The local and international music scene continues to evolve and thrive despite the limitations resulting from the global pandemic. In this post, I have listed the hottest news in music for the first month of 2021 for you music lovers to enjoy.
K-Pop boy group T1419 marks highly anticipated debut with ‘Before Sunrise Part.1’
T1419, the newest nine-piece global K-Pop boy group launching under MLD ENTERTAINMENT (MOMOLAND, JT & Marcus), has finally released their highly anticipated single album, BEFORE SUNRISE Part.1.
The 3-track release showcases T1419’s affinity for pop, hip-hop, and electronic music influences, seamlessly blending the elements to create an infectious chart-topper for the modern audience to consume and enjoy.
A concept ‘single album’ that marks the beginning of the group’s four-part series, BEFORE SUNRISE Part.1 embodies different celestial phenomena, each linked with the growth and life of T1419.
BEFORE SUNRISE Part.1 opens with debut single, ‘ASURABALBALTA’—a genre-mashing banger infused with hard-hitting beats and trendy sounds. The song deals with the K-Pop group’s quest of emerging triumphant above the chaos. “This is the very first step into T1419 universe, where they strive to realize and overcome their obstacles,” according to the group’s official statement. “ASURABALBALTA is a spell that make one’s wish come true, which also portrays the wishes of all nine members of T1419 for a bright future that will unfold in the coming days.”
The second track in the single album is “Butt Out”—an upbeat track that tells the story of teenagers yearning to live by their own will, and not by the rules of others. BEFORE SUNRISE Part. 1 closes with the instrumental version of the lead single ‘ASURABALBALTA’.
Music Lane Okinawa Rescheduled to February 20-21, 2021
Following the recent declaration of State of Emergency for the central area in Tokyo, Japan, the Music Lane Festival Okinawa 2021 (Music Lane Okinawa) and Trans Asia Music Meeting 2021 has been rescheduled to February 20 and 21, 2021.
According to a statement released by organizers, the decision to postpone the festival follows the recent rising cases of the COVID-19 in different parts of Japan. “Although Okinawa is not included in the State of Emergency, there are many artists and audiences participating from Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. In addition, the spread of infection in Okinawa Prefecture is becoming more prominent again… We felt that pushing the festival to be held in these circumstances could cause inconvenience and trouble to the participating artists, audiences, and all the staff members.”
The announcement was made formally last week to the Japanese audience. Originally slated for January 16-17, the Music Lane Okinawa was set to be the debut edition of the multinational music showcase festival that will feature a hybrid format, combining live performances from Japanese artists and pre-recorded live sets from participating international artists from other parts of Asia, including KRNA, She’s Only Sixteen, and syd hartha from the Philippines who will be joining legendary Japanese acts Shonen Knife and Sunny Day Service from Japan.
“We should not lose the opportunities for the artists in Okinawa/Japan and Asian countries to be introduced internationally, and we strongly believe that we must continue the music and the entertainment,” the statement continues.
The festival organizers assure that the festival will proceed as planned in the new schedule dates. In addition to the previously announced participating artists, the full lineup now consists of 75 music acts from Asia, (40 domestic and 35 international). The new additions to the lineup include Japanese acts, Hashiken, Tonchi Pickles, Chiemi Jones, Saki Kowan (Shocking Momoiro), 8bit, Milk&Cookie, onoway, Ruki Sato, THE QUESTIONS, VERONICA VERONICO, Kokoro to Kotoba, Hitomi Shimabukuro, the you, and omni sight.
The live performances will take place at Sakurazaka Theater, Sakurazaka Central, and more venues in Naha City, as well as, Music Town Oto-Ichiba, 7th Heaven Koza, Remy’s, and other venues in Okinawa City. The pre-recorded sets are free for everyone to watch, while on-site ticketed events can be enjoyed by Japan-based music fans when they purchase advance tickets at the Music Lane Okinawa website.
Bryan Estepa kicks of the new year with new single ‘Trick of the Light’
In 2020, Bryan Estepa released two new songs, continuing on from the success of his exceptional 2019 album Sometimes I Just Don’t Know. The second of those singles, ‘Admit Now, Pay Later’, received a video premiere on Rolling Stone Australia, was featured on NME Australia and had strong national radio airplay – including selection as one of the featured Singles of the Week on 2ser FM in Sydney. Now the Sydney-based Filipino songwriter reveals the second of his collaborative efforts with multi ARIA and APRA award-winning Australian songwriter Josh Pyke.
Estepa has always had an undeniable ear for hooks. Combined with classic pop and rock arrangements, (like his heroes You Am I, The Beatles and Wilco) his songs always possess a timeless quality. He’s proved it over and over again across six acclaimed albums and live shows in Australia, Japan, the USA, UK, Spain, Sweden and the Philippines.
On ‘Trick of the Light’, Estepa combines heavenly melodies and a melancholic air on this irresistible slice of indie guitar pop, singing about acceptance, letting go and allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that comes out while you’re treading new waters. As always with his songwriting, there are layered poetic brushstrokes in the way Estepa blends and informs his songs with multiple meanings, as he explains. “I also like the idea that the presence of light does not necessarily signal happiness or life but can also mean that emotions and perception can be blurred by its appearance.”
Working with Pyke, Estepa was impressed with the producer’s instinct and ability to enhance the inherent strengths of Estepa’s songs. “It’s exciting watching Josh work! You sense that his creative light is always on and he needs to get his ideas out quickly before it starts to flicker. He takes on what I think the song’s direction might be but adds a couple of detours that are normally right on the money.”
Pyke is quick to reciprocate the praise. “Bryan’s a great writer and collaborator. He’s got a classic pop sensibility but is really open to feedback and experimentation which made my job as producer really fun and free.”
Sonically, there’s a beautiful weightlessness to the production and instrumentation that gracefully carries the song. Guitars sparkle and lightly jangle amid some sublime piano, backing vocals and percussive elements that add unique detailing to the melodic richness of the track.
ZAYN scores another No.1 album in the Philippines with ‘Nobody Is Listening’
ZAYN’s third studio release Nobody is Listening makes history once again as it debuts at No. 1 on iTunes Philippines Top 100 albums chart a few hours after its release. Co-written by ZAYN, the project highlights his R&B influences and showcases deeply personal lyrics. Nobody is Listening sees ZAYN in complete creative control, from designing the album cover art to his sound, he has created a moment in music that is all his own.
The album contains the previously released singles “Vibez” and “Better,” both of which were embraced by fans and critics alike, with Wonderland proclaiming ZAYN was here to “save 2021” with the release of “Vibez” and Billboard calling “Better” a “straightforward R&B track, expressing love in spite of disagreement and designed to showcase one of the most skilled voices in modern pop.” The latter single has accrued over 105 million streams across all platforms, and upon release the video received a half a million views in the first 10 minutes.
ZAYN’s critically acclaimed debut album Mind of Mine saw him become the first male solo artist in the world to simultaneously chart at #1 on the UK and US album charts in the first week of release. The album’s lead single “Pillowtalk” hit #1 in 68 countries around the world and was recently included in Billboard’s “Songs That Defined the Decade” list.
His follow up, Icarus Falls, captivated fans and garnered over 5 billion worldwide streams across all platforms in less than a year, a staggering feat for any artist. Alongside his solo success, ZAYN has also collaborated with a variety of artists, including Taylor Swift and SIA and most recently lent his vocals on “Trampoline” with Shaed, which received an iHeart Music Award for “Best Remix.” Alongside building a reputation as a world class music artist, ZAYN has become one of music’s biggest fashion icons. He has graced the cover of every major magazine from Highsnobiety to Vogue. In addition to being named “Most Stylish Man” at the GQ Man of the Year awards, he also was awarded “New Artist of the Year” at the American Music Awards and “Top New Artist” at the Billboard Music Awards. Nobody is Listening was released via RCA Records.
Details and images were provided in recent press releases.