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Listening closely to SB19

The perceptive listener should take note of the music of ‘MAPA,’ which South Border bandleader Jay Durias co-produced. Durias played the piano, which anchors the song’s emotional journey with lyrics evoking images of son and parents in a tight embrace.

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SB19 with Jay Durias. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FB.COM/JAY DURIAS

The Billboard Music Awards will be held live on 23 May in Los Angeles, (24 May at 8 a.m. Philippine time). The event’s significance to Filipinos, aside from BTS debuting its new single “Butter,” is that SB19 is nominated as Top Social Artist along with Ariana Grande, BTS, BLACKPINK and SEVENTEEN.

The Top Social Artist is a fan-voted category and BTS has been winning it since 2017. The staggering number of BTS fans worldwide, estimated at 34 million, again virtually assures the K-Pop superstar group of victory.

But the point is, the nomination of SB19 is enough reason to celebrate since it’s a Pinoy group.

Today is also a good time to discuss what the five-member SB19 has been up to — specifically the recent release of “MAPA,” the second prerelease single from its coming sophomore album Ikalawang Yugto.

‘MAPA’ music video artwork. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/OFFICIALSB19

“MAPA” is a ballad, a heartwarming love letter to mothers (the “MA” in the title) and fathers (“PA”) featuring SB19 leader Pablo on lead vocals (he likewise wrote the lyrics.

The perceptive listener should take note of the song’s music, which South Border bandleader Jay Durias co-produced. Durias played the piano, which anchors the song’s emotional journey with lyrics evoking images of son and parents in a tight embrace.

The participation of Durias, one of the country’s finest musicians known for his generosity in sharing his skills and talent with fellow artists, is a pivotal point in SB19’s ascending career.

Durias was also involved in the recording of “What?” — the single that preceded “MAPA.”

If one’s initial impression of SB19 is that it’s nothing but a K-Pop copycat, think again.

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