If you were a K-Pop fan you’d think you’re listening to a Korean group when you hear the song “Go Up.”
Well, it sounds like K-Pop, but listening closely you’d hear Filipino lyrics to the song. And it goes like this:
Yeah, we gonna go up//Yeah, yeah, we gonna go up//Tanging liwanag ang nakikita//Sa tuwing ipipikit aking mata//Bituin ko'y lalong nagniningning sa dilim//Walang makakapigil.
It is performed with the beat and rhythm of a K-Pop bouncy tune with similar harmonic blend of voices.
Don’t blame Sejun, Stell, Josh, Ken, and Justin for sounding more K-Pop than the usual Pinoy boy band we’ve heard in the past, because they are the first 5-member all Filipino group trained by a Korean entertainment company based in the Philippines, ShowBT Philippines Corporation.
ShowBT founder and CEO Geong Seong Han said in halting English during the launch of the boy’s single “Go Up” last Friday at Luxent Hotel, “I want to spread a new culture across the globe, starting with South East Asia.” That’s why after establishing ShowBT in 2003 in Korea, he went to the Philippines in 2015 and put up the same company here called ShowBT Philippines Corporation. Why did he set it up here in the country? “I’ve seen how Filipinos have been loving K-Pop, and how the K-Pop stars in Korea love the Filipino fans. And if I can put up a group of Filipinos who can be as popular as the K-Pop stars now famous around the world, I’ll be very happy.” Geong is moved by the motto “Power to transform culture.”
They boys that go around with the name SB19 actually underwent an intensive three-year training under the now world-renowned K-Pop system.
Sejun recalls, “For three years we would be training three times a day. We tackled different aspects of being in show business – performance, self development, music, and may others. It was also when BT would eliminate those that couldn’t cope with the training. At the end of the day, lima na lang kaming natira.”
With their new single "Go Up," the quintet is now ready to conquer the local music scene. The single is considered SB19's breakthrough single after their debut track “Tilaluha" released in October last year.
“Go Up talks about the hardships and overall journey in reaching one's goals. Through this, they wish to inspire other people - especially the younger generation to never give up on their dreams.
The boys worked with the music producer group RealBros, the team behind numerous K-Pop hits: "It's Youb by Shinee's Taemfn, "November with Love by TVXQ, "Good Morning Night" by JYJ's Jaejoong, "Always from Mnet's Produce 101 Season 2 (Later on officially released by the group Wanna One), "4419" by Stray Kids, and many more .
“Go Up" was written and produced by Oh-won Lee who also goes by the name Jinja Sanai.
“Go Up” comes with a music video directed by JC Gwellidon (he has done music videos, too, for other Filipino and international stars like Donnalyn Bartolome, Brian Puspos, among others.
The song was in the music sites worldwide since 19 July. It can be streamed from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Google Play Music and other digital sites.
Sejunm Stell, Josh, Ken, and Justin had their first taste of public performance last year dubbed SB!9: Start te Best, a two day show one at Teatrino in Greenhills on 19 December and another in Davao 23 Decmber at NCCC Mall Buhangin.
The shows were a follow up to the group’s release of “Tilaluha” on 26 October.
Sejun (leader, dancer, rapper), Stell (main vocal), Josh (dancer, rapper), Ken (main dancer), and Justin (maknae, vocal, rapper) were officially introduced on May 2018. The group has since been active, appearing in TV5’s variety show Aja Aja Tayoand attending several Korean cultural events in the country.
Justin said before the presscon ended, “We want to break into the music scene, set new standards. And then, other than that, siyempre we want to be successful here sa Philippines, since we’re Filipinos. And then, hopefully in Korea rin, since we’re under a Korean management. And then, hopefully, globally.”
Haeng-un-eul bibnida ,boys. That’s good luck in Korean. And to Geong Seong Han, gamsahamnida,for training Filipinos to be excellent performers just like your K-Pop stars in Seoul.