ALAMAT on taking their multilingual Filipino pop music to the global stage

ALAMAT on taking their multilingual Filipino pop music to the global stage

ALAMAT are wearing their Filipino pride on their sleeves.

Embodying the Philippines in everything they do, the group is on a mission to share the beauty of their culture and showcase Filipino diversity through their music. 

Hailing from different parts of the Philippines, ALAMAT is a multilingual dance and vocal group helmed by VIVA EntertainmentComprised of Taneo, Mo, Tomas, R-Ji, Kin, Valfer, Alas, Gami, and Jao, the group instantly gained attention for their unique concept, even before their debut. 

Integrating Philippine cultural elements into their music, stage designs, and even their name, the group are setting themselves apart from "using the tropes of Western pop music and K-pop to create a distinct audiovisual brand of music that is heavily influenced by the sights and sounds of the Philippines".

"As ALAMAT, gusto po namin ipakita sa lahat ng Pilipino that we unite as one. Kahit na galing kami sa iba't ibang probinsya, sa iba't ibang kultura, kahit na iba't ibang kami pinanggalingan gusto namin ipakita sa mga Pilipino na isa kami, says R-Ji. 

"Yun goal namin as ALAMAT ay mapakita sa buoung mundo na ito yung lahi ng Pilipino."

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Taking their name from the Tagalog word 'alamat,' which translates to 'legend', the members hope to promote Philippine culture while simultaneously sharing their talent and musicality. 

Armed with a dream and passion for performing, the members all came from musical backgrounds and on their own paths towards achieving their dream before finding themselves in ALAMAT. 

For some of the members like Valfer, Tomas, Gami, and Kin, who all previously tried their luck on various talent competitions, auditioning for the P-pop group was their latest attempt at making their dreams a reality.

"Yun nag motivate sakin na mag audition sa ALAMAT is ang lahat na na-auditionan ko na hindi ako na tangap. I auditioned sa maraming competitions, even took classes but wala talaga po nangyayari. Tapos ayun, dumating yung opportunity 'ito. Hindi ko na tatanggihan pa, sobrang saya po ko talaga napunta ko dito," says Kin. 

"Actually, tinalikuran ko na to kase before na scam ako sa isang audition at napabayaan ko yung pag-aaral ko, In 2020, nakita ko yung post ng management at triny ko lang i-message at mag-send nang audition videos ko," says Valfer. "Actually, even nung nasa online training na ko, wala parin akong tiwala kase baka ma-scam naman ako pero eto na...andito na ko, hindi pala siya scam (laughs)."

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While for Alas, Jao, R-Ji, Taneo, and Mo, ending up as part of ALAMAT was a happy accident that they never expected. 

"I never really planned on joining sa mga ganito pero yung pinsan ko, he showed me the ad for the auditions and I wanted to see how far maabot ko with my talents and abilities," says Jao. 

"Hindi ko talaga na-iplano to but after seeing the concept for the group, gusto ko maging parte sa group nato. I wanted to do something of purpose, and I saw that potential in ALAMAT," says Taneo. "I never expected to be here, taking the first step into doing what I want and at the same time, promoting our culture and our country."

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In the last year, the members went through rigorous training, spending 12 hours a day attending vocal and dance lessons, and even personal development classes, all while being far from their families.

"Sobrang hirap. Iniisip ko 'para sakin ba talaga to' kase para sakin hindi naman po ko nakikita nang improvements sakin," says Mo. 

"At hindi nyo talaga maiiwasan ma-miss yung pamilya mo, lalo na kung pagod na pagod na kayo," adds Valfer. 

Alas, in particular, was presented with a different set of challenges being the last member to join the group. "Kinabahan ako nung time na 'yun kase lagi ako sinabihan nang manager namin na marami ako ko hahabulin. Tinanong ko sa sarili ko 'kaya ko ba' at pinagisipan ko talaga kung gusto ko talago to kase mahirap," says Alas.

They always say "hard work pays off" and for the ALAMAT, it really did. Despite all the struggles and hardships, the group never gave up and continued to fight for their dreams. 

On 14 February, the group officially debuted with 'kbye'. Written by the members themselves, the track came about after a spontaneous jamming session. "Nag jajamjam lang kami nun at biglang nalang nagkaroon nang chords, ng melody at flow hanggang sa naggsulat na kami ng lyrics," says Mo. 

Taking inspiration from the modern tales of love they hear about online, ALAMAT wanted to tell a story that would resonate with people all across the world. Sonically, the track is a catchy pop track that makes use of traditional Philippine instruments like the kulintang and bandurria, as well as the sounds of traditional Filipino dances like Maglalatik and Tinikling. 

'kbye' also features seven local Philippine languages – Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya. 

"Since the Philippines is very rich in culture and diverse, we wanted to embrace that by being multilingual and using different cultural elements," says Jao. 

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Since their debut, the group has garnered a large fanbase that spans across the globe. "Medyo unexpected yung response sa song namin kase yung music video at yung song...Filipino siya pero na-appreciate ng mga taga ibang bansa. Kahit ngayon palang na-appreciate na siya globally so grateful kami," says Gami. 

'kbye' serves as only the first step for ALAMAT. With big goals and bigger dreams, the group are determined to show "the uniqueness of being Filipino".

"Gusto namin i-showcase yung kultura ng Pilipino at ipakita sa mga tao na dapat sila maging proud sa pagiging Pinoy nila. Gusto namin i-show yun sa mga kanta at performances namin," says Tomas. 

"As a group, gusto po namin ipakita kung gaano kaganda ang OPM. Ang pangarap po namin ay mainspire namin ang ibang tao at sabihin sa kanila na wag sila mag-alala kung iba sila...kase kapag iba ka, yun yung ang mag-papaunique sa'yo," says Valfer. 

Watch the music video for ALAMAT's 'kbye' here.