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LISTEN: A quick exploration of SB19’s music in 2022

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 18, 2022 10:32 am

SB19, composed of Pablo, Stell, Justin, Ken, and Josh, has become more and more open with their fans A’TIN since they debuted under entertainment agency ShowBT in 2018. This year, they continued to put their vocal chops to the forefront as they showed their more thoughtful side in their music, but still with the perfect mix of pop and rock that they have long been loved for. 

The first song that SB19 released in 2022 was Kabataang Pinoy—their first collaboration with P-pop group BINI. In their fresh take on the 2006 classic by The Itchyworms, they added a whole new flavor to the song through catchy pop sounds that undoubtedly matched BINI’s spectacular talent. Released in March, it served as the official theme song of reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition’s 10th season. 

This was followed by another unique twist to an iconic track in July, this time for Bb. Pilipinas’ official theme song Win Your Heart. The group, yet again, proved how brilliant they can get in turning a classic song into a modern one without veering away from what they had to do: encapsulate the spirit of the beauty pageant. Their own revamp of the song composed by Nonong Pedero had the perfect mix of modern pop sounds and rap. 

One of the biggest highlights of their year, however, came in September in the form of their disco-pop single WYAT (Where You At). It marked some notable firsts for the group—aside from it being their first official release following their hiatus after dropping their 2021 EP Pagsibol, the song is also quite different from the OPM (Original Pinoy Music) singles they have released in the past. This one is in full English and gave off not only a nostalgic vibe, but also a spark of hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pop sound is just as extensive and catchy as their other tracks, the group made it a point to incorporate some personal touches that easily amped it up. 

“This song is about reconnecting with people. It’s different when you go out, meet people, do interesting things—climb a mountain!” Pablo said in an interview with Billboard. “I would give everything to go back to the situation before where you’re not worrying if someone coughs. The song is about going back to how it was: talking and meeting actual people, doing things together, just recreating the feeling we had before.” 

The song also came with a music video that perfectly captured how people felt when they listened to it for the first time, with references that likewise elicited nostalgia. “Going back to the ‘50s, ‘70s, and ‘90s eras, we researched how to show it visually and make people feel the nostalgia of things they kind of miss,” said Justin. He noted that while they knew most of their fans are young, the boys also “wanted to reach those who experienced those times and tell young people these are the things they did.”

“We didn’t have computers or cellphones. They’d go roller skating, enjoy parties, and hang out in the diners and arcades. Nowadays, we are kind of disconnected because of all the digital, and, of course, the pandemic. It’s not just in the music video, but we are trying to connect SB19 with everything—including our tour,” he continued. 

SB19 has been making waves in the international scene. After the release of their song and music video for WYAT, they had something much bigger in store: a world tour that they kicked off in the Philippines in September—and had stops in other parts of the globe like New York, Singapore, Los Angeles, and Dubai. After promoting their incredible Filipino music and sharing it with the world, they are concluding their tour with a homecoming concert in their homeland on Sunday, Dec. 18, which fans can also watch virtually as it will be livestreamed worldwide.

Ahead of their upcoming concert in Manila, the P-pop group had another treat for A’TIN with another single Nyebe, which translates to “snow” in English. Here, they shared another side of themselves with their fans—a more thoughtful and melancholic one. Composed by SB19 leader Pablo, it’s a fitting year-ender treat after a moment of touring internationally as they put the power and cool of their vocals on display while talking about life questions involving happiness, challenges, and the joys of being more present.

“I wrote Nyebe a long time ago. I was thinking about the feeling of hopelessness, knowing and accepting that things are changing too fast,” said Pablo. “Time doesn’t stop, things around us happen so fast. At the end of the day, matutunaw rin ang nyebe. We just have to live with it and pray, there is always a ray of hope.”

Nyebe was accompanied by a visualizer that gave a behind-the-scenes look at their tour, showing both their fun and mundane moments in between. As they hold their homecoming concert tonight, it’s good to be reminded of the same message that SB19 wanted to convey in Nyebe: to cherish every moment, especially the ones that would forge more love and stronger connections with people who matter.