The 2019 Asia Song Festival is happening tomorrow until October 12 in Ulsan, South Korea. The annual music festival will bring together popular K-Pop groups, as well as renowned artists from countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
There’s always anticipation on who will be the country’s representative for the festival, and this year, the representative is none other than pop/R&B group BRWN!
Composed of Max Antonio Guerero (composer/singer), Migs Raneses (guitarist/musical arranger), Oman Peradilla (keyboard/bassist and arranger), and Stanley Seludo (drummer), the group had been working on their original music for the past five years. It was in July 2018 that they sealed a management contract with MCA Music/Universal Music Philippines. Since then, they have released songs such as “So Good,” “One True Friend,” and recently, “Too Many Reasons.”
In an exclusive interview, we talked to BRWN about their feelings being the Philippine’s representatives, their impressions of Korea, and their hopes for Filipino music.
How do you feel that you’ll be representing the Philippines this year at the Asia Song Festival? What was your reaction when you learned about it?
Max: It was a very pleasant surprise, because here in the Philippines, we have a lot of talented artists. We were very much surprised, and we feel very much blessed and honored, because it’s always an honor to represent the country.
How do you want the audience to perceive you when they hear your music at the 2019 Asia Song Festival?
Migs: We want to be perceived as simple, classy, elegant, and humble people.
Max: Yes, humble! Humble is the word.
Have you ever listened to K-Pop or any Korean music? Which bands and songs are your jams?
Oman: We listen to a lot of K-Pop songs on the radio. One specific song that we have been playing over and over again was a song that [was in] a countdown at a radio station here in Manila. That’s from BTS: Boy With Luv. I think the collaboration with Halsey just proves how rich and talented Asians are when it comes to music because it’s already catering to the international market.
Another band that I really love is SsingSsing. The mix of traditional music and the modern approach really caught my ear … actually, it caught everyone’s ears internationally on how enjoyable and modern-sounding the music [is when] fused with traditional Korean music.
If there is one Korean artist you wish you could work with, who would it be?
Oman: It would be an honor to collaborate with BTS.
Max: Go for the biggest star!
Have you had other exposures on Korean culture (food, dramas, destinations, etc.)? What are your impressions?
Max: Well, Filipinos patronize a lot of Korean products. We love Korean food, we have a lot of samgyupsal [restaurants] here. I personally love soju. What else?
Max: Kimchi. There. And if you watch local TV here, there’s a lot of Koreanovelas.
Stanley: Personally, I like this particular Korean show. The title is My Love From the Star.
Max: We love Korea. Filipinos love Korea.
How do you think OPM/Filipino music can reach more international audiences?
Max: We think Filipino talent is world-class. We have a lot of Filipino artists that made it big internationally, like apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas, Jake Zyrus, Arnel Pineda. Basically, Filipino talent is flexible.
Oman: The recent one is No Rome. He was featured by The 1975 in their album.
Migs: Pilita Corales![Group chuckles.]
Max: Well, there. If only Filipino music can break away from the “typical” OPM sound, I think Filipinos will make it big internationally. They’ll be able to reach more countries and more cultures, and OPM—Original Pinoy Music—will be known even more worldwide.
Lastly, any message you want to tell your fans (and potential fans)?
Max: Our band, BRWN, is only a year old, so we don’t have a lot of fans yet. We just wanna greet our supporters, our friends, and our relatives who have been supporting us since we started doing our original music. To my daughter, thank you very much for being my number-one fan. Thank you for memorizing all of my songs. [chuckles] Thanks for always being there for me. I do all of this for you.
Migs: We’d like to thank the great Randy Ortiz for believing and trusting in us.
Oman: We’d like to thank our families. My number one fans are my parents. From the beginning, thank you for supporting us. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the love and the patience that you gave to me in choosing a career that, you know, doesn’t really pay that much.
Max: Thank you for supporting our passion.
Stanley: Yeah. Speaking of family, we’d like to thank our MCA family for trusting and believing in our music from the beginning.
Once again, congratulations, BRWN, for being our country’s representatives! Break a leg!