Monday, May 31, 2021

Philippine flag displayed by a Spanish athlete, Maverick Viñales, on his motorbike since 2019

photo from Top Gear Phils.

photo from Top Gear Philippines

Photo from MotoGP Instagram

Thank you Maverick Viñales@maverick12official for still placing the Philippine flag on your bike since 2019 even if you are Spanish. We Filipinos may not have a representative in top international level Moto GP but we still have our flag there. For me this is special since this pandemic few sports can continue.

Congrats also for your newborn baby girl. Best of health to the whole family. 

He has visited the Philippines many times to promote Yamaha.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Darren Embarks On A Career-Turning New Phase With The Release Of “Tama Na”


Celebrated pop icon Darren Espanto has officially released his new single “Tama Na”—out today on MCA Music Inc. Now ready to embark on a new phase in his career, the multi-awarded young artist distills pop, hip-hop, and R&B into a modern bop that radio wouldn’t mind spinning at the top of the hour. His latest track is a rhythmically charged tune that approaches the verses with edginess and the chorus with suave.


On top of a smooth, urban-leaning production and trap beats, Darren sings about giving up on the person that used to occupy a special place in his heart. “Ayokong masaktan ulit / Ayoko nang lumuha pa't maging biktima,” the 20-year-old pop sensation drops the bomb on the chorus, finally making sense of the situation that left him hanging for a long time.


“Tama Na” is a song about unrequited love and finally finding the courage to walk away from a tedious, one-way relationship, which has done nothing but hurt your feelings. The song’s pitched-up samples, hard-hitting electronic beats, and hip-hop-informed sensibilities propel Darren’s soulful delivery to exciting new places. This gives Darren an extra push to showcase his versatility in terms of tone and appeal, turning his youthful fervor into something that resonates with the general public.


“Tama Na” is the latest collaboration between Darren Espanto and fellow hitmaker Zack Tabudlo, who wrote, produced, and mixed the track. According Darren, it has always been their plan to work together on a project, as he admits being a fan of Tabudlo’s music style and talent. “Last year, Zack told me how he became part of the MCA family and we thought that finally, this would be our chance to work together. In just a couple days, Zack created ‘Tama Na’ and I really liked the song instantly. It’s a sound that people haven’t heard from me before and it’s also a genre I’ve always wanted to try.”


A few months later, Zack and Darren went on a Zoom call to guide the latter throughout the entire recording process. Darren recalls, “It was honestly such a chill session, mostly because a lot of it was us just talking about random things that aren’t even related to the song.”


The song will be out in music video format soon and is slated to be part of Darren’s new album. With its aim to chart Darren’s evolution as both an artist and a performer, the upcoming record will be a major shift toward a more contemporary-leaning sound with dance and R&B music influences. It will also serve as his more artistically involved release so far, harnessing his songwriting skills and more.


At the moment, Darren Espanto is gearing up for his virtual concert on June 19—to be streamed live via KTX.


He also made headlines a few days ago when a new set of photos showing his new hunky physique went viral on Instagram. Darren’s new look sheds his teenybopper persona and taps into a more ‘grown’ vibe, marking the celebration of his 20th birthday with newfound adventurousness in style.


Darren is on the cover of Spotify’s New Music Friday Philippines



Watch ‘TAMA NA’ Official Lyric Video HERE


About Darren Espanto:

In less than a decade, Filipino-Canadian artist Darren Espanto has made an impressive mark in the Philippine music industry with multiplatinum albums, sold-out concerts, acclaimed performances and No. 1 singles under his belt. Darren is considered as one of the most successful Filipino male pop/R&B artists of the last decade, having amassed more than a hundred million streams on Spotify, and more than a hundred million views on YouTube alone.

Known for his incredible vocal chops, stellar stage presence and fresh-faced appeal, he has achieved success not only as a recording star, but also as one of the country’s most sought-after brand ambassadors. He was recently appointed as the first celebrity Youth Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has been actively involved in programs related to climate change, biodiversity conservation, and youth empowerment.

In recent years, Darren Espanto has developed his passion for songwriting and producing, and has been technically hands on in several of his new releases. From one song to another, Darren is relentless in pushing the envelope of pop craftmanship by exploring other music genres, from electronic pop to modern R&B, and everything else in between. He has grown before our eyes from being a youthful crooner with outstanding pipes to finding his own voice and style. In a very competitive pop music landscape, Darren stands out as a refreshing and endearing personality whose music speaks to you on an intimate, personal level.

The pop sensation broke through the public consciousness in 2014 after placing second at the first season of The Voice Kids Philippines. The then 13-year-old contestant was an instant favorite during the blind audition, and became a showstopping force from one round to another. During the same year, Darren joined ABS-CBN’s talent management outfit, Star Magic, and was immediately signed by MCA Music Inc., the Philippine regional branch of the multinational Universal Music Group.

In December 2014, the Pinoy teen star released his first studio self-titled album, which debuted at No. 1 on Apple's iTunes and Astro charts. The award-winning record was certified Double Platinum by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI), and produced the chart-topping singles “Stuck,” “In Love Ako Sa’yo” and the Jessie J cover “Domino.”

In May 2015, the Filipino recording star staged his first solo concert at the MOA Arena, setting a record for the youngest artist to headline his very own show at the prestigious venue. The following year saw Darren releasing his sophomore album, Be With Me under MCA Music Inc., which featured two of his very own compositions for the first time. The platinum-certified album has yielded three hit singles namely “7 Minutes,” "Starlight," and "Parachute.” All three tracks debuted at the top spot of the iTunes Philippines chart on the day of its release.

Darren went on to land several important music gigs here and abroad, and eventually made a huge comeback in 2017 when he released “Dying Inside To Hold You,” which serves as the official soundtrack of the hit movie, All For You, starring Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsey. The remake of the ‘90s hit eventually became one of the biggest hits of 2017, amassing more than a hundred million streams and views on Spotify and YouTube, combined.

His winning streak continued in 2019 when co-headlined a sold-out concert with Jonalyn Viray and Lani Misalucha in Cebu, Davao, and Manila. Darren appeared in notable international engagements, first as the Filipino guest performer in the grand finals of Singer 2019 in China, and another one as part of the eleven Asian singers invited to perform the theme song for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit titled "Side by Side.” A rendition of the historic Disney duet, ‘A Whole New World’ was also performed by Darren together with Filipina pop star Morissette Amon last May 2019, now at 10.5 million streams on Spotify and 10 million views on YouTube.

The following year, Darren released his Christmas single, "Believe in Christmas", under MCA Music Inc. As expected, the song debuted at the top spot of the iTunes Philippines chart two hours after it was made available on the said digital platform. Its official music video has racked up more than a hundred thousand views within days.

Aside from releasing commercially successful albums and smash singles, Darren has bagged more than 70 recognitions on different award-giving bodies in the field of music and entertainment, most prominent among the bunch were Awit Awards, Aliw Awards, MYX Music Awards, Wish Music Awards, MPC Star Awards for Music, Star Cinema Awards, MOR Music Awards, and many more. This year alone, he bagged several recognitions, which include Village Pipol Choice Awards’ Performer of the Year, Wishclusive Ballad Performance of the Year for “Sasagipin Kita,” Silver Exclusive Elite Circle and Push Cover of the Year for “A Whole New World” with Morisette Amon. He has performed as an opening act for international artists like Selena Gomez, Jessie J. and Alex Aiono, and later ventured into acting where he played the role of Yohan, Kathryn Bernardo’s younger brother in the romantic drama film, The Hows Of Us. The Kathniel-starrer went on to become the second highest-grossing Filipino movie of all time, earning more than 800 million in the box office.

As the first celebrity youth appointed by United Nations Development Programme, Darren has proven himself to be a reliable global ambassador who has brought a creative and inspiring perspective to the social and environmental issues that the entire world is facing today. In his capacity as the UNDP Philippines Youth Advocate, he was part of the #Mission1Point5 climate action global campaign, and was invited as a keynote speaker for the International Youth Day Youth Forum 2020 with the theme "Building a Better Normal with the Youth.” He celebrated his 19th birthday with an online charity concert entitled, D Birthday Concert from Home and raised P838,206.69 for ABS-CBN’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig program.

Follow Darren to get the latest updates:

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Follow MCA Music for more updates:

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Johnoy Danao, Ebe Dancel, and Bullet Dumas to co-headline ‘ALPAS’ digital concert

Get ready for a night of soaring anthems and classic sing-alongs as kumu live and GNN hold a virtual concert featuring some of the finest Filipino singer-songwriters of all time.


Dubbed ALPAS, the digital show not only aims to bring live performances for the streaming public, but also promises music fans to experience a semblance of ‘concert’ normalcy in an intimate, stripped-down setting.


Renowned alternative/pop-rock/folk icons Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Ebe Dancel, Johnoy Danao and Bullet Dumas mark their first time to co-headline a show together, performing as both solo artists and collaborators. The six music acts are also set to perform as a group in a special medley number arranged and produced by award-winning musical director, Ronaldo Tomas.


With new security and health protocols in place, the virtual showcase will be shot at the outdoor area of Conspiracy Garden Café, an iconic music venue that is home to several music greats and independent bands, and in Madrid, Spain where Kitchie Nadal is currently based.


As expected, Nadal is excited to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration, and has all the great words to say about the upcoming online show. “I’m excited to work with the artists that I admire in the music industry. It’s an opportunity that I wouldn’t want to miss.” Barbie Almalbis explains that this is as close to playing for a live audience, and that performing in Conspiracy again makes her feel nostalgic. “I’m more than happy to share the stage with the artists that I look up to, and hopefully, the energy and enthusiasm would resonate with the music fans once they see it on the virtual screen. It’s something that we’ve worked hard for.”


Aia, Barbie and Kitchie (ABK) have staged a sold-out, collaborative concerts at the Music Museum in 2016 and 2017, and held a benefit online show in 2020 to raise funds for the employees of indie music venues in Metro Manila. Ebe, Johnoy, and Bullet (3D) on the other hand, have performed as 3D, and went on to headline three, sold-out concerts: twice at the Music Museum in 2015 and 2016, and at the Kia Theatre in 2018. These concerts were organized and produced by GNN.


Bullet Dumas admits that he missed performing, and that ALPAS came at the right time when everyone needs a source of entertainment to keep them going while public life is on lockdown. “I haven't performed in an actual show since early pandemic,” the young music virtuoso shares in a statement. “People in the live events industry are barely surviving, so this opportunity from KUMU and GNN means a lot to me. And I know how a simple show can move people especially in this crazy era of our lives.”


Johnoy Danao admits that this is the very first time since 2020 that 3D will be reunited together, and he wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. He’s also looking forward to working with Aia, Barbie and Kitchie on this special project. “It’ll be the first time that all of us are performing together, so I think that’s something to look forward to.”


When asked about what makes ALPAS worth watching despite the lack of an actual “live” audience, Aia De Leon takes pride in what the virtual concert stands for especially in the time of pandemic. “ALPAS is your connection to something real. When the songs hit home, this is your connection to the memory as well as the future promise of the live gig experience.”


Ebe Dancel echoes Aia’s sentiments, stressing the importance of music in forging a sense of community amidst the most challenging of times. “People, in my opinion, will always need music. As much as we miss the live audience, this will have to do for now. Someday, somehow, we will all see each other again.”


ALPAS: A Digital Concert is set to premiere on June 5, 2021 from 6pm onwards. Tickets to ALPAS are now available for purchase via kumu, with a price of P499 for general admission. For details on how to buy tickets, go to this site:


Here the latest news on the artists with this virtual press conference


Part 1




Part 2


Part 3


Part 4



Alt-pop hitmaker Zack Tabudlo drops anthemic new single “Hindi Ko Kaya”

After a string of No. 1 hits, Filipino artist Zack Tabudlo returns with another crossover anthem that documents the great lengths one must go through in order to save a relationship. Released under Island Records Philippines and MCA Music, Inc., “Hindi Ko Kaya” is a song about letting go of pride and coming to terms with moving on from a failed romance.

Zack Tabudlo admits that he wrote the track after a breakup with a former flame. “Hindi Ko Kaya is about the realization of how much you miss love—the intimacy, the sacrifices, and the memories that you’ve shared together as a couple,” the acclaimed hitmaker explains. “These thoughts came rushing in unexpectedly, but then you realize that you can't live without the person anymore. It’s too late to bring everything back.”

Listen here:

Showcasing Tabudlo’s range as an all-around musician, “Hindi Ko Kaya” has a sturdy grasp for punchy hooks and arena-ready infectiousness, bringing to mind the nostalgic heydays of 2000s alt-rock boom with the polished appeal of a contemporary pop record. The Binibini singer-songwriter/producer reveals, “In terms of production, I really went with Orange and Lemons/Eheads type of vibe. The guitar rhythms, layers and drums are the main highlights of the song, giving off a laid-back feel that’s easy to sing along with.”

What makes “Hindi Ko Kaya” a standout is its insistence of power up the chorus with a line that according to Tabudlo, “will get stuck in your head despite being so simple. It has that recall effect.” When he sings, "Wag ka nang umalis, Ayokong mawala ka baby please,” he effectively conveys the feeling of regret and longing, bearing the hallmarks of a person willing to leave the past behind for a second chance.

Tabudlo is currently working on an upcoming album to be released soon. According to the young multi-hyphenate, he’s in the process of recording new songs that will be part of something really special. “That’s all I have to say for now. I’m excited for people to see what we’ve been working on for the past few months.”

Listen to Zack Tabudlo’s “Hindi Ko Kaya,” released via Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.

About Zack Tabudlo

Zack Tabudlo is an alt-pop RnB artist from Manila, Philippines. He hit the ground running when he began his music career, becoming a finalist for reality talent show Talentadong Pinoy at the age of 10. He was a contestant for The Voice Kids season 1.

When it comes to music production, Zack has certainly earned his stripes. With the help of Jonathan Ong and Chris Anthony Vinzons of Sonic State Studio, Zack continued to hone his techniques and sensibilities, and has produced for artists such as Sharlene San Pedro and Darren Espanto. He was also mentored by Cleng Saturno, and was given tips and tricks by celebrated composer Vehnee Saturno.

Among his influences are contemporary pop chart-toppers Charlie Puth, Harry Styles, and Island Records label mate Shawn Mendes. But Zack approaches the genre of pop with his own distinct approach. His artistry can be characterized as a tasteful blend of R&B, soft rock, funk and vocally driven pop.

With a slew of catchy singles under his belt, all leading up to what’s looking to be a promising full-length in the future, the young musician is gaining momentum. His hustle may have been riding below the radar, but one can expect 2021 to be Zack’s year. To date, Zack’s latest single ‘Binibini’ has topped both the Spotify and YouTube trending charts for more than a month, and also breaking through Spotify Global Viral, several Spotify viral charts in Asia-Pacific countries, and also including Canada and New Zealand - making Binibini one of the biggest songs of 2021 so far. His other track ‘Nangangamba,’ which was released in 2020, also peaked at No.1 on both Spotify Global Viral 50 and Philippines Viral 50.

Follow Zack Tabudlo:

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PhilPop 2021 adapts to the new normal with digital songwriting bootcamp

returns this year with a digital bootcamp that puts a spotlight on up-and-coming songwriters and composers in the Philippines.

Now ready to implement a more inclusive but intensive approach to mentorship and training, the country’s premier songwriting institution will be holding a 14-week program for aspiring participants to learn and further hone their skills in the field of songwriting, marketing and branding, recording and arrangement, intellectual property rights, music appreciation, and more.

Dubbed “PhilPop 2021 DigiCamp: Music Breaking Borders,” the songwriting mentorship campaign will push through in a virtual setting to adapt to the new normal and offer a positive learning experience for attendees even at the comforts of their home.

With the challenges of mounting a bootcamp in the time of pandemic, PhilPop remains committed in being at the forefront of empowering the future generation of recording stars and industry professionals, and ensure that these dreams and aspirations are not halted even by unfavorable circumstances. “We decided to carry on with the camp because we feel, more than ever, now is the perfect time to reach out to a lot of songwriters who are constrained at home due to the pandemic, PhilPop Executive Director Dinah Remolacio said in a statement. “Artists are becoming more productive and creative at home, and we believe that the digital sphere will enable PhilPop to reach these special group of people who want to further educate themselves and who want to be mentored in pursuing their dreams.”

PhilPop Program and Marketing Manager Gab Cabangon explains that apart from the technical requirements such as preparing and updating the website for the DigiCamp, PhilPop is also collaborating with some of the coaches and partners in creating a music curriculum and program suited to a virtual environment. “This includes developing pre-recorded lectures, brainstorming exercises that can be done online, and identifying the ideal session format for each topic. Teaching and mentoring online requires a shift in how we approach the camp this year.”

This year’s coaches, mentors, speakers, and consultants include some of the biggest names in the music industry such as Ryan Cayabyab, Noel Cabangon, Thyro Alfaro, Marlon Barnuevo, Trina Belamide, Jungee Marcelo, Ben&Ben’s Paolo and Miguel Guico, and more.

Apart from the transition from a physical camp to a digital camp, Gab Cabangon takes pride of PhilPop’s more expansive programming that were not included in the previous iteration of the songwriting workshop. He shares, “The DigiCamp this year will also include benefits such as music production and music release opportunities for fellows who participate in this program. Lastly, there’s going to be a lot more concrete outputs that will be expected from the songwriters who will apply for this program.”

For those who want to be part of this year’s PhilPop 2021 DigiCamp: Music Breaking Borders, log on to PhilPop’s official site to register. Application period starts from May 7 to June 25, 2021.

The digital songwriting bootcamp application  is open to all Filipinos 16 years old and above before June 9, 2021. Applicant must have a Smart mobile number for log-in purposes and special announcements. Basic music and songwriting knowledge is a must.

Those who are interested to join should be a Filipino citizen and must have sufficient wi-fi capabilities for all online activities.

PhilPop 2021 DigiCamp: Music Breaking Borders is an initiative of the PhilPop Music Foundation, chaired by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan. This year's virtual event is co-presented by MAYNILAD, SMART, MULTISYS, TUNECORE and BELIEVE.


Two puppies star in the rom-com music video of Sponge Cola’s “Labis-labis”

Cola’s “Labis-labis”—out now on YouTube. Showcasing unadulterated romance from the perspective of pets, the visual narrative steps into the world of meet-cute and courtship between two-year-old poodle, Alex and six-year-old mixed breed aspin, Jamie.

According to guitarist Armo Armovit, the romantic comedy-inspired story pays tribute to the unconditional loyalty and friendship that their pets have given them through the years. “We all have pets and love them very dearly, and this is our way of saying thanks.” Vocalist and guitarist Yael Yuzon shares the same sentiment, honoring the dogs that have been with them through thick and thin. “My dogs have been taking care of me. It makes sense to pay tribute to Mini Me and Finny Finn Finn.”

The music video of “Labis-labis” is directed by Robin Estargo, whose great passion for storytelling not only exceeded expectations, but also handled the material well with the right balance of effervescent wit and heartwarming appeal. “It was a treat (pun intended) working with Robin and the entire KeepFilming Inc. crew,” said drummer Tedmark Cruz. “Their creativity, passion, and professionalism were evident in all the pre-prod meetings over Zoom, up until the post prod finishing touches.”

Yuzon echoes Cruz’s statement, adding how giddy and excited Robin and the KeepFilming team were, during the storyboard discussion. “It's always nice to work with people who are passionate about their work. The belief in the love story between the two dogs was intense from the very start, and it was contagious and inspiring.”

Having experienced shooting several video projects involving dogs, Estargo and his production team know how challenging it is to pull off a compelling narrative that features pets as main casts. “Working with one dog can be quite draining, so what more two? It's like working with toddlers! We have to adjust to their moods all the time and treat them with utmost patience.”

Despite the difficulty during the filmmaking process, the team was lucky to cast two dogs that specifically met the criteria they were looking for: “Number one most definitely is that they have to be trained dogs that can do a few or even more tricks,” Estargo shares. “Second, they have to be smaller in size so they'd be easier to handle on set. And third, the dogs should be familiar with each other offhand - and much better if they have the same trainer or owner, so we won't have a problem on set as these dogs work with each other. We were looking for one aspin and one with a certain breed.”

Aldo Vidal, a 63-year-old dog trainer for 26 years, submitted an audition video for his two dogs through his daughter, and the rest as they say, is history. “We definitely made the right decision in casting their dogs because they are not just a joy to work with and Sir Aldo, as their owner, has also been so accommodating and giving during the shoot,” Estargo tells in a statement. “He worked hard to make sure we got the takes we wanted and exuded that positive and endearing dad vibes that we all loved.”

The music video of “Labis-labis” is out now on YouTube via Sony Music Philippines.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Iconic Filipino singer-songwriters to take the virtual stage for ‘ALPAS’ concert

Acclaimed and award-winning solo artists Ebe Dancel, Johnoy Danao, Bullet Dumas, Barbie Almalbis, Aia de Leon, and Kitchie Nadal are coming together for a virtual concert that offers an exciting music experience at the comforts of every music fan’s home.

Literally defined as “breaking free,” ALPAS is a digital show produced by kumu, an online community platform for livestreamers, and GNN Entertainment, a Manila-based music events and PR agency. The event is a flagship effort between the two producers to keep the live music scene alive while public life is on lockdown. 

With new security and health protocols in place, the virtual showcase will be shot in advance somewhere in a ‘familiar’ music venue that serves as second home to a lot of progressive-leaning acts and independent bands, and in Spain, where one of its artists, Kitchie Nadal is currently based. Expect the iconic singer-songwriters to perform their biggest hits and rarities in a stripped-down format, and collaborate for a special ‘medley’ number arranged by renowned musical director, Ronaldo Tomas.

“Music feels more essential than usual in the time of pandemic,” kumu Live Events Manager Lorraine Alelis shares in a statement. “It’s quite challenging to find a sustainable workaround to help artists connect with their fans and implement welcoming developments in the virtual concert space. ALPAS is our way to support the live music scene as we transition into the new normal. Thanks to GNN, we’re given an opportunity to push boundaries, build a system around it, and help more people in the concert industry who have lost jobs.”

ALPAS marks the first time that the six top-notch performers will be equally headlining a show after having performed as solo acts or part of a collective. Through the years, the singer-songwriter trio (Ebe Dancel, Johnoy Danao and Bullet Dumas) have staged three-peat sold-out concerts at the Music Museum (2x) and Kia Theatre (1x) in 2015, 2016 and 2018 respectively, while the queens of alternative rock (Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis and Kitchie Nadal) have performed as a group in two sold-out concerts at the Music Museum in 2016 and 2017, and a benefit virtual concert in 2020 to raise funds for the employees of indie music venues in Metro Manila. All these shows were organized and produced by GNN Entertainment.

The online show is slated to premiere on June 5, 2021 from 6pm onwards. Tickets for ALPAS are now available for purchase via kumu, with a price of P499 for general admission. For details on how to buy tickets, go to this site:

Here the latest news on the artists with this virtual press conference


Part 1




Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

SB19 honors their parents through rousing ballad “MAPA”


Fresh from scoring a 2021 Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top Social Artist along with some of the world’s most celebrated pop acts, SB19 continues to push the envelope with the release of their new song “MAPA” under Sony Music.

In a complete 180-degree turn from the colossal banger that introduced the upcoming album era, “MAPA” takes the form of a rousing ballad that captures SB19 at their most emotionally expressive element. It’s hellbent on returning home with a heartwarming tribute to every parent out there, who has brought direction to our lives every time we feel lost and in need of a north star.

The title, which is a Filipino term that translates to “map” in English, is a portmanteau of “mama” and “papa.” Combining both words, Pablo penned the track to “inspire people to be appreciative of everything that our parents did for us and to give back.”

The multi-talented member of the acclaimed pop group also explained the inspiration behind the song’s title. “It implies that our parents serve as our guidance and direction in life. We released this song to show gratitude and appreciation for helping us survive all the challenges and difficulties that we’ve encountered growing up.”

Even before the pandemic happened and during their concert tour, SB19 had lesser time going home to be with their families. This prompted the multi-awarded global sensation to honor their love for their parents through a pop song primed to endure timelessness. “Pablo first composed the melody, getting inspiration from a lullaby that his mother would sing to him when he was a child,” said SB19’s Josh. “He wanted to make a song that conveys the feeling of being taken care of by one’s parents. He proceeded to write lyrics that equate our parents as the ‘map’ that guides us to be the best versions of ourselves.”

Just in time for Mother’s Day celebration last week, the Filipino boyband started the #DearMAPA campaign to express their gratitude to their parents and encouraged A’TIN to do the same. The hashtag trended at No.1 on Twitter Philippines, and launched thousands of touching messages from their fans. SB19 also revealed the logo trailer for “MAPA” a few days before the song’s actual release.

MAPAis out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

Martin Garrix recruits U2’s Bono and The Edge for unity anthem ‘We Are The People’


Martin Garrix teams up with U2’s Bono and The Edge for the release of the official UEFA EURO 2020 song ‘We Are The People’—out now via Sony Music.


After more than a year of anticipation and having to keep this a secret, the track is now available to stream and download via all digital service providers. The song is accompanied by an official music video starring all three artists. The visuals work in synergy with the song and together make for an uplifting and inspiring story.


With the track in the making for three years, Garrix had felt from the early stages of the creative process that Bono’s vocals would make the perfect fit for ‘We Are the People’. His vision came to life when both Bono and his U2 bandmate The Edge agreed to feature on the song. The collaboration evolved further with Bono writing the lyrics and creating melodies and The Edge adding the leading guitar riffs, resulting in a perfect blend of the signature sounds of all artists. 


“Creating the music for one of the biggest sports events in the world together with Bono and The Edge has been an incredible experience,” Martin Garrix shares in a statement. “I’m very proud of what we did together and excited to finally share it with the world!”

‘We Are The People’ reminds us that a song can look at the challenges facing the world at a given time and still attempt a unified response. It is a hymn sheet from which we can all sing where ever we may come from, but especially in Europe where the competition will focus the attention of the whole world. ‘We Are The People’ hopes to reflect the positivity, hope and determination required for any team to succeed, as well as offer a sense of togetherness which fits the theme of UEFA EURO 2020: Unity. For the first time in EURO history, the tournament is being played across the continent, which will display the overriding theme of unity throughout.

Next to the official track, Garrix has also produced the official walkout and broadcast music for the tournament. Releasing on his 25th birthday, the song is a testament to his impressive march through the ranks of the music industry so far. Every UEFA EURO Championship since 1992 has had an official song with the likes of Nelly Furtado, Simply Red, and Enrique Iglesias providing the tournament’s soundtrack in the past. 


"The long wait is almost over and we are delighted to officially unveil the official song for UEFA EURO 2020 ‘We Are The People’, which features some of the world’s most celebrated artists in Martin Garrix, Bono and The Edge,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.

“Football and music have the power of bringing people together. They are vectors of passion and emotion and combining them will extend further the fan celebration of the tournament, as well as reaching out to new audiences. With the star-studded line-up we have pulled together to create the tournament’s official music, we are confident of doing just this.”

UEFA EURO 2020 is being held across the continent for the first time in the competition's history, with 11 host cities in all. Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg and Seville will all host matches this summer with the first match kicking off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 11 June 2021 with Turkey facing Italy. The final will take place at Wembley Stadium, London on 11 July 2021.

'We Are The People’ is out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Netherlands.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Ben&Ben paint breathtaking imagery of young love on new single “Upuan”


It’s official: Ben&Ben have finally released “Upuan,” the first single off their upcoming sophomore album to be released under Sony Music.

Written in 2019, in Dumaguete upon arrival at the hotel after one of their shows, their new song takes a nostalgic look on young love, and as Ben&Ben describe it, “the palpable romantic tension that arises from friendships that are formed by sitting next to each other, and the adventurous conversations that ensue.”

Lyrically, “Upuan” draws breathtaking imagery that interprets gestures in such lifelike ways, capturing a play of details with romantic earnestness. The band points out, “we incorporated a more visual style in the song, painting a picture for the listener and transporting them to that familiar place, of falling in love with someone they just met, whether that is in a classroom, by the beach, at a restaurant.”

It helps that they’re painting a picture in the listener’s head with ethereal arrangements and soaring choruses that swirl beautifully against a backdrop of naturalist setting: samples of birds singing, the swoosh of the waves, and even the conversation of the trees. There is magic in the way Ben&Ben fuse all these elements together to create a cinematic landscape punctuated by poetry and inventiveness. It’s effortlessly picturesque, while employing a level of commitment to make the audience feel like they’re part of the experience, as if tapping into something personal and is of utmost importance to their being.

In a joint statement, the nine-piece collective said that the music of “Upuan” was conceived during a random jamming session with no prior agenda as to how it would sound. “But to our surprise, that first jamming brought about the soul of how Upuan sounds now. The earthy, ethereal soundscapes, and that sense of sonic adventure came from the fact that we just moved in together, and being in a new place surrounded with summer vibes and nature elements, helped shape our expression of our new song. We feel very blessed to be close to nature in this season and it’s almost like a tribute to their beauty that we included them in the song.”

Written and produced by Ben&Ben, co-produced/mixed by Jean Paul Verona, and mastered by Leon Zervos, “Upuan” was recorded in the band’s home studio. Verona and sound engineer Sam Marquez helped in the recording process, giving the song its final touches.

The acclaimed hitmakers are also currently working on their second album. “Since the production of this song, we're continuously working on all the other songs that will complete it. We're really pushing forward in terms of experimentation and diversity of sound in the songs.”

Ben&Ben’s “Upuan” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music.