MANILA, Philippines – In only matter of months, Pinoy pop boy band SB19 has captured the hearts of thousands and built a massive fandom – and they’ve only released 3 songs thus far.
The band – made up of Josh, Justin, Stell, Sejun, and Ken – first came together in 2018, and for a while, people just didn’t know them or care to listen. But sometime in September 2019, one of their dance videos went viral – in a sweet bit of poetic justice, it was for their song “Go Up,” in which they sing “Yeah we gonna go up / ibibigay ko ang aking puso/ Sa pag-abot ng pangarap, ‘di hihinto.”
Fast forward to February 2020: the band performed at Rappler HQ for a Live Jam and their dedicated fandom A’TIN kept the hashtags for their guesting trending from morning ’til night.
At the show, the boys talked about their training their songwriting process, and shared the stories behind their 3 originals that have since become beloved anthems for their growing fandom.
Here are the stories behind SB19’s songs:
SB19 opened the show with “Alab,” their latest single, released in December 2019. The song’s subject matter isn’t new – it’s about the intensity of having a crush on someone. The song, shares the group’s main songwriter Sejun, was written even before their earlier release, “Go Up.”
“Nagsulat ako tapos parang gusto ko yung kanta about love, finding love, parang ganun (I wrote a song, and I wanted it to be about love, finding love, something like that),” Sejun said.
“Yung first song namin, inspirational, so this one gusto namin (we wanted it to be) relatable and fun, exciting and light,” he explained. “More on finding love and parang naramdaman mo yung something, burning desire towards someone na gustung gusto mo (more on finding love and that burning desire you feel towards someone you really like).”
Sejun said that the song is about unrequited love – but was quick to add (several times) that it was not based on his own experience (which makes us think maybe it is?).
“Yung kanta po, love song po siya tungkol sa love na never mo makukuha, kung baga unrequited love. Hindi po base yan sa storya ng buhay ko or base sa buhay ng bawat isa (the song is a love song about a love you can never have, unrequited love. It’s not based on my story, or the story of any one of us),” he said.
Sejun insisted that the song was inspired not by life experience, but by something he read in a book or watched in a movie. “Paniwalaan niyo nalang po (Just believe, it please),” he joked.
The group described this song as their last chance – and that they were ready to quit their boy band dreams if they didn’t get their break after that. It’s almost prophetic then, that they sing about stopping at nothing to achieve their dreams in that song.
“Ito yung nagstart ng everything, kung ano man yung meron kami ngayon. Mayroon kaming A’TIN dahil sa ‘Go Up’ (This started everything, whatever we have today. We have A’TIN because of ‘Go Up’),” Sejun said.
“Kung hindi po nagwork, maggigive up na kami pero fortunately pinagpala po kami at nakilala po yung grupo namin…natupad na pangarap (if it didn’t work, we would have given up, but fortunately, we were blessed and our group became known…a dream come true),” he said. – Rappler.com
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