through his YouTube channel and Tiktok Page where he uploads covers of his favorite songs.
Full name: Kyle Daniel Estrada
Birthdate: May 3, 2002
School: Meridian International (Grade 12)
Hobbies: Playing basketball, reading, playing mobile games, songwriting
Sports: Basketball and biking
Talent: Singing, playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass
4. Anji Salvacion
Like many showbiz hopefuls, Anji was introduced to Filipino viewers through a talent-reality show. Only 16 at the time, Anji made quite an impression in her audition for "Idol Philippines" in 2019 that James Reid likened her voice to sunshine. You can say she has been preparing for her big moment all her life, from when she would join beauty pageants so she could gain confidence and combat her shyness.
While Anji failed to make it to “Idol’s” live shows, she has since then made one of her biggest dreams come by becoming part of “ASAP’s” new breed of singers and showcasing her acting skills in iWantTFC’s “Unloving U,” for which she recorded the song “Keeps on Coming Back.” Things are definitely looking bright for this Siargao native, who is open to doing more acting projects in the future.
Full name: Angie Kristine Allen Salvacion Gorbulev
Birthdate: September 24, 2002
School: AMA University Online Education (Grade 12)
Hometown: Burgos, Surigao Del Norte, Siargao Island
Hobbies: Reading, listening to music, drawing, having fun with brothers and cousins
Sports: Volleyball and basketball
Talent: Singing, dancing, playing the guitar and ukulele
Get to know Angela, Sam, KD, and Anji by liking the videos and subscribing to The Squad Plus’ YouTube channel (YouTube.com/TheSquadPlus), which regularly uploads vlogs and games featuring all the squadmates. With 2.95 million subscribers and 264.8 million views, The Squad Plus is one of ABS-CBN’s most subscribed and most followed channels on the video-streaming platform.
For updates, follow @thesquadplus_ on Tiktok and Instagram.