This Pinoy pop boyband is the octet sing-and-dance group that includes Taneo, Mo, Jao, Tomas, R-Ji, Valfer, Gami, and Alas. The group made a splash early this year with the release of their electrifying debut single “kbye” and its follow up, the equally tasteful “kasmala.” Not only did ALAMAT score on these pair of well-received singles, the group also garnered praise for its sharp sense of style.
With visual and stylistic cues from rootsy Pinoy influences that impressed fashion forward critics. The group has also taken Pinoy pop up a level by not just imitating, but actively forging a style that’s distinctly theirs. Not only that, ALAMAT has set itself apart by embracing the multi-lingual nature of the land and has incorporated it willfully into its music and style DNA.
ALAMAT’s new single “porque” is on-brand with the group’s approach.
The new single is a hit from the mid-aughts by Zamboanga-based alt-pop band Maldita. The lyrics mixes Chavacano and Tagalog and its melody is totally infectious. While ALAMAT’s take is mellower. The song does give ALAMAT its first midtempo “ballad” if you will, after their two previous dance showcase-ready singles.
ALAMAT’s “porgue”, according to Valfer, is “a concept by the management.” The song is (published by) Viva and they are thinking along the lines of, this song fits ALAMAT, because it’s Chavacano (Zamboanga dialect) because they know our brand is into promoting the Pinoy languages.” He adds, “that and, of course, ‘porque’ is such a big hit. We’re honored that they’ve chosen us to revive this song.”
While no one in ALAMAT knows how to speak in Chavacano (a local dialect that mixes Spanish and Visayan), the group took lengths to learn it, Tomas shared, saying “we had to learn the proper pronunciation.”
As for the division of the singing parts, the group’s philosophy of path of the least resistance was applied. “The parts were set according to who will be able to give justice to those lines,” said Jao. “(I think) we did our best, and it went really great equally. I love how it turned out.
ALAMAT thinks that their recording experience this year is invaluable. Mo shared that “everytime we record, we can see improvements, especially with the voice. And I think we’ve improved dramatically compared to when we first started and while we were still training. So far, I think I’m falling in love with my co-members’ voices especially Alas.”
Alas expounded by saying that, “when we record, it’s usually the whole day. During those times, we help each other out. It’s the most enjoyable time in ALAMAT, when we’re recording.”
With a new single out and the previous experiences in the bag, ALAMAT was asked how they would rate their year so far. To this Valfer’s modest reply is, “I can’t say it’s a perfect 10 because we are all still learning. But I can say that what is best for our group, is best for the individual. As artists, we still have a lot to prove to our followers and listeners.”
“This year’s highlight is of course when we made our debut,” inferred Mo. “We were able to show the whole country, actually, the world that we have what it takes to raise our style of (multilingual pop and hip hop-dance) music into the mainstream.”
“Expect a lot of things from us for the upcoming year,” said Gami. “we’ll try new flavors and genres. And covers too. We hope to perform in different places. We hope that this pandemic finally ends. We hope to do a concert. Because that is what we’re really looking forward to. To be able to perform in front of audiences.”