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Viva’s new boy group sings in regional languages

LOCAL entertainment agency Viva has launched its newest boy group, ALAMAT, which is aimed to merge “modern pop music and Pinoy cultural heritage,” according to a press release.

The nine-member group — composed of Taneo, Mo, Jao, Kin, Tomas, R-Ji, Valfer, Gami, and Alas — has released its debut single, “kbye.” The song is sung in seven Philippine languages: Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya. The members had a hand in writing the song’s lyrics.

“The idea is, if we seek to genuinely embody the Philippines, ALAMAT should reflect the country’s cultural and linguistic diversity,” Ninuno Media, which serves as the creative director of the group, said in the statement.

Each member of the group comes from different parts of the Philippines: Taneo is from Kalinga, Mo from Zambales, Jao from Pampanga, Kin from Quezon City, R-Ji from Eastern Samar, Valfer from Negros Occidental, Gami from Bohol, Tomas from Albay, and Alas from Davao City.

“A unique prerequisite in the application process, aside from potential in singing and dancing, is the individual’s proficiency in his native language. From the very beginning, ALAMAT was envisioned to be a multilingual boy group that would aim to normalize the use of regional languages in mainstream music,” Viva said in the release.

ALAMAT (whose name is the Filipino term for “legend”) was also formed with the “counter-K-pop” concept, in that while it uses the K-pop formula of “intensive training, audiovisual music, commercial appeal, etc.,” it is meant to promote Filipino culture.

“As the boundaries of P-pop continue to expand, ALAMAT sets itself apart by using the tropes of Western pop music and K-pop to create a distinct audiovisual brand of music that is heavily influenced by the sights and sounds of the Philippines, both modern and ancient,” the company said.

ALAMAT members were chosen after months of auditions held all over the country. The final members underwent nine months of training in singing and dancing, physical fitness, and personality development under vocal coach Zebedee Zuniga and dance coach Jim Amen. The training is bound to continue for years after their debut, according to the company.

ALAMAT is the second boy group to debut this year following the K-pop concept after Star Magic’s BGYO which debuted in January.

“Kbye” is now available in all digital music stores. Watch the music video here: ALAMAT-‘kbye’ (official M/V)-YouTube. — ZBC

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