P-Pop boy group Alamat was formed with the “counter-Kpop” concept which means it uses the formula of Kpop—intensive training, audiovisual music, commercial appeal, etc.—but promotes Filipino culture and sensibilities instead.
As the boundaries of P-Pop continue to expand, Alamat sets itself apart by using the tropes of Western pop music and Kpop to create a distinct audiovisual brand of music that is heavily influenced by the sights and sounds of the Philippines, both modern and ancient.
Speaking to Manila Standard Entertainment, the group said it took them almost a year of extensive training before their official launch, and being uniquely Pinoy is what sets them apart from all other groups on the P-Pop scene.
“Our vision is to create music that every Filipino can relate to. With the same vision, we would like to introduce our brand of music to the world. Our debut is just the beginning of our musical journey that seeks to provide more than just entertainment,” a member of Alamat said.
According to the group, their name comes from the two meanings of the word ‘alamat’ or ‘legend’ in English.
“Legends are stories that a community tells its youth, either to pass on its cultural heritage or to simply to spark their imagination. Second, to be a legend is to become a master or an idol. These two definitions adhere to Alamat’s vision — to be able to pass on what makes them Pinoy through music and to become masters in their field,” another member explained.
The nine-member group, which includes Taneo, Mo, Jao, Kin, Tomas, R-Ji, Valfer, Gami, and Alas as members, proudly wear Pinoy pride on their proverbial sleeves as heard and seen in the music video for their debut single entitled “kbye.”
In the lyrics of their debut track, which the members wrote themselves, Alamat sings in a total of seven Philippine languages—Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya – definitely a first for any local pop group.
From the name of their group to the use of local languages in their lyrics and their heritage-filled aesthetics, Alamat promises to offer to audiences a proudly and uniquely Filipino experience that both entertains and boosts national pride.
The music video for “kbye” premiered on Valentine’s Day on the group’s official YouTube channel. The song was made available in all digital music stores the next day.
From their lyrics and music videos to the musical arrangement of their songs and down to their fashion and choreography, Alamat aims to break the mold of what it means to be a boy band in a Kpop-dominated world.
“Crucial to this concept is its commitment to multilingualism. The idea is, if we seek to genuinely embody the Philippines, Alamat should reflect the country’s cultural and linguistic diversity,” shared an executive from Ninuno Media that manages the group together with Viva.
All members of Alamat come from different parts of the country: Taneo 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.