No, SB19 doesn't want to be like the K-pop group you rave about

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Despite the obvious similarities, SB19 maintains that they are not K-pop copycats.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — When a rehearsal video of Filipino boy group SB19 for their single “Go Up” made the rounds on social media, many viewers were quick to compare them with popular Korean pop groups.

After all, the slick choreography and synchronized moves of its members—Sejun, Josh, Stell, Justin, and Ken—bear a striking resemblance to those of their Korean counterparts. The sartorial choice of the boys is also similar to Korean pop stars.

Perhaps SB19’s training under Korean entertainment agency ShowBT can explain everything. The five were chosen in 2016 among throngs of Filipino hopefuls who auditioned for a chance to be trained by the agency. This made the group the first in the Philippines to be coached by a Korean company.

Yet despite the obvious similarities, SB19 maintains that they are not K-pop copycats.

“’Pag magkakasama po kaming lima parang ang dating po is parang Korean boy group 'to kasi hindi po sya normal dito sa Philippines,” Sejun told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

[Translation: When we are together, people think we're like a Korean boy group because it's not normal in the Philippines.]

Josh, meanwhile, thinks Filipinos are just more accustomed to western performers.

Medyo bago nga po talaga ‘yung idol group dito sa Philippines siguro medyo nasanay po tayo sa hip-hop groups,” Josh said.

[Translation: Idol groups are really quite new in the Philippines because Filipinos have been used to hip-hop groups.]

Senju said SB19 has one goal: to “break into the music scene in the Philippines” and eventually “promote Filipino music” to the world.

The group is banking on their training under ShowBT as their advantage in accomplishing this goal.

Bago po kami talaga sumabak o mag-perform on stage, we trained for more than three years, so ‘yung dedication namin, we put a lot of hard-work into it,” Sejun said.

[Translation: Before we began performing, we trained for more than three years. We are really dedicated and we put a lot of hard-work to our craft.]

With SB19 starting to gain a legion of supporters, it's safe to say that the group has a long way to go. Their hard-work is also starting to bear fruit. The music video of Go Up, which the group said took them 1,000 practices before the release, has surpassed the one-million mark on YouTube.

READ: Pinoy boyband's music video hits 1 million views on YouTube

“‘Yung promise po namin sa isa’t isa and sa sarili namin ay every time we step up on stage kailangan mabigay namin ‘yung best namin kahit konti ‘yung audience o madami. Kailangan ma-satisy namin ang mga sarili namin at ‘yung audience,” he added.

[Translation: Our promise is to give our best every time we perform, whether in front of a big audience or not. We need to satisfy ourselves and the audience.]