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P-pop boy group 1st.One shares lessons, concert experience, 2024 plans

by Joanna Deala

RISING P-pop group 1st.One has attained several achievements since they entered the local music scene in 2020. 

Among these were songs they produced that made it to Billboard’s “Hot Trending Songs” chart, their successful live performances in local events and shows, their appearance at the 29th Seoul Music Awards that was graced by popular K-pop groups, and of course, their recent first-ever solo concert.

These positive developments are what the public hears about 1st.One but as everyone knows, success stories are not without hardships and uncertainties that only made its six members stronger.

Conquering these challenges, what could be the lessons that these P-pop idols learned as they navigate the competitive music industry? Ace, Max, Alpha, J, Joker and Jayson sat down with republicasia to share their realizations to inspire young individuals to continue chasing their dreams.

From left to right: Max, Jayson, Ace, Alpha, Joker, and J. Photo courtesy: republicasia

If there were one lesson that Alpha can share with the youth, it is to not give up on their dreams, especially if they really like what they are doing. He encouraged them to “just do it” because he believes that nothing will happen if they don’t exert great effort.

“Just keep believing in your dreams tsaka pagbutihan mo lang lagi kung ano man yung ginagawa mo, just do hard work,” he said.

Joker agreed with Alpha and added that it was important for them to live by the phrase “discipline over motivation.” One should work hard for their dream as it cannot be achieved overnight, he stressed.

Kumbaga ‘pag nagtanim ka, ‘pag diniligan mo, hindi naman kinabukasan puno na ‘yan eh. Kailangan mo ng pasensya, kailangan mo ng disiplina kahit lulugo-lugo na yung feelings mo, kailangan nandyan ka pa rin kasi ‘yun yung pangarap mo eh,” emphasized Joker. 

The journey to success could span longer than one could think of. However, Max said that dreamers should “always trust the process” regardless of how long it might take them to reach their goals. Remember that nothing good in life comes easy, especially success.

Wala naman talagang madali. Kung madali yan, e di lahat na ng tao ginawa yan. Mahirap talaga yung path na madadaanan mo, may madali, pero lahat yan puro mahirap kasi promise magiging worth it lahat kapag mahirap yung pinagdaanan mo kasi doon mo nalalaman yung mga lesson, experiences, mga realization sa buhay,” said Max.

The lessons and experiences they will earn along their journey will help them grow not only in their careers but, ultimately, as a person.

Doon mo malalaman lahat ng mga tama [at] mali na dapat mong gawin or ‘di dapat gawin,” said Max. “So, trust the process and enjoy the journey.”

For J, the key to success is to believe in oneself. Doing so would be their “greatest weapon,” he stressed.

“Every day naman din hindi mo palaging makukuha yung tiwala ng ibang tao. Kumbaga hindi mo mapi-please lahat ng tao, so mas mabuti na magsimula siya sayo. Pagkatiwalaan mo sarili mo, i-encourage mo yung sarili mo,” he said. 

Jayson, the group’s youngest member, picked up a short but meaningful lesson in his journey as a P-pop idol with 1st.One, and that is to always keep in mind the saying: “Your life will start at the end of your comfort zone.”

Concert experience

These lessons pushed them to bring their music career to another level by holding their first-ever solo concert.

Titled “VERSE1 Year-End Concert,” the musical event was held on December 20, 2023 at the Teatrino Greenhills. The one-night concert was not just filled with performances by the group. Their fans, collectively known as ForOne, had the chance to take part in the meet-and-greet session with their idols.

But it was not only 1st.One that prepared surprises—ForOne also dedicated a heartfelt surprise video for the members toward the end of the event.

Pinaka memorable po para sa’kin is yung part na–sa huli na po kasi yun eh, parang merong pa-video yung fans. Surprise video pala. Nagulat kami na akala namin tapos na po talaga yung event [tapos] biglang may nagpe-play po pala sa likod,” recalled Max.

The fans also surprised them with banners after the heartfelt clip.

Pagharap naman po namin sa audience, mga nakataas yung banner nila. Ako po personally, yung heart ko na-touch po kasi ang sobrang sweet,” he said.

The P-pop group also did not expect that “VERSE1 Year-End Concert” would be sold out on the day of the show. This pushed the members to put up a good show.

“To be honest po, nakakapagod yung concert set namin,” said Ace. “So nung nalaman pa po namin na sold-out, I think ‘yun [yung] one of the key moments na parang wala atang napapagod nung time na yon.”

Regardless of the number of fans at the show, Max stressed that the group would still push through with the concert.

Ang motto ko rin po sa sarili and for sa’min din po, kahit may isa lang manuod jan, itutuloy namin yung concert,” he said.

For Ace, the group’s leader, the whole event definitely gave both 1st.One and ForOne “a good experience.”

Year of “rebranding”

Their solo concert was just the beginning of their bolder steps to create more impact in the P-pop industry, according to Ace.

“We’ve only just begun talaga kasi no matter how many songs we already have, no matter what reputation or what level of stage we’ve already reached, kahit anong achievement ‘yan, for us, we still have a lot of goals to tackle and to conquer,” he said.

1st.One aims to achieve milestone after milestone with their plan to “rebrand” the group this year, and fans surely have tons of projects to look forward to from their idols.

“2024 will be the birth of a brand-new 1st.One,” said Ace.

“There will be a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of music like music videos, content and a lot of shows, and of course, [a] tour coming up,” he revealed.

By doing so, the group’s leader hopes that 1st.One will inspire more fans and encourage more listeners to explore P-pop.

“We’d like to continue making music, making content, making visual performances on stage na ‘pag nadaanan ng non-P-pop fan, mapapa-in love sila sa P-pop and open more doors na hindi lang para sa’min,” he said.

“We just like to create more doors not only for our brothers and sisters sa industry, pero for those dreamers din na pausbong pa lang,” he added.

Ace said that 2024 would, perhaps, be the “busiest” for the group.

“We’d really like to take things on a whole new level and we’d really love to show people–fans or still casuals–another side [of] P-pop and 1st.One that they’ve never seen before para ma-take namin yung next level not only ng music namin, but the music and the whole audio visual, or the whole culture of P-pop, to the next level kasi magko-contribute naman yan eventually to P-pop,” he added.

Will the group finally release an album? Will they go on a nationwide or an international tour? These are what fans would have to find out in the coming days though Ace teased that their new projects are going to be “dope.”



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