After four-year training, YGIG is latest P-pop group to debut

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
After four-year training, YGIG is latest P-pop group to debut
Newly-launched P-pop girl group YGIG (short for 'You Go, I Go') consists of (foreground, from left) JM, Vien, Darlene, Jewel, (background, from left) Hazelyn, Maeg and Alexei.

MANILA, Philippines — SB19 and some K-pop artists have inspired the all-female members of newly-formed group YGIG (You Go, I Go) under Show Biz Town (SBTown), the same agency that launched the former.

Following the viral performances of P-pop act SB19 on social media, Geong Seong Han (also known as Tatang Robin) and Adie Hong, in partnership with Universal Records, immediately held an audition to form an all-girl group called YGIG.

Among the almost 20,000 aspirants who auditioned, seven lucky girls were chosen and trained to become part of YGIG. They are Alexie (20 years old), Maeg (19), JM (22), Vien (21), Darlene (18), Hazelyn (22) and Jewel (21).

They undertook rigorous training for four years and only recently dropped their debut single Shaba Shaba, a play of the Tagalog words, “Siya ba?” The track “expresses the charm of YGIG as the ultimate girl-crush, with its authentic hip-hop rhythm and addictive melody.” The members conceptualized and penned the lyrics themselves. The official music video is now available on their YouTube channel.

“Every day, our training would last eight to nine hours,” recalled Alexie during a media launch held recently in Quezon City. “In other days, mas mahaba pa. (We also) monitor and regulate our food intake to make sure that we were in good condition and that we could train and perform well.”

She admitted that the training “wasn’t easy because it required a lot of physical and mental strength.” She added, “But of course, we needed to do all of that in order to reach where we are today and even further in the future. And with the help and support of every member, together we were able to endure and persevere through all of that and we will continue to do so.”

Alexie hailed from Cebu and she came to Manila to chase her dream. “Growing up, I loved being on stage. My dreams started as a dancer. I started in dance. My dream was to become a backup dancer and choreographer. And as time went by, my dream became bigger. And I really wanted to explore performing as well,” she told The STAR in an exclusive chat.

Like Alexie, Maeg also wanted to be a dancer. “I really didn’t imagine myself as a performer. It never really crossed my mind na possible pa pala ‘to sa akin. But after seeing SB19 and K-pop, I was like, ‘Oh this is a thing.’ So, it really made me feel connected po. It was like nag-click po bigla sa akin na, ‘Ah ito po yung dream (ko).’”

On the other hand, JM would appear in commercials and hosting gigs. “Parang di ko po nakikita na mapapasali po ako sa ganito kasi ang dream ko po is to be an actress. And then, nung naging K-pop fan po ako sabi ko parang I want to be like them. And then, nakita ko po yung SB Talent Camp. I auditioned and that’s where it all began.”

Vien, who is from Malabon City, aspired to be a performer since she was a child. “But then, I really love being on stage and nag-start din po ako as a dancer. I used to sing in a church choir. And then, I discovered the SB Talent Camp and since I idolized K-pop artists, I’m a K-pop fan, na-inspire po ako sa kanila to also perform on stage.”

Former The Voice Kids Philippines finalist Darlene (Vibares) said singing was really her focus ever since. “Parang hindi ko rin po inisip yung sarili ko na one day, I get to dance in a pop community. Yung nakahatak po sa akin, sa ganitong larangan po is K-pop po talaga. Na-curious po ako and nagkaroon po ako ng interest na pwede palang pagsabayin yung pagkanta and pagsayaw po.”

She ranked fourth after Lyca Gairanod, Darren Espanto and JK Labajo, respectively, in the finals of The Voice Kids Season 1 in 2014.

Hazelyn, a Kapampangan, had long wished to become a performer like her idol Miley Cyrus in Disney’s Hannah Montana. “So dati po tina-try ko po talaga kumanta (and) sumayaw. And then, I was introduced to K-pop. Parang sabi ko may mga dances po pala na pwede mong gawin. Yung on point and perfect choreography and yung mga blockings na possible po pala na ganito yung mga mangyayari. Dun po mas pinangarap ko pong maging performer nung nakita ko (that it’s possible).”

Jewel, who grew up in the United States for about 11 years, moved back here in the Philippines to pursue a career. “My parents found out that I love music. Like where(ever) I go, I would always find an opportunity to sing or dance or play an instrument even though I’m not really good back then when I was a kid. So, ever since then, my parents always push me to you know try different opportunities like music classes (and) dancing in public. And that’s what really grew my energy and motivation to perform because I love the adrenaline it gives me.”

The girls looked up to SB19 as their favorite P-pop act, while also admiring some K-pop idols, such as, the girl groups Le Sserafim, NewJeans, TWICE, 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation and boy groups, BTS, NCT and Stray Kids.

The strength of the YGIG as a group is “having one goal and mindset,” said JM. “(Because of that strength) We are able to achieve a lot of things. Because the members are in synch with each other.”

“YGIG itself is our dream,” declared Hazelyn and added that the group’s goal is to be known here and abroad, to be nominated in Billboard Music Awards and stage nationwide shows.

Universal Records chief executive officer Kathleen Dy-Go said the girls are in for nationwide mall shows, school tours, TV guesting and global live tours, eventually.

Tatang Robin also announced that YGIG will take “We Go” as their fandom name.


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