Kumu's soundtrack with SB19 knocks BTS off Billboard's newest chart

Freddie Luchterhand-Dare
December 14, 2021

Actively boosting Filipino culture

Billboard recently introduced a new chart, and for a while, it looked like the only act that would ever appear in the top spot would be BTS. Now, before the ranking turns two months old, one vocal group replaces another, forcing the South Korean outfit from the throne for the first time.

On last week’s Hot Trending Songs chart, Filipino boy band SB19 steps up to No. 1 for the first time, with BTS losing their grip over the ranking. SB19’s “Bazinga” rockets from No. 8 to the peak position, enjoying a surprising leap to the highest rung on the tally.

Billboard has been publishing the Hot Trending Songs chart for seven weeks now, and for the majority, BTS appeared in the No. 1 spot, though they managed to do so with more than one of their hits.  

P-pop has origins stretching back to the 1970s, but has gained traction in the 2020's. However, looking at the history of OPM (Original Philippines/Pinoy Music), Filipino pop musical acts who made a successful career out of writing, singing, and dancing their own original songs were limited. As far as the mainstream crowd was concerned: if you weren’t an actor or TV personality who could also sing and dance, you were either just a singer or a dancer. But some songs, such as 2003's "The Spageti Song" began to break the mould (though the girl band had previously been backup dancers on a widely-watched noontime show 'Eat Beluga'), a song that is now firmly established in the Filipino cultural psyche–with almost everyone knowing the tune, and the moves.

However, it was SB19 in 2019 that began to make P-pop a marketable new movement. Band members Pablo, Josh, Ken, Stell, and Justin were hoping to translate the K-pop formula to the Filipino setting. But this time, they also adapted the discipline of the Korean training system, which led to their performances being just as refined and synchronized. Their visual and lyrical style is seen to reflect distinct Filipino cultural sensibilities.

Kumu has collaborated with the P-pop supergroup on a song for Kumu's co-produced entry into the Manila Metro Film Festival, a film called Love at First Stream. The film follows the love stories of Magumi (Kaori Oinuma) and Gino (Jeremiah Lisbo), and Vilma (Daniela Stranner) and Tupe (Anthony Jennings), who meet through online streaming. This film itself was the #1 and #2 trending Twitter hashtag in the Philippines last week.

This widespread acceptance of these P-pop groups can be attributed to the shift in dynamics of the way music is marketed these days, with social media - such as Kumu - giving fans more power than ever before. Indeed, Filipino fans are considered amongst some of the most dedicated and committed, who are keen to see greater Pinoy representation on the global stage.

According to music writer, Ian Urrutia, "P-pop has cultivated a sense of identity that subverts antiquated notions of authenticity and aims for something that is uniquely Filipino but globally ready.”

At Openspace, we're proud to be support brands, like Kumu, who are helping to driving genuine cultural change.

Read more (Forbes)

Read more (CNN Life)

Listen to Bazinga here

Watch the trailer here

Some content was original published in Forbes and other information taken from CNN Life.