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Entertainment

P-pop group G22 shows girl power in debut

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
P-pop group G22 shows girl power in debut
The newly-launched P-pop girl group under Cornerstone Entertainment, G22, is composed of AJ (leader/main rapper), Jaz (main vocals), Bianca (main dancer/sub-rapper), and Alfea (visual/lead vocals).
Photos from Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — It’s worth the wait.

After facing several pushbacks to debut and more than a year of rigorous trainings and workshops, Cornerstone Entertainment’s G22 was finally launched as the newest group to ride the P-pop wave this year.

The girl group was introduced following the successful launch of Cornerstone’s boy group VXON. Tagged as the “P-Pop’s Newest Caliber,” G22 is composed of four young, talented individuals — AJ (leader/main rapper), Jaz (main vocals), Bianca (main dancer/sub-rapper), and Alfea (visual/lead vocals).

“We’re still in awe after lahat ng paghihirap, trainings, pagod and patience sa paghihintay. We still can’t believe that we are here as G22,” uttered AJ during an exclusive interview with The STAR.

AJ, 19, has started her journey in the industry as a The Voice of the Philippines contestant prior to becoming part of G22. Cornerstone saw her potential via the reality show and tapped her to complete the newly-created group. She is a big fan of KZ Tandingan.

Bianca, 18, was first discovered on TikTok by the Cornerstone management. She hails from Mindanao and her musical influences include her mom and also KZ.

On the other hand, Jaz, 17, was already managed by Cornerstone before they groomed her to be the first member of the quartet. The Filipino-Australian talent mentioned her mother, Selena Gomez and Dua Lipa as her musical inspirations.

Jaz, the ‘sultry and elegant’ member of the group.

Like Jaz, Alfea, 18, was under the wing of the talent agency and later on cast for the all-female band. Her father and brother are the ones who persuaded her to pursue music.

One thing is common among them, they all named SB19 as the P-pop artist they idolized in the music scene.

Although they have different backgrounds in terms of skills, they said they make sure that they’re able to turn their individual weaknesses to strengths to perfectly complement the group’s chemistry.

“We unite as a strong unit ready to ‘BANG (title of their debut single),’” asserted Jaz, who is called the “sultry, elegant” member of the group. Bianca is the “sexy swag,” AJ is called the “extreme swag,” while Alfea is the “sweet cutie” of the gang.

“Wherever we lack, we help each other. And whenever we can, we offer our help. That’s why we work so well together because we are not afraid to share what we have and we are not keeping anything. We want everyone to have the best that we have,” said Jaz.

Bianca admitted she lacked the vocal prowess but Jaz and AJ were there to assist her. Since dancing is what she does best, Bianca would help out in the choreography.

They also critique each other, revealed AJ, “Hindi kami nag-sugar coat or spoon feed. ‘Pag may nakita kami na something (is not quite right), we have to tell something that. We won’t grow as a group if we don’t do that.”

Alfea added, “It actually helped us a lot po, yung pag-criticize each other. Until now ginagawa pa rin po namin ‘coz ganito na po yung naabot namin. We’re already launched (as G22) gusto pa rin po namin ng mas more knowledge for our group and more talent to show.”

Interestingly, the name G22 is connected to their debut single, BANG, and fan group dubbed Bullets.

“Everything is parallel to each other. G22 is actually a gun. Our single is BANG,” explained AJ.

Bianca, the ‘sexy swag’ member

Alfea interjected, “It can also be parallel to our fans, Bullets. Without a ‘bullet’ sa gun, a gun cannot work, so?”

“In our dancing and in our choreo, we always have a lot of ‘guns.’ Ibig sabihin po nun, we always carry inside our gun a bullet with us,” shared Jaz.

When they say “bullets” and “guns,” it does not mean violence, rather, it refers to power and confidence as what was shown in their BANG music video. Their swag, feisty and female alpha sides are aptly captured in the badass video.

The song and the visuals talk about “women empowerment, how it makes us feel and (how we display) confidence,” maintained Jaz. “This is our debut song, so we want to talk about showing the world that we’re coming out of our shell. It’s four girls but we are coming, we’re ready.”

AJ echoed, “The song is very personal to us. Kasi it’s not just a song na sinulat namin, but it’s about us. Yung journey namin as a group. Sobrang thankful kami sa Cornerstone music kasi may co-artist po kami na tinulungan kami for directing and additional arrangement, which is KZ. We were really thankful and blessed po talaga kami.”

What separates them from other P-pop acts is their “different flavors and uniqueness.”

“I think that every person in the industry is different. We all have the same passion, same drive, same eagerness to rise in the P-pop industry. But we all have our uniqueness, different flavors and diverse backgrounds that (if) we put it together, we have something new to offer, some with different colors,” explained Jaz.

“We want to show our pure genuineness in the songs that we do since we are hands on — from the outfits to the songs. We have creative freedom… I want everyone to know that when they watch us, they listen to us, that it’s really us. It’s really our heart and soul that we are showing,” she furthered.

As a four-piece collective, they hope to spread P-pop locally and globally and grow their fan-base.

“We want to raise the flag and to show that the Philippines is a stronghold of powerhouses with so many different talents. We would be so proud to represent and raise our flag higher,” expressed Jaz.

So is the world ready for a P-pop act like them? Everyone said the same thing — it’s an absolute yes.

AJ, the ‘extreme swag’ member.

On P-pop being compared to K-pop, they said that the latter is more of an “inspiration” than viewed as a competition.

Quoting a BLACKPINK documentary, Jaz pointed out, “(Producer) Teddy (Park) did say that K-pop, at the end of the day, is Korean pop. It’s still pop. We are P-pop. We are all here to make music and glorify (the) pop industry — whether it’s K-pop, P-pop, or S-pop.”

She added, “We’re not here to compete, but we’re here because we love music and we wanna make music. And music is a language that everyone can understand whether we don’t speak the language or we don’t understand. It’s the music that everyone can speak and we want to use this to pinch the hearts of the people that listen.”

Alfea, the ‘sweet cutie’ member.

CORNERSTONE ENTERTAINMENT

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