Over a year ago, an-all male Filipino boy group surprised us all (the Lea Salonga included) with their debut song ‘kbye’ that features not only one, but seven local languages – Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya, offering a proudly and uniquely Filipino experience to the market. Originally introduced as a nine-member group, ALAMAT is composed of diverse members Taneo, Mo, Jao, R-Ji, Tomas, and Alas, originating from various regions of the Philippines.
Besides releasing music to entertain, ALAMAT aims to boost national pride by normalizing the use of regional languages in mainstream music. This is true and evident to their past releases, ‘kasmala’ and ‘ABKD’ to name a few. Fast forward to present time, ALAMAT has introduced their first EP ‘Pasulong,’ dropped Friday, October 28, which fuses traditional Filipino sound and contemporary music in one mini album.
‘Pasulong’ consists of six tracks, two of which were pre-released earlier. For the album’s title track ‘Aswang,’ the group worked with Swedish music company The Kennel, who also happened to be their collaborators for their previous singles ‘kasmala’ and ‘ABKD.’ Its music video, released today, features the members as ghost hunters and Fatima of rookie girl group LITZ as the titular character.
The next track entitled ‘Maharani’ was composed and produced by singer-songwriter Thyro Alfaro. It is a mix of 90s R&B and indigenous Filipino music. In a taped interview played during the album showcase aired on Thursday, October 27, Alfaro revealed that the song was inspired by traditional Philippine folk dance Singkil.
According to Alfaro, he first heard ALAMAT when he saw their music video for ‘kbye’ on YouTube. “They were purely Filipino, from their wardrobe to their whole concept, it caught my attention.” Eventually, he found out they are managed by Viva.
“What makes them unique is their concept of combining traditional or indigenous sound with modern flavor,” he added.
For the songs ‘Gayuma’ and ‘Hala,’ the members of ALAMAT helped in writing their lyrics. ‘Gayuma’ is a seductive dance track arranged and mixed by Curseboxx while ‘Hala’ combines funk-pop with the boomy sound of big Visayan street festivals. It also modernizes the melody of ‘Dayang Dayang,’ a traditional piece of folk dance music from Mindanao.
Completing the songs in the EP are ‘Say U Love Me’ and ‘ILY ILY’ featuring Lyca Gairanod. The physical album is now available for pre-order for Php 1,500, which includes a CD, a photobook, photocards, and a folded poster. (Pre-order here)
Stream ALAMAT’s first mini album ‘Pasulong’ in all digital platforms.