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MANILA, Philippines – When we think of boy bands, we usually picture a group of young men who are primarily defined by their vocal abilities and synchronized dance moves.
With a certain rising Filipino boy band, however, that’s not the case.
Meet the eight-member group KINDRED, whose members Fern., nouvul, Slomo Says, Pikunin, VINCED, dot.jaime, Cavill, and Punzi, have taken to breaking out of the cookie-cutter notion of what a boy band should look and sound like.
The group, made up of singers and producers, had already been making music individually before KINDRED was formed. They started out as a music production company and eventually branched out to creating songs as a collective.
“It felt like a natural progression for people that made music, that have the studio and the facilities to do that, to just link up and have fun. Later on, we started to play with the idea that maybe we should start something. We wanted to reimagine or challenge the idea of what a boy band could be,” nouvul said.
Contrary to the usual uniform appearance of boy bands, it’s easy to see that the group’s members put importance on celebrating individuality – all while still maintaining a cohesive image that tells anyone, “That’s KINDRED,” from the first glance.
The making of ‘Subset’
Staying true to their profile as a “culmination of different personal and artistic backgrounds, tastes, and senses,” KINDRED’s first-ever album Subset sees each of its members’ distinct abilities shine. It features 15 cleverly produced tracks laced with heavenly vocals, funky beats, and groovy synths.
The boys of KINDRED churned out around 50 songs before finally arriving at the final 15. From the sequence down to the objective of each track that made it to the cut, the members put thought into every aspect of Subset’s completion.
“We were confident that these 15 songs will hit kasi if all eight of us said yes to it, it’s a sign that it’s a good song for all of us,” Pikunin said.
Subset also features “IDWTEXTUBABY,” whose music video was interestingly filmed in just one take. While it took extreme precision to get the dance moves down for the perfect shot, the members’ little errors weren’t edited out of the video – a minor yet refreshing indication of KINDRED’s unconventional ways.
“It added to the theme more. It added more rawness to it in a way,” said dot.jaime.
But the members attest that KINDRED’s peak artistic colors show best on stage. If someone who has never heard of KINDRED really had to get to know the boy band, it would have to be through enjoying their music in the flesh.
“I think that’s also a good introduction to every single one of our personalities in a way. Listening to the album is, for me, personally, like a surface level [way] of knowing us,” explained dot.jaime.
Brothers in groove
Cliché as it may sound, all this wouldn’t have come to fruition had the boys not had that brotherly bond to go off of.
Coming from a big family, Slomo Says even likens his relationship with the rest of KINDRED’s members to the typical tension any person with lots of siblings would feel.
“We get annoyed with each other because we’re around each other all the time. We’re always together, basically. And we’re friends pa so we see each other a lot,” he said.
“I feel like if you listen to the music, it kind of charts our relationship together. And if you do know the real chronological order, you can tell how our bond is getting stronger and stronger. And I feel like it’s gonna get stronger through the years,” nouvul added.
Every time the members are together, it all just feels like an ordinary friendly hangout with the creation of new music as an added bonus.
“All our boy band activities are just us hanging out. When we did the MOA Arena show, we were like, ‘Wow guys, that was the coolest hangout ever,'” Pikunin quipped.
It seems like boy bands aren’t the only thing KINDRED redefines through their music and creative process, but also the meaning behind every Filipino parent’s favorite line: “Puro ka gala!” – Rappler.com