P-pop is undeniably on the rise. With acts like BINI, SB19, and MNL48 starting to steer the conversation on local music and having enough collective star power to fuel an entire P-pop convention, it’s increasingly becoming clear that the once-little known genre is the new scene to watch out for.
The K-pop industry is taking note, too.
ABS-CBN is partnering with Korean entertainment groups MLD Entertainment and KAMP Global to start a new boy group, which will be formed through an idol survival show called “Dream Maker.”
MLD Entertainment is the company that produced Momoland and Lapillus, which has Filipina and former Star Magic actress Chantal Videla as one of its members. Its CEO Lee Hyung-jin explains the partnership, saying that he sees the future in P-pop. “[I’ve] seen so much talent on the P-pop side, girls and boys who love to sing and dance. As K-pop has become a global phenomenon, I believe that P-pop is the next,” he said in Korean.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN TV production head and Star Magic head Laurenti Dyogi stresses that this is about getting Filipino talent onto the main stage. “We’re really serious about getting into the international arena. We’re looking at all ways and means to get the Filipino artist, the Filipino talent to be recognized globally. We’re very happy to have partners who recognize that Filipinos are very talented and that we can compete globally. This is one step. With our two new partners, it will be easier, faster, better for us to get to the global arena in the shortest possible time.”
“Global” is a key point for the new group. As KAMP Global CEO Tim Kim notes, “We are looking for a P-pop group, but we’re looking for a global group. A global mindset and being a global citizen is another factor that we’re looking for.”
While I have some Thoughts™️ on that (namely, that I’ve never agreed with looking towards the global market instead of focusing on the Filipino audience, or pointing out global standards as the barometer for success), these companies taking interest in local talent does spell well for the industry, and is a good indication that the future is here.
About how they’re going to train the new group, Kim says, “We’re looking to combine the K-pop training system with P-pop. As most people know, in K-pop, we spend a lot of time training on top of pure talent. Diligence is probably the first thing we’re looking for. Second is pure talent and X-factor. We’re looking for the biggest stars, so the X-factor and talent in both vocal and performance like choreography [are] definitely something we’re looking for.”
Auditions are set from Sept. 10 to 30 throughout the Philippines, open to boys ages 13 to 22 who can sing, dance, or rap. It’ll be through Star Hunt, the same Star Magic sub-unit that produced BINI and BGYO (the boy group literally used to be called the SHA Boys, with SHA standing for Star Hunt Academy). “Dream Maker” itself will start with 77 contestants, eventually getting whittled down to seven official members, according to daily broadsheet Korea JoongAng Daily.
The group will have both Korean and Filipino mentors (here’s hoping we get Mentor Nadine again after her “Drag Race” appearance). The boys will be debuting in the Philippines, but Dyogi notes that they will also be “launched internationally, specifically to debut in Korea.”
If you’re interested in auditioning (go, little rockstar), here are important dates and venues:
Sept. 10: Market Market, Taguig City
Sept. 11: Fairview Terraces, Quezon City
Sept. 18: Ayala Center Cebu / The District, Imus, Cavite
Sept. 24: Centrio Mall, Cagayan de Oro / Ayala Malls South Park, Muntinlupa City
Sept. 25: Abreeza Mall, Davao City / Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Quezon City