Style Weekend: SB19 on solo careers, setting boundaries, boy band image, and more

The award-winning P-pop group bares it all with Style Weekend

Best Artist Award, 2023 Asia Artist Awards.
The first Filipino and first Southeast Asian act nominated for Billboard Awards in 2021.
Youth Ambassador, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, 2021. 

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SB19's Pablo, Stell, Ken, Justin, and Josh for Style Weekend's May 17, 2024 cover (Photo from GCash)

These are some of the accolades Pinoy-pop group SB19 has received. Since their debut in 2018, the five-member group, composed of Pablo, Stell, Ken, Justin, and Josh, has already come so far and achieved accomplishments together. 

This weekend, May 18 to 19, 2024, is the finale of their “Pagtatag” concert tour, which was a hit in different countries, including Dubai and Japan. Prior to their sold-out concert at Araneta Coliseum, the Style Weekend team, together with concert co-presenter GCash, talked to SB19 about their music, solo careers, fashion, and a lot more. 

On their music and career

Style Weekend: Many of you guys are celebrating your individuality through solo music. Why is it important for artists, even those in a group, to explore new creative paths independently?

Pablo: Our respective individual journeys and experimentations hone our skills. With new experiences and learning, we have more ideas and concepts to contribute to the group. 

SW: Do you guys still surprise each other when making music? What are the things you discovered about each other when working on an album or single?

Pablo: I feel like our music as solo artists is really different from our music as a group. Our individuality stands out through our solo music.

Justin: Before, Pablo or we wrote and produced our songs. At this point, we are more open to collaboration with other artists, and it produces different kinds of music than we used to. 

SW: How would you describe the Pinoy music scene now?

Pablo: Dynamic. Different in a good way.

Ken: It evolved and the production improved a lot. 

Pablo: Buhay na buhay!

Stell: Tapos ang galing, nagkakaroon na rin ng concept 'yung mga songs, music video—ang galing, amazing.

Josh: Fast-paced. Unlike before, it took months before an artist could release a song. Now, it’s everywhere. Sunod-sunod, kaliwa’t kanan.

On fashion and beauty

SW: Fashion is one element that makes music stars big right now. How do you find the balance between your personal style and your performance looks?

Justin: As individuals, we have our styles and fashion preferences. But as a group, our stylists try to consider those, as well as our comfort. Then, they’ll find ways to merge those to have balance and looks that fit the group’s style. 

Pablo: Individually, we do our own, and you can really see the difference. There’s one who’s simply into comfortable clothing, there’s athletic, and there's also street style.

SW: You’ve also been dressed by many Filipino designers in the past. Is it important for you guys to support Filipino fashion creatives?

Josh: Of course. Lahat naman deserve ng recognition lalo na kung magaling and talagang nag-standout sila, basta magaling sila.

Justin: Siyempre po, we promote culture and arts here in the Philippines and believe that fashion is part of culture and the arts.

SW: Looking back to when you started in 2018, do you have a favorite SB19 fashion era?

Stell: I’m not sure if everyone will agree, but for me, the best wardrobe era is the “Gento” music trailer. That was the first time we wore costumes as a wardrobe. [And] “Pagtatag” era.  

Pablo: For me, it’s the “I Want You.” 

SW: Now, let’s talk about beauty and aesthetics. How did stardom change your perception of beauty?

Stell: Before, there was this certain standard people used to follow. Kailangan maputi ka, kailangan sobrang branded lahat ng gamit mo, kailangan mukha kang mayaman. But now, things are changing. Ngayon na-appreciate na lahat which is a good thing. 'Yung mga with dark skin tone, 'yung mga moreno or morena, nabibigyan na sila ng highlight, which is dapat talaga kasi iyon yung original na sinasabi nilang Pinoy. 

Hindi naman namin sinasabing bad 'yung mga taong gustong pumuti kasi kanya-kanyang gusto ‘yan sa buhay. But what’s good now is that everyone is acceptable. Wala nang mali sa mata ng tao kasi if you have the means for it, go for it. Kung gusto magpa-change ng nose, wala naman problem doon. Kung gusto magpapayat, magpabawas ng taba, walang problem doon as long as you feel confident with yourself and feeling mo, mas doon mapapakita 'yung best version of yourself. We are very supportive of that and there’s nothing wrong with it.

Ken: Also it boosts your confidence.

StellOo, 'yun naman mahalaga eh. At the end of the day, it’s you that will be you, and you are what you eat (haha).

Ken: And as an artist, I also think it’s an investment para sa sarili mo rin 'di ba?

SW: Can you share your skincare routine with us?

Stell: Double cleansing is important to me, especially for us who wear makeup during shoots. So, I do double cleansing to ensure my skin is clean before applying my nighttime skincare regimen. 

Josh: It’s not always about the skincare routine, daily habits are also important. Get enough sleep and get enough water. That’s the real skincare routine for me. I'm not into buying expensive skincare products, pero na-realize ko 'yung pinaka-importante talaga 'yung habits mo during the day, hindi lang 'yung during the night.

On A’TIN and fandom

SW: What do you love about A’TIN?

Josh: Everything! Siyempre 'yung never-ending support nila sa amin na. Hinndi naman kami 'yung pinakamagaling sa lahat pero, alam mo 'yun, 'yung talagang alam nila, tanggap nila kung sino kami. Alam nila na malaki 'yung na-improve namin. Alam nila na marami pa rin kaming magagawa together. Siguro 'yung growing together with A’TIN, 'yun 'yung pinakamasayang part.

Stell: Their tremendous support knowing that we are independent, self-managed, and we do everything from scratch. Wala ibang susuporta sa amin kung hindi sila lang as fans talaga. We acknowledged their dedication—watching music videos and streaming on music platforms. Kaya kung wala sila, walang mararating 'yung ginagawa namin.

SW: Was there any incident you’d been uncomfortable with the fandom? 

Stell: Oo, meron. Especially, pagka na-iinvade 'yung privacy namin. Kasi alam nila na when we have time to interact with them, talagang mina-maximize namin 'yun to talk with them, take pictures, mag-sign. But kapag nandito na sa place of work, medyo iba na 'yung feeling kasi whole day nagtatrabaho, pagod and then pagbaba kahit gustuhin namin na makipag-interact, sobrang pagod na talaga. Sana kung paano namin nire-respect 'yung A’TIN, sana gano’n din 'yung respect na babalik din.

Ken: At saka naiintindihan naman po namin 'yung feeling na gusto nila kaming makita, but we hope that they’ll understand that we also need privacy.

Stell: Okay lang naman 'yung makita accidentally pero 'yung aabangan, iyon 'yung ‘di na okay.

Josh: Pero ang maganda naman sa kanila, nasasabihan naman sila, and they listen.

While the concert tickets for the concert are already sold out, no A’TIN will be left behind as there will be an online livestream show for team bahay. E-tickets are available iwanttfc website. 

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