CHRLS as Press Hit Play’s New Leader Credits Resilience for Getting Them This Far
They say, “Fall seven times, stand up eight,” and CHRLS of Press Hit Play embraces this philosophy without a trace of doubt. As the esteemed Kuya of the group, the mantle of leadership naturally embraced CHRLS. Seamlessly embodying the roles of spokesperson, motivator, artist, and big brother, he orchestrated a harmonious synergy within PHP.
CHRLS' artistic journey was nothing short of daunting. After enduring multiple pop competitions and leaving a stable career behind, the stars eventually aligned, leading him to find his place in Press Hit Play. Beyond the glitz and glamour of being part of a P-Pop group, CHRLS encountered a bumpy road that made every step more challenging than it appeared. From lineup changes to establishing their foothold in the P-Pop realm, it takes an unwavering combination of determination and passion to achieve success, and CHRLS exemplified this remarkable blend throughout his journey.
Now, CHRLS stands tall as the new leader of the group and is more than ready to guide the quartet through recovering from setbacks, showcasing their ability to triumph over challenging circumstances, and maintaining a positive outlook in the face of adversity. Fueled by CHRLS’ unyielding fortitude, everything is effortlessly falling into place for PHP, propelling the group towards their collective vision.
As the steward of the group’s musical vision, CHRLS’ embodies the resilience of PHP through their captivating and dynamic music that emanates an infectious wave of optimism. After firmly etching their indelible mark in the industry, they are now resolute in blocking any formidable challenge capable of impeding their rise and asserting their remarkable presence.
With CHRLS at the helm, the future of PHP gleams with boundless potential. After the bumps and hurdles, CHRLS assures their Pearls of a path brimming with unprecedented opportunities they must not let slip by.
In this exclusive interview, we explored the prowess of CHRLS as the beacon of PHP and his insights on the collective artistic journey of the group. Read on to know his views on the evolving P-Pop landscape and the aspirations that come with it.
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. So, how do you strike a balance between being a representative of the group and remaining true to who you are as a person?
CHRLS: Actually, this is really hard, because we all experience difficulties along the way that can sometimes lead us astray. I am not perfect, and I also have times when I also consult my other members for help and advice. But for Press Hit Play, it has always been a group effort; like I’ve said, we try to lead each other because we have our own strengths and weaknesses. We always talk about things and try to resolve everything as a team, even before we escalate issues to our management. And everyone of us is empowered to speak up and help lead the group in the best direction.
Q. PHP has now shifted to a new era as the first P-Pop male quartet. What challenges have you encountered being a 4-member group? What does this new chapter entail?
CHRLS: It was challenging at first, but we knew we could make the necessary adjustments and make it work because the situation called for us to do so. And we've seen groups such as quartets succeed, so we tried to make them our inspiration, and we are still here, constantly improving and reinventing ourselves. We are really determined and passionate to reach our goal, so there’s no stopping us. This new chapter will be exciting and breathtaking for the group. We are working on our preparations for a lot of surprises for our beloved Pearls, which they will surely love!
Q. Compared to other groups, Press Hit Play often has music and concepts that are very light, feel-good, and all-around energetic to dance around to. Why does Press Hit Play go for that kind of vibe?
CHRLS: We had discussions before the debut, and we tried to analyze the groups that had already debuted at that time, and we noticed that some went dark and edgy, so we decided why not debut vibing to a feel-good and celebratory song? We just wanted everything to sound and look cool. Just a song with strong messaging, telling about our journey and struggles—an anthem that is easy to digest. But we are not tied to this kind of vibe because, if you listen to our other tracks, there are a lot of different flavors and styles that we can offer to everyone. So, please subscribe to our channels!
Q. Rather than only a few members working on the music, Press Hit Play as a group has always been very involved in the music. Was the group made to be a self-produced group from the start? Or was it from your accords to create your own music as you became a group?
CHRLS: We have always been writing our songs and producing them since our pre-debut. With all the ideas that we have each time we get inspired or are in a situation where we learn lessons in life, PHP's music is birthed out of our hearts and souls. Writing our own songs is like keeping a modern-day diary. You guys can expect more tracks from us that you will surely enjoy.
Q. In line with that, more and more P-Pop artists are becoming self-produced and self-written in their music. While there’s anything wrong with getting help from others as it’s not everyone’s strong suit, a lot of the groups today seem to be shifting towards doing their own music and at least learning how-to. What is it about creating your own music and being self-produced that more and more P-Pop groups are doing that now?
CHRLS: Creating and producing your own music has its own kind of satisfaction; it's like the song is your baby that you need to nourish and help grow. Once you release a song, it feels so rewarding, especially if you see the kind of reception that the audience is getting. Your song can also touch people's lives and help make a difference, especially if you are able to inspire and uplift another spirit who is troubled and going through a difficult time. You can create a certain bond with someone even without having a personal interaction with them, and it gives you this unexplainable sense of self fulfillment that helps you keep moving forward. Being self-produced is also a kind of achievement and accomplishment that every artist would dream to have, and it can also show the level of maturity of an artist’s musicality.
Q. In your opinion, how has social media changed the game for the Philippine music industry? Has it improved the playing field for emerging musicians or artists from smaller companies or has it reinforced the dominance of major labels and established celebrities?
CHRLS: Social media has a big impact on the Philippine music industry. I think it gave a fair share of exposure from indie artists to big artists out there. Boosting the songs as ads if you have a budget for promotion can be a big help in reaching a wider audience on social media, but at the end of the day, when you have an organic view because of a superb song, it can also have a good chance to get noticed and trend. In social media, it seems like it is a game of luck and smart strategy to get you where you want to go. I think it's not always about having a big budget to create visually awesome output, but showcasing real talent to the world and using the social media platform to get the viewers attention to give the right support to those who deserve it.
Q. Fandom or stan culture is really apparent in a lot of pop culture today, including P-Pop. There can be upsides but there can also be downsides. What are your thoughts on this? How do you strike the balance between showing appreciation and love to dedicated fans while also ensuring a healthy and respectful fan culture?
CHRLS: As much as possible, we would like all the fans to be united and help P-Pop go to the next level. Just like how we, P-Pop groups, support each other and become friends. We built a community of friendship and camaraderie. By supporting each other and helping each fan base, I think this dream of making P-Pop successful can be possible. Let’s support each other every time there is a new song release. We, P-Pop groups, want to have a peaceful and harmonious P-Pop community.
Don't miss CHRLS, and the rest of the PHP quartet, as they take the stage at the highly anticipated PPOPCON MANILA 2023 this July 14 to 16 at Araneta City. Secure your tickets now at TicketNet Online or through TicketNet outlets nationwide.
Additionally, don't forget to grab a limited edition copy of our #TheLeadersIssue. You can either claim it 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
Cover Stories and Interview by Marielle Filoteo and Kryzzle Cailing
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 Logarta
Set Design by Rabbit Hole Creatives
Food Sponsors: Illo’s Party Trays, The Sandwich Guy
Elemental Cafe Iced Coffee
Studio Partner Siren Studios