APO Hiking Society has achieved the enviable feat of staying relevant in the music industry for decades. It’s no wonder boy band JBK wants to follow in their footsteps.
Like APO, JBK is composed of three singers namely Joshua Bulot, Bryan Del Rosario and Kim Lawrenz.
In a recent chat with Bulletin Entertainment, JBK shared APO has always been a great influence to them. They aim to be the “millennial version” of the trio.
Joshua said, “Hindi namin sinasabi na kokopyahin namin sila dahil alam namin na kailangan magkaroon kami ng sarili naming identity as musicians. But ‘yung passion, dedication and success nila, ‘yun ang gusto naming ma-achieve. ”
JBK is aware that even if it’s meant to be, it will take years to achieve what APO has done in the industry. They won’t give up, though, believing in the saying: “Nothing is impossible if you believe.”
“God is in the center of our lives. We know na hindi Niya kami papabayaan. Keep on dreaming lang talaga and siyempre hard work,” Bryan said.
JBK inked a managerial contract with GMA Artist Center early this year. Their song “Letting You Go” was used as theme song of the Koreanovela “The Romantic Doctor.”
The group plans to release more originals this year. They look forward to do acting gigs in the future.
“Kami naman po we’re always open sa kahit anong projects na ibigay sa amin. Tiwala din po kami na hindi kami papabayaan ng GMA Artist Center so hopefully, magustuhan po kami ng mga tao,” Joshua said.
JBK has had their fair share of struggles and hardships in trying to make a name for themselves. They recalled how they did the rounds of bars and casinos with no talent fee and sometimes even with few people watching.
JBK gained huge notice when they joined “X Factor UK” October last year. Joshua said it was unexpected knowing that the group has had zero experience in singing competitions.
“Actually random video lang ‘yung pinass namin sa ‘X Factor’ pero ayun, naka-tsamba, napansin,” Joshua shared. “So pagkapasa po namin ng video, nag-email po sila sa amin kung pwede kaming pumunta sa London pero sarili naming gastos.”
According to Bryan, they sought the help of their friends and families to raise the needed funds.
“Sobrang magastos po talaga! Nagkanda-utang utang kam!” Joshua said, laughing. “Ang ginawa din po namin, lumapit kami sa mga companies tapos bilang kapalit, naglibreng show po sa kanila. Anim na buwan din po namin pinagbayaran ‘yung utang namin.”
Though they didn’t win the title, JBK said their nerve-wracking experience in the competition made them stronger as a group.
“Actually tatlong auditions pa po ang pinagdaanan namin bago kami nakaharap sa mga celebrity judges. Siguro po ang pinaka-challenging na part sa amin is ‘yung pag-aantay kasi sobrang haba ng pila, sobrang daming nag-o-audition,” Bryan explained.
“Ako para sa akin is ‘yung British accent, ang hirap po intindihin ng mga tao du’n,” Joshua added.
Turning serious, he said, “What we did in that competition, pinatapang nito kami eh. At sobrang naging malaki ang respeto ko sa mga ka-grupo ko kasi kasama ko sila sa lahat ng pressure, ng lahat ng nyerbos… kaming tatlo ‘yung magkakaramay.”
In the Philippines, boy group are often short-live. Asked about it, Bryan explained: “It’s really happening but I guess depende pa rin po yan sa group eh. If a certain group is doing it for fame, for money then it’s half-baked.”
Joshua believes if members of the group enjoy each other’s company, there are no reasons for them to part ways.
“Para na kaming magkakapatid eh. Malaki na rin naman ‘yung ininvest namin sa isa’t-isa , time, effort, money, everything… I believe that as long as priority namin ‘tong grupo at masaya kaming magkakasama hindi mangyayari sa’min ‘yun (disbandment) so hopefully, kapit lang.”