Monsters of P-Pop. In a sea of equally talented dreamers, who could have anticipated that a rookie group would emerge with this title. Proving that the name is not a mere hoax, C13 is here to introduce himself, poised to unpack a wealth of experience despite being just one year into the P-Pop scene.
The year 2020 was truly momentous for C13, as he experienced a significant turning point in his career, one that he could have never imagined possible. Little did we know that before becoming C13 of VXON, Christian, the dreamer, was chasing his aspirations in a faraway land. By joining a South Korean reality survival show, releasing a debut single that candidly recounts his personal journey, and joining a cover group, C13 has already accumulated performance experience spanning close to a decade, including his current experience in the P-Pop industry.
But with the pandemic taking a hit, this year presented C13 with a difficult choice: either let go of the dream he had been shaping in Korea or return home to the Philippines, seeking solace with his family while facing an uncertain future. As a big family man, Christian made the heartfelt decision to choose the latter. Unbeknownst to him, a remarkable opportunity awaited him in the Philippines—the formation of his group, VXON. However, Christian's journey was far from over, as he was faced with the daunting task of leading a group, marking the beginning of a new chapter filled with challenges and opportunities.
Growing up without a father figure during the formative years of his life, the burden was particularly intimidating for the young Christian, who had to overcome twice the usual difficulties in filling such a vital position. Embracing the role of VXON’s “dad” has been a demanding challenge, compounded by the absence of a role model to emulate in guiding his fellow members. Furthermore, Christian's journey from being the youngest member in his former group to becoming the eldest in VXON introduced overwhelming responsibilities that weighed heavily on him.
Yet, despite lacking prior experience in leading a group and not anticipating such a position, Christian wholeheartedly invested his energy into comprehending the intricacies of effective leadership and found immense satisfaction throughout the learning experience. Now, Christian has surpassed expectations in his role as the confident C13 of VXON, effectively guiding the quintet with remarkable proficiency.
In this insightful interview, C13 delves into the depths of his role as VXON's leader. Explore the profound satisfaction he derives from his performances and witness how he relentlessly pursues growth and refinement with each and every endeavor.
Q. Can you tell me what it means to be a leader in a P-Pop group? What kind of roles and responsibilities do you have? Are there certain traits and qualities necessary for this?
C13: Being the leader of a group takes a lot of pressure and responsibility, but at the same time, it gives you a sense of fulfillment whenever you see your members succeed. I always wanted to lend a helping hand to others because, looking back on the times when I was in need, there were people who guided and pushed me to be where I am right now. A leader exudes positive energy and sets the tone with the standards that they set. As a leader, I establish a vision, inspire others to take action, and always listen to what my members think or feel.
Q. It can be easy to get lost in your role as a leader. When you’re leading, you tend to put your members first. Your focus tends to be in a more group voice versus your own. So, how do you strike a balance between being a representative of the group and remaining true to who you are as a person?
C13: As a leader, you should always listen to your members opinions first before making a decision or taking action. People tend to think that a leader always barks orders and decides only what he thinks is right. That ain’t a leader but a boss, and that’s not who I am. I try to find our common ground when making a decision, and when a decision is made, that is when I take action and lead the group.
Q. Even at just one year since debut, VXON has been called the “monster rookies” of P-Pop. How do you think you’ve improved as an artist, performer, and/or leader to live up to a title like that?
C13: I’ve always doubted my skills as a performer, which is why I never get content, even with praise or once I reach my standard. I never imagined myself as a leader at first, but I need to live up to the position that I was given, which is why I’m ready to learn everything I can to be a great leader.
Q. You’ve been part of cover groups, an idol survival show, and have even made a solo debut in South Korea on top of your activities with VXON. As a seasoned performer and artist, what is it about performing on stage and making music that truly inspires/motivates you? What was your journey like to being the artist you are today?
C13: Performing on stage is a way for me to express myself. It changed my life for the better, as I’ve learned a lot from the experience that I had as a performer. What I also like about performing is that I can inspire people. Being a performer and being part of a group is not easy. I can truly say that I started from nothing and had several moments in life where I questioned my journey toward being a true "performer". But that didn’t stop me because all of the hardships that I’ve encountered have shaped me into the person that I am right now.
Q. You’ve performed with K-Pop songs and a Korean audience, as well as with P-Pop and Philippine audiences. What is the difference between these two markets and audiences? What is the distinction between the two?
C13: During the show "UNDERNINETEEN," there were only a few Koreans in the audience who supported me because I was a foreigner. I felt like an outcast because, no matter what I did, no one appreciated me. Filipino fans, on the other hand, are very appreciative. They will really cheer for you and show you their love. But I also can’t deny the fact that the Filipino audience that loves K-Pop is not easy to please since we set our minds that K-Pop is the standard, so whenever there’s a group outside K-Pop, we feel it’s a copycat. But what’s good about the Filipino audience is that when they watch you live, they’ll still cheer for you.
Q. Social media has changed the game in the music industry. It’s helped a lot in growing an audience/fanbase for not just P-Pop but for new/indie artists who may not have had the opportunity to have that spotlight on them before. But, there’s also a downside of having to churn out content to promote, making challenges/trends to keep up with charts, the streaming culture of it all, and generally trying to stay relevant in a market that is so saturated. What are your thoughts on social media and music today?
C13: I think social media is one of the keys to success in the industry nowadays. In our generation, we’re really thankful that such a platform exists because it makes marketing and promotion easier for artists. I believe social media allows artists to find their audience.
Don't miss C13 and the monster rookies, VXON, as they take the stage at the highly anticipated PPOP CON 2023 on July 16 at the Araneta Coliseum. Secure your tickets now at TicketNet Online.
Additionally, don't forget to grab a limited edition print of our #TheLeadersIssue at parcinqmarketplace.com. You can either claim your copy at the PARCINQ booth during the PPOP Convention or have it conveniently delivered to your doorstep. Hurry and take advantage of our exciting freebies!
Produced by Parcinq Team in collaboration with PPOPCON
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Art Direction by Joe Andy
Production Coordination by Chardy Baldoza
Features Writers Queenie Cailing and Marielle Filoteo
Communications Manager: Rhanica
Production Manager: Arby
Artist Coordinator: Jessette
Content Producer: Erica
Team Rain X Em
Fashion Film By Ian Francisco
Video Associate Pogs Francisco
Camera Operator Anghel Millar
Gaffer Edward Logorta
Set Design by Rabbit Hole Creatives
Food Sponsors: Illo’s Party Trays, The Sandwhich Guy
Elemental Cafe Iced Coffee
Studio Partner Siren Studios