SB19’s Justin goes solo, wants to pursue acting

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
SB19�s Justin goes solo, wants to pursue acting
After Ken (using his real name FELIP), Pablo, and Josh Cullen, Justin becomes the latest SB19 member to embark on a solo project with the launch of Surreal as his first single. He also aspires to pursue an acting career, direct music videos for other artists or helm a film.

MANILA, Philippines — After Ken (using his real name FELIP), Pablo, and Josh Cullen, another member of the leading P-pop boy band SB19 has embarked on a solo project.

Justin de Dios or just Justin has released his solo single called Surreal (stylized as surreal), a laid-back, relaxing melody which croons about “a collection of scenarios that are unlikely to happen in the real world as you find someone who imagines things the same way you do.”

The track, which is in collaboration with Radkidz’s Pablo and Josue, is a “a love letter to those who dare to dream beyond the surface of reality.”

“Basically, surreal means having someone who imagines things the same way you do. So if you have a special someone who has the same vision as you, nagkakaintindihan kayo. That’s the feeling that I want to express in surreal,” offered Justin on the meaning of the song.

Justin’s surreal, which was penned two years ago, is now out on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Entertainment. It also features Gelou of P-pop girl group YARA.

A visual artist himself, Justin directed the visually captivating music video, along with his college batchmate and now-creative manager of SB19’s company, 1Z, Xi-Anne Avanceña.

For the music video’s surreal visuals, Justin filmed the MV last January at the Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet, as well as Zambales and South Korea. — Photo from Justin’s Instagram page

Set against the backdrop of a mystical forest, the picturesque view of the mountain, snowfall, beautiful moving clouds, and other imagery captured the “surreal” feeling when one hears the tune or sees the visuals of the video.

They filmed the music video last January at the Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet, Zambales and in South Korea, Justin shared.

The inspiration behind the visuals is Justin’s fascination with nature. “Ever since I was young, growing up, (I’ve always found) something special with nature, forest, trees, and (stuff like that),” expressed Justin.

“I don’t know why but there’s something na parang yun yung gusto ko lagi whenever I go on vacation, gusto ko sa mga gubat-gubat.

“And even in Pokemon, favorite ko na grass-type. I don’t know but I started there. I search for movies, shots and videos that are nature-related.”

As a solo artist, Justin is keen on releasing a more “dreamy,” “fantasy-like” style of music. His musical influences include the acoustic-pop genre and the likes of Ed Sheeran and Stephen Speaks.

The youngest member of SB19 admitted having apprehensions in debuting as a soloist, saying, “I had struggles before to officially debut as a (solo) artist, thinking that the spotlight would be on me. All eyes were on me so I was afraid of committing mistakes.”

He was also overthinking everything and lacked self-confidence.

“Sometimes, I think that I couldn’t do it, like, ‘Ah, wag na lang kasi parang not for me.’ But to overcome those thoughts, inisip ko na lang na I have to go through it. If the outcome is not good, at least I’ve tried and inaaral ko siya. So that next time, may improvement akong makukuha,” he said.

The other SB19 members likewise showed their support for Justin’s latest endeavor. Pablo, Stell and Josh were spotted at Justin’s surreal private launch held last week.

Justin shared that he would receive technical advice from his bandmates. “Especially with other members who have done solo projects (before), I would ask them, ‘What did you do during your solo release? How are the events that you’ve attended for the project?’ Questions like that since everyday naman kaming magkakasama. Our conversation would involve technical stuff.”

Apart from music, Justin, a Multimedia Arts graduate from De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, also aspires to pursue an acting career, direct music videos for other artists or helm a film.

Justin did a brief acting stint as the character Jared in ABS-CBN’s teen drama “Senior High” and enjoyed it.

“It was just a cameo. I didn’t expect that it (performance) would go viral all over social media,” he said of his acting experience and expressed his gratitude to ABS-CBN for the opportunity.

“I was very overwhelmed and thankful. I hope I will have more projects.”

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