It is already a well-known facet of Asian entertainment that Korean musical talents are produced similar to factories, with prospective talents gleaned from auditions being trained and coached for possibly years in singing, dancing and more, before being introduced to a constantly expectant market. This has been the secret to the formidable success of K-Pop acts in maintaining grueling performance and media appearance schedules. What might come of it if a group of Filipino talents were given the K-Pop development treatment? The result could be like SB19, a Pinoy boy band represented by Korean talent company ShowBT, whose second single video has just passed the 1-million view mark on YouTube.
CNN Philippines has it that the music video for “Go Up” by K-Pop-trained Filipino singing group SB19 was now at over 1 million YouTube views as of Monday, September 9. To emphasize the statistical achievement it had attained, the over-million views were double the amount from just the day before, or Sunday of September 8. With the mix of English and Filipino lyrics, all written by the band members Sejun, Justin, Josh, Ken and Stell, “Go Up” is getting lots of attention from at least two major K-Pop fan markets in Asia, South Korea itself and the Philippines, in support of “kababayan” that made big.
The genesis of SB19 was made possible thanks to their company ShowBT having offices in the Philippines as well. So indeed, the boys are Filipinos, auditioned by ShowBT and put through the K-Pop formation process, but given the liberty to write their own material and the use of the Filipino language. SB19 would first officially enter the public eye in October of last year, but it was likely not until this month, when an earlier video showing the quintet rehearsing for the “Go Up” music video on September 2, that interest in them surged significantly.
“Tilahua,” the first single released by SB19 in 2018, is another example of the music style the boy band has wrought, the blending of English-Filipino lyrics with vibrant K-Pop dance tunes into a hybrid genre they are terming “P-Pop,” distinct from OPM. Already social media is going crazy over them, with surprise that the Tagalog-sing “Koreans” are actually Pinoys, and being touted as a new standard for Filipino boy groups. There is no denying the numbers for “Go Up” by SB19, and it is hoped that not only will their rise continue unabated, but that eventually they can find time to return to the Philippines.
Image from officialsb19 Instagram