Apl.de.Ap shares story behind first musical collab with Sandara Park

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Apl.de.Ap shares story behind first musical collab with Sandara Park
Black Eyed Peas’ apl.de.ap on collaborating with 2NE1’s Dara in the pop track 2 Proud: ‘You know, it just made sense ‘cause I’m a big K-pop fan and she had history here in the Philippines.’

MANILA, Philippines — It was a no-brainer for apl.de.ap to team up with South Korean girl group 2NE1’s Sandara Park for the song 2 Proud, given his K-pop fascination and their shared ties to the Philippines.

2 Proud, a pop track with a tinge of hip-hop, is now available on all digital streaming platforms. Its music video, directed by Ben Mor, is also out, channeling a ‘50s vibe, featuring apl.de.ap relaxing on a poolside, basking in Californian sunshine, with Dara appearing on a vintage TV set.

The Black Eyed Peas’ Filipino-American member was generous enough to sing a few verses from the afrobeat-inspired ditty when he recently graced a press interview at a BGC hotel.

“I’ve been experimenting on my new inspiration. I love and (I am) inspired by afrobeat right now. And it started pre-pandemic and then the pandemic happened. And so (we) worked the song during the pandemic and you know, I’ve been wanting to collaborate with Sandara Park,” enthused apl.de.ap, whose real name is Allan Pineda Lindo.

“We’ve worked with 2NE1 before and I always see her (Dara) in the Philippines. And we’ve been hanging out and wanting to collaborate. I sent it to her and she liked it and the song happened,” he continued.

Dara and apl.de.ap first met in 2011 when the former’s girl group collaborated on a song with the latter’s fellow Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am.

Dara, or Sandara Park to her Filipino fans, says she and apl.de.ap bonded over their memories of the Philippines.

Dara and apl.de.ap have kept in contact since then. They have also been running into each other in the Philippines, from clubs to tourist places like Boracay.

The rapper eventually thought it would be cool to work with Dara, too, after joining forces with another 2NE1 member, CL, for a music project years ago.

“It’s just one of those things… It was just a phone call. I’m like, ‘Yo, you think Sandara wanna do this song? Right!’ It’s like I wanna collaborate with a K-pop artist and she has history in the Philippines. So, it was like kinda just connection there.”

“It was great,” apl.de.ap further described his collab with Sandara.

“I’m glad that she was open-minded about this new style. It was during the pandemic so we had to do it via the internet and Zoom.

“And even shooting the video, we had to be creative about it. So you know, it just made sense ‘cause I’m a big K-pop fan and she had history here in the Philippines,” he reiterated.

“We love being back (in the Philippines), not me visiting but me going back home. For me, just the beauty of the Philippines and the islands, the beaches, food, (and) night life. Other than music, that’s what we talked about,” he told this paper. 

In a statement, Dara, for her part, stated how delighted she was to be on 2 Proud collab.

“apl.de.ap and I have known each other for many years. We both have cherished memories of the Philippines, which we bond us. As a huge fan of his music, working on this project was filled with excitement and joy.

“Even though we had to do everything far off (each other), separately, due to the pandemic, we finally made it and the song came out super great. I hope you also enjoy our first collaboration and one day, I wish we could perform it live in front of the fans.”

The rapper apl.de.ap teased that 2 Proud is just the first song in this style of music and that he is cooking more music collaborations with other Filipino artists which will be released soon.

As for apl.de.ap, he hoped to collaborate with BTS and other Filipino artists like Flow G and Nadine Lustre in the future.

He is also a fan of the music from the legendary Filipino rock band Asin. In fact, he loves singing their songs in karaoke, like Ang Buhay Ko, “Halos lahat ay nagtatanong doon sa aming bayan/Sa gitnang kanluran na aking pinagmulan…” To recall, his previous hit, the Apl Song, sampled Asin’s Balita.

Recently, he’s been practicing juan karlos’ hit Ere.

It goes to show how apl.de.ap has always been proud of his Filipino roots. As he told The STAR, “I wanna be remembered (in the music industry) as a proud Pinoy, (it’s) part of my culture, where I come from. And I’m proud of my country and someone that follows the footsteps of people who gave me opportunity.”

Meanwhile, apl.de.ap shared that he liked to collect shoes, hats, glasses and vintage toys like Voltes V, Shogun Warriors, Bionic Man, Star Wars, and e-bikes.

Last month, the singer’s apl.de.ap Foundation International partnered with Asian Development Bank and Arizona-based Legacy EV, LLC to advocate for e-mobility training in the country.

Aside from a Rolex watch, the most expensive but the most rewarding thing that he purchased for himself is a rice field in Concepcion, Pampanga.

“I called my mom one day, I think I was in Germany, I don’t know, it just popped into my head. I’m like, ‘We’re always gonna need rice. I gotta buy a rice field,’” he recalled. 

“So, I called my mom. I’m like, ‘Mom, I need you to look for some land. Let’s buy a ricefield.’ She’s like, ‘Anak, are you OK? Are you drunk?’ I’m like that’s beside the point. And then I ran home for one holiday, the next holiday and we got that. That was over a decade ago and she never had to buy rice again.”

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