After the massive success of their breakthrough hit single "Sa Isang Sulyap Mo," the boy band 1:43 had to face the expectations of fans and critics for a worthy follow-up single.
For the all-Pinoy quartet styled in the image of Korean pop groups, that song is “Ikaw at Ako,” unveiled on July 4 over 95.5 Pinas FM where the boys dropped in as guests.
"We can say mas enjoyable doing this recording kasi meron na kaming past experience to improve on and this is really different both in sound and approach," shared Anjo Resurreccion, the group's acknowledged spokesperson who was once a MYX VJ Search finalist.
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The track, written by 1:43 road manager Yuri Tesorio, is a perky piece dominated by snapping fingers and a ukulele.
It has been receiving positive reviews on YouTube, where an audio version was quickly posted.
Commented konnichiwaejae: “hahaha...ang kulet ng tunog, sooooo relaxing :)) at dahil dyan isang malaking ‘WOW!!!’”
Joven Son Dela Cerna was just as impressed, saying the song made him feel like “para nasa paraiso” and loved the voice of “Kuya Anjo.”
"For this song, the boys were pushing themselves more than to just get the job done," said manager Chris Cahilig. "They did it well instead of doing it just right."
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Feet on the ground
1:43's signature hit “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo" was released early last year and dominated the radio charts, landing on the top spot of the Philippine Radio Music Chart OPM Top 20.
Main singer Yuki Sakamoto says that the group, which has been together since 2010, has kept been clear-eyed about success.
"Overwhelming ang pakiramdam when several fans approach us,” he admits. “It's a good thing hindi pumapasok sa ulo namin ang fame. Nirerespeto namin ang isa't isa and that helps us keep our feet planted on the ground."
Even Ronald "Argee" Golding Jr., who joined the group last February, has been able to incorporate himself into the group smoothly. He was recommended for the audition by a classmate who happens to be an avid fan of 1:43.
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Parlor games onstage
The brainchaild of ex-member Kim Nicolas, “1:43” is the cheesy shortcut for “I love you.” Adding the colon so it resembles a time of day was an afterthought.
Unlike other boy bands, 1:43 is known for their spontaneous antics. When they’re onstage, they invite audience members to join them for a newspaper dance or to play “Trip to Jerusalem.”
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But will they last?
Member Gold Aquino believes the group’s "fun run" can be sustained as long as band members “meet halfway" in everything they do.
And with their videos racking up a combined total of 35 million views, it seems foolish for 1:43 not to do so.