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  • Writer's pictureMarielle Filoteo

SB19 Takes It To The Next Level With “Bazinga”

Filipino pop supergroup SB19 has just dropped their long-awaited Bazinga music video, a single off their EP, Pagsibol. This, coming off the heels of their nomination for Best Southeast Asia Act at the prestigious MTV Europe Music Awards. And I have three words for the MV... But, take note: They also happen to be incomprehensible swear words from my lack of chill (lowkey, a KO to A'TIN).

I've said it once, and I'll say it again, SB19 just keeps on getting better with each release. Like, tell me, are they not the current frontliners and trailblazers in the P-Pop scene? Are they not ridiculously talented artists that leave you breathless from their performances? Are they not the complete human form of the 100 emoji?

Haters, naysayers, and detractors be damned because SB19 just said: Kneel.

Coinciding with the act's third anniversary, Bazinga is an all too powerful track that acts as a response and clapback on the criticism and hates rapidly proliferating on the Internet. It talks of a world that "unloads hostility" and negativity that gets heavy for the band. But, it also comes out as a statement on hate as gasoline ("hate niyo'y gasolina") to burn/chip away and to dare antis to turn up the heat because nothing's going to stop them. Instead, they will persevere and continue creating meaningful expressions of art and music.

The MV is directed by Jonathan Tal Placido and co-directed by Chapters, the team behind their post-apocalyptic What? video. Justin also heavily contributed to the concept as it blends themes of graffiti, gaming, and superhero noir against a chaotic but visually attractive anti-establishment backdrop.

Photo Courtesy of SB19 Official

It opens with members Justin, Pablo, Stell, Josh, and Ken coming together to play an arcade-esque video game called Bazinga. As the game loads, we see SB19 warp in to act as the characters in the game. This, signifying the start of an action-packed journey as easter eggs referencing anime, video games, and SB19 themselves are sprinkled all throughout!

From the arcade stylings, it switches up with a more Neon noir motif with its interplay of light and shadows. Set in an underground combat zone, the background is a bit on the odd side with a mix of graffiti, dark lighting, holograms, and huge clocks that are giving major Uncharted/Tomb Raider vibes.

Stell starts off the song (albeit, flawlessly) with a hand accessory similar to Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter's chain accessory. A device with a futuristic hologram then flashes: 10:26:18, aka their debut date, October 26, 2018. Ken then cuts in with a gruff tone in his voice and lifts his head to reveal an eyepatch and red-eye, mimicking Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul.

It then transitions to a cage setting in the middle of a dark, dreary room with strobing lights. The group dances as Pablo (the man, the myth, the legend) takes on the hook, even appearing next to his beloved motorcycle in one split-second scene.

Photos Courtesy of SB19 Official

We move to Josh, who changes up the beat and deserves a much-needed replay because of his effortlessly cool delivery. We're then treated to THE smoothest of set transitions and into Justin's pre-chorus part. His vocals bring in lightness to an already rough and heavy-duty song. And his outfit gives off the scouts of Attack on Titan realness.

A brown paper falls on the ground, and Pablo picks it up, reading: 09.02 20.19, aka September 2, 2019, the day Go Up went viral. This, being a life-changing event for the group, led to their eventual success today. The group rips through the paper dawning Mortal Kombat, Tekken-esque outfits for their final performance in the MV. Like seriously, they look like they're ready for some visceral fighting and carnage with the martial arts inspo!

Photo Courtesy of SB19 Official

But, that's not before Pablo brings his signature rap with all sorts of subtle references—my favorite being a nod to Mob Psycho 100 ("not a mob, just a psycho.”) Or Ken's complete 180 flip slow jam to the track that I CANNOT get enough of, a juxtaposition to Pablo's quick rap stylings. The all-red background and lightning serve to heighten the atmosphere.

Photo Courtesy of SB19 Official

We're now down to the beautifully delivered bridge, which are major props to Stell, Justin, and Pablo. We then see the band's final poses. They look ahead to something red and burning: Is it the haters all burned out? At the end of the video, we see the same device from earlier displaying: 18:19, pertaining to SB19 and the fans, A'TIN. Because ultimately, between the highs and the lows of the band, the bond between SB19 and A'TIN persists. Both flourishing and emerging as victors and better individuals.

Watch the official music video of Bazinga here:



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