Filipino boy band SB19, comprised of Justin, Stell, Ken, Pablo, and Josh, is now dubbed the “P-pop Kings.” With their powerful vocals and dance skills, they undeniably deserve a prominent spot not only in the local music scene but also in the international scene.
However, snagging the top spot wasn’t an overnight success story for the Filo quintet. The popular local group also had their own share of ups and downs. Here’s the timeline of SB19’s journey to becoming the most sought-after band in the P-pop world to date:
Beginning of a dream
On August 23, 2016, five young male aspirants started their journey by auditioning and being selected for a Korean-based talent agency ShowBT Philippines (SBT) for a performance team consisting of talented Filipinos. As the training program reportedly followed Korean entertainment standards in honing high-quality performers, the members trained for more than 9 hours in three consecutive years in exchange for small amount of wages.
The group debuted in 2016 with a ballad single, “Tilaluha” (Stop Crying). However, their first appearance wasn’t recognized much by Filipino fans. At that time, P-pop groups were not hot in the country, putting them on the edge of possible disbandment.
From “Nobody” to “Somebody”
After their struggles during their debut, SB19 launched their follow-up track, “Go Up,” in 2018, and this single became their way to advance their musical career which brought them to mainstream success.
As “Go Up” became a bop, the five members built momentum to be recognized in the local music sphere. In 2019, the band’s YouTube channel gained 500,000 new subscribers, and at the height of the pandemic, they released a new song called, “Ika Ko” (You and I), which they recorded in the comfort of their homes to continue giving updates to their fans and supporters amid the health crisis. In 2020, SB19 also released their album, “Get In the Zone,” featuring 9 tracks including “Tilaluha,” “Alab,” “Go Up,” and “Hanggang Sa Huli,” among others. In 2021, they created waves in the P-pop scene through their hits, “What?,” “MAPA,” “Pagsibol,” and “Bazinga.” This year, they released “Gento,” which proved to be an ultimate smash on different platforms, especially on TikTok, which went on for months. Local celebrities and even established K-pop acts joined in on the Gento dance challenge on TikTok and YouTube.
SB19 had begun its international career with its pre-comeback song, “WYAT (Where You At), in 2022. The track was performed in Ozone Concert in 2021, with four stops in the country (Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Davao), and 3 stops abroad — Singapore, Dubai, and the United States. They were also nominated in the Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist and entered the top 10 of Billboard’s Social 50 charts. The group will now vie for a nomination at the 2024 Grammy Awards for their music, “Gento,” in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Category.
Good luck and congratulations in advance, SB19 and A’Tin (fans)!
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