Chances are, you’ve been living under a rock if you’re unaware of the wildly rich and colorful music movement that is P-Pop, the Philippines’ proudly homegrown answer to its worldwide counterparts like KPOP, JPOP, and CPOP. And chances are – if you are an aficionado of all-things-local-music – you are also wondering how well we are faring alongside the phenomenal rise of Idol groups.
Simply put, the future is looking amazing. Because Press Hit Play (PHP) is about to take both the local and international stage by storm this year as they are finally ready to unleash their long-awaited musical salvo to an ever-growing legion of fans. A powerhouse idol group that utilizes a collective knack for song, dance, and a whole lot of charisma, PHP fuses the stylings of modern pop, hip-hop, R&B, and trap into one explosive package that tells an inspiring story of both their individual and collective journeys to the present.
Comprised of six uber-talented individuals – namely de facto group leader Miko, main vocalist Sev, total performer/songwriter/music producer JP, rapper/dancer Zi.O, choreographer/dancer Yuuki and lead vocalist/songwriter CHRLS – the members of Press Hit Play are not just bent on bringing the party wherever they go, but also have a deeper advocacy and goal to accomplish with their career.
“As a whole, we want to both redefine and change the game when it comes to the known definition of what it means to be a P-POP Idol Group,” begins Yukito, when asked about the formation of PHP. “The whole idea behind PHP is not to replicate the sound and style of our foreign counterparts; as much as they are – without a doubt – an influence, we feel the Philippines’ image and culture is just as exciting to convey through our music, and we want to be an inspiration to everyone in the P-POP community: those who – like us – were not afraid to dream, and unafraid of the hard work it takes to pursue those dreams. We want to pave the way.”
When asked what sets them apart from other groups that have come before, the members reveal that there’s nothing cookie-cutter nor formulaic about the group; being uniquely independent and hands-on in writing, arranging and producing their own songs, dance moves, and even producing their own music videos – PHP is the coming-together of talents who are superstars in their own, individual right as well.
Needless to say, a multitude of sacrifices were made by all members to be able to chase the current dream: all the members were accomplished artists and performers, and some members did have individual careers outside music – CHRLS being a frontliner, Yuuki being a talented choreographer and a graphic artist, Zi.O having a good-paying day job and the whole group living away from their respective families. Leaving all that behind to concentrate on PHP for the past year, audiences can expect nothing less than the group’s one hundred percent, which makes this year VERY exciting: it’s not just good, but things are definitely looking GREAT.
The main unifying element of PHP – which is the music, of course – is very, very exciting, as both the members of PHP and longtime fans, who have stuck with the group since day one, are stoked at the prospect that the tracks will officially be released in grand fashion. “I guess there’s no single way to describe the music, especially the sound, since the influences do come from all over the place,” JP reveals, and continues: “but we are proud to say that there’s definitely something for everyone, no matter how old or how unique listeners may be… we want to get rid of the stereotype that this is music simply for young fans of the genre or movement… this is music that ANYONE can enjoy, be it here in the Philippines or anywhere across the world.”
Having signed a worldwide deal with international company Evolution Music Group and their label evosound, the members of PHP are currently gearing up and putting the final touches on their collective work and its official debut, which has been an almost two-year journey so far.
“There’s been numerous delays and challenges on the way, but we’ve been able to use that extra time to really bank a LOT of music and surprises for all of the fans who have been patiently waiting, just like us – so we’re both very proud and extremely grateful for how they’ve stuck with us,” Yukito smiles, unable to hide the excitement of what the near future is bringing, as CHRLS adds: “We’re claiming it – this is going to be the year where we shock the entire industry. It’s all finally happening!”
And as early as now, Press Hit Play is hungry and excited to shock the local industry. And they have the battle cry that sums it all up: “Set the tune…feel the vibe… PRESS HIT PLAY!”
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