AUDIO JUNKIE: Pinoy Rap, Ex-One Direction, K-Pop and Rock

Published January 25, 2021, 7:10 AM

by Punch Liwanag

We’ve got a mixed bag for Audiojunkies this week.

Saccharine pop meets uplifting 60’s sentiments on Harry Styles latest single entitled “Treat People With Kindness” (or “TPWK”). Of the original One Direction, Styles and Zayn (Malik) are the ones who’s keeping a high profile. Styles in particular scored major points with his most recent album (2019’s “Fine Line”). One, for the clean break from the boyband image he cultivated with 1D and second, for successfully transitioning his style and sound into what Rolling Stone magazine described as “intimately emotional Seventies soft-rock vibe.” His vocal has been reminiscent of Peter Gabriel on past singles, and “TPWK” included. Nevertheless, Styles does right on this bouncy Motown-tinged new track.

And speaking of Zayn, the former 1D star recently released a new single of his own entitled “Vibez.” Zayn is still deep into his R&B and soul bent as evidenced by this dreamy, mid-tempo number wherein he approximates the sounds of the likes of Trey Songz and Usher. That’s is to say that he sounds as good. This is the first single from his just released third album entitled “Nobody Is Listening.” And just to drive those American R&B artist references even further, Zayn channels the fine R&B balladeer styles of John Legend and Ne-Yo on the highly listenable “Connexion.”  

‘Kahit Masakit’ is an old-school rap and hook chorus track from local rap scene vets Dello and Curse One. Now, Dello’s done paid his dues by going through the local rap music mill. From Fliptop, to releasing independent singles to keeping relevant by dropping a steady stream of singles. And as far as I can remember, Curse One has been at it just as long in putting hooks on every collab that he’s done. “Kahit Masakit” is by no means a genre-defining release from these two, but just hearing them again gives hope that there is life in local rap.

New K-Pop group T1419, a 9-member boyband is the latest hot ticket to come from K-pop capital. Not much is yet known about the group except for the members: Noa, Sian, Kevin, Gunwoo, Leo, On, Zero, Kairi and Kio. This single is specifically rooted in K-pop sonic territory which is Hiphop mixed with EDM. Of course, how else would T1419 be able to showcase their specialty but with some slick choreography. Now I’m no Koreaboo, far from it, but I do know sound. And “Asurabalbalta” –stylized as such, which means ‘everything comes true’–is a banging track. From the slithery ‘Tumbi’ intro riff (a Punjabi instrument similar to that used on “Get Your Freak On”) that builds up and into the thunderous drop, this track is ready. And I’m betting T1419 are thumping good dancers to match.

‘Waiting On A War’ is the latest single from Foo Fighters’ upcoming new album “Medicine At Midnight.” Just before the full-on rock that is sure to come when the actual album arrives, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Nate Mendell, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee changes it up with acoustic guitars and synth strings (courtesy possibly of Rami Jaffee and producer Greg Kurstin) and sees Grohl contemplating on the current tensions in America. This single follows the thumping “No Son Of Mine” track which was released just last New Year’s day 2021.