What a difference a year makes. If anyting, 2022 will go down in ALAMAT history as one of their most memorable. After all, it was during this time that the group – Alas, Tomas, R-Ji, Taneo, Mo, and Jao – were able to notch some of their personal best collectively as Alamat.
There were the several nods as Best P-pop Group with nominations at the 2022 Awit Awards and several pop culture media outlets. There’s The Guardian UK feature that lauded ALAMAT for championing Pinoy roots and culture through their music. And of course, there’s the steady flow of fan-approved music.
Now here’s ALAMAT doubling down on the music as they release their first ever album titled “Pasulong”.
As one of the hottest Pinoy pop boybands in the scene right now, ALAMAT stands out for its use of iconic Filipino symbolisms and themes as its stylistic take-off point. Similarly, their modern pop sound is lyrically peppered with rootsy Pinoy motifs.
All that and more can be gleaned off their much-awaited EP album, “Pasulong”.
For the EP’s carrier single, ALAMAT naturally draws inspiration from local lore as they do on the R&B-flavored dance track “Aswang”. The track is produced by Swedish music producers but is given a distinct Pinoy flavor through its theme and lyrics. Ninuno Media head and director Jason Paul Laxamana wrote the Tagalog lyrics for “Aswang”.
Then there’s the funky sounding dance-club track “Gayuma” which ups the party atmosphere of “Pasulong” as ALAMAT sonically flesh out this Curseboxxx-aranged track.
Also giving “Pasulong” with more music heft is ace songwriter Thyro Alfaro who writes and produces the equal parts R&B-inflected bop and love song track titled “Maharani”.
A highlight on this 6-track EP is the festive and rousing new original titled “Hala”. Funky and surging, this song weaves traditional folk melodies and march cadences with electrifying modern dance pop. This original is a collaborative effort between Alas, Jao, Taneo R-Ji, Mo, Tomas and Jason Paul Laxamana.
Completing the EP are previously released singles “ILY ILY” featuring Lyca Gairanod and the NEXXFRIDAY produced, Jin Chan written tune “Say You Love Me.”
Nobody is more ecstatic than ALAMAT themeselves for finally seeing all their hard work come into fruition.
Tomas had this to say about finally releaseing their EP. “Sobrang fulfilling na makita yung hardwork namin slowly paying off”, adding that all of of it, “lahat ng luha at pagod” to get where they are, are all worth it.
“Our worries have turned into excitement after completing our first EP”, Tomas adds. “Naalala ko pa dati yung checklist ni Direk Jason that we needed to accomplish, sabi ko sa isip ko, kaya ba itong matapos sa ganito kaikli na time? Natapos din at kaya naman pala basta may tiwala at nagtutulungan kaming ALAMAT and with the support of our Magiliws”.
“Every song is memorable. But I can say that the actual recording is something I won’t forget. We were given freedom to add to our harmonies and napaglaruan namin yung mga ideas especially on “Maharani” which we added a lot of harmonies” Tomas noted.
To which Taneo agrees. “I woudl say ‘Maharani’ resonates with me the most since it’s a song that greatly represents what our sound is like, whcih is a fusion of the traditional Filipino and the modern. It’s a unique sound and a song that I personally enjoy”.
For Jao, a highpoint in their creative journey in “Pasulong” was when “me and Taneo were given an opportunity to choreograph one of the songs (Gayuma) which was written by Mo, Taneo, and Alas. That and being involved in songwriting for some of the songs is a fun experience. We are also happy to be excuting ideas with our creative director, Jason Paul Laxamana and being involved overall with the artistry in Alamat.”
For inspiration, R-Ji cited “Our families even though we’re away from them. Everything that we do, we do for them to make them proud. That’s why we always give our best when it comes to our craft. Since we’re here, we’re going to push ourselves to the limit to become the best versions of ourselves. And that includes being the best performers that we can be.”
“I found brotherhood and a different kind of brotherly love in this group. Not to mention our one common denominator, love for music” states Mo. “It brought us closer, that even if we have different tastes, we have one goal – to leave a mark on people from all walks of life, when it comes to genre, style, and sound. And of course, we also aim to spread all regional languages in the mainstream. In addition, I believe that our love for music has made this group stronger because music was and still is, a big influence and importance in our lives.”
And what’s the message that ALAMAT wants to put across with “Pasulong”?
If there’s one thing, it’s that we never give up on something we believe in”. Alas said, adding that it’s not the group’s style to take things for granted. “we know success is very difficult (to achieve). You need to sacrifice everything for it, but it’s more difficult to regret when the opportunities (that come our way) are gone” he wisely opined.
“Int this EP, we are encouraging our audience to broaden their minds and appreciate the different genres and sounds we made and offer” Mo chipped in.
“We also want to inspire those who aspire to be like us the same way they inspire us,” R-Ji injects. “It’s about hard work and we want to show everyone, that you can be proud of your hometown origins. We’re proudly ‘Tatak Pinoy’ and that’s what being in ALAMAT is all about.”
ALAMAT went all celebratory with the release “Pasulong” when they launched the album at the Tektite Auditorium, yesterday October 27, 2022. The exclusive event was attended by media personalities, the entertainment press, key pop culture platforms, social media influencers, fellow VIVA artists and the lucky loyal fans who saw ALAMAT perform in its entirety, the songs from the “Pasulong” album.
“Pasulong” by ALAMAT, with its carrier single, the season appropriate “ASWANG” are now available in all streaming platforms, is released by Viva Records.
All photos are from ALAMAT “Pasulong” Album Showcase, shot by Kevin Pableo for Manila Concert Scene