BGYO on their 'extraordinary' 2nd album, navigating fame, and living up to 'Aces of P-pop' title

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2022 07:43 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2022 09:17 PM

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Gelo Rivera, the leader of the BGYO, could not hide his excitement when asked to describe in one word the P-pop act’s second album, saying the record will be “extraordinary.”

Fellow member Mikki Claver, who similarly cheered when the topic was brought up, teased that their sophomore outing is, simply, the “best.” Akira Morishita used the term, “kakaiba”; Nate Porcalla said it would be “untouchable”; while JL Toreliza opted for “exciting.”

Dubbed as the “Aces of P-pop,” BGYO quickly made a mark on the Philippine music scene in its debut year alone. The boy group has also made a splash internationally, notably by ranking No. 1 in two global charts for emerging artists — Billboard’s Next Big Sound and Pandora Predictions Chart — during the same week in 2021 with “The Baddest.”

That stride continued despite the pandemic. In just the past month, BGYO juggled three concert performances — Tugatog, Be You, and Beyond the Stars — plus a mall-show tour, and the back-to-back recordings of the dance hit “Tumitigil And Mundo” (which debuted at No. 1 in iTunes Philippines) and the official theme song of the superhero series “Mars Ravelo’s Darna.”

Those are aside from their appearances as endorsers of diverse brands, from mint, soda, a clothing line, and a fast food chain, among others — proving their wide appeal reaches beyond their most loyal followers.

With consecutive events with live audiences — after settling for virtual shows for most of their first year due to the pandemic — Rivera said he and his “brothers” often find themselves in disbelief by just how exponential their fanbase, dubbed the ACEs, has grown.

Referring to their recent mall show, Rivera said: “Sobrang daming dumalo noon. Mula sa stage, hanggang dulo ‘yung mga tao, meron din sa gilid. Hindi lang ako makapinawala na matagal na rin pala kami as a group, tapos ngayon ko lang napapansin and nari-realize na dumadami na rin ‘yung supporters namin, ‘yung ACEs. Sana, patuloy lang ‘to. Mag-wo-work hard pa rin kami kahit ano man ang mangyari.”

Their ACEs’ support more tangible than ever, BGYO’s leader said they intend to live up to the moniker, Aces of P-pop, as their way of returning the love from their legion of fans, both long-time and new.

“We make sure every day na may natutunan kaming bago at may maibibigay kami sa mga ACEs namin at sa mga potential na magiging ACEs din na alam kong matutuwa sila. Parang, ‘Bago ‘to, ha, hindi pa nila nagagawa dati.’ Gusto naming maging versatile, gusto namin na magawa namin lahat ng kaya naming magawa. At lahat naman kami, goal namin ‘yun, maging versatile,” he said.

Speaking with ABS-CBN News, Rivera, Claver, Morishita, Porcalla, and Toreliza also opened up about how they have been coping with their packed schedule, being a public figure while also being their authentic self, highs and lows during their journey as a group, and the moments they were most proud of each other.