MNL48 returns to the music scene

After a year of laborious preparations, all-girl P-Pop group MNL48 finally returns with their seventh single, “No Way Man,” a dance-centric song with a message that mirrors the gang's can-do attitude amid challenges.

No Way Man is led by center girl MNL48 Abby with Senbatsu members Sheki, Jamie, Ruth, Ella, Jan, Andi, Jem, Yzabel, Princess, Lara, Coleen, Rianna, Lyza, Dana and Dian. The single has been long overdue for the girls due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the health crisis's ensuing restrictions on large performance groups.

MNL48 coach Angel said doing the single was “unforgettable” because of its complex choreography and what the girls were going through while rehearsing the song

“We've been training for a year for this, and it's tough to catch up because we had to do everything online. We've experienced many things, and the lyrics really speak of all that,” Angel added

One of the pioneering all-female P-Pop groups in the Philippines, MNL48.

One of the pioneering all-female P-Pop groups in the Philippines, MNL48.

For Rank 2 MNL48 Sheki, No Way Man truly exhibits their growth as performers since coming together in 2018.

“This single features our talent in a different arena of dancing. Aside from that, it also highlights our vocals and the character of each member. The song has a beautiful meaning; it reflects our life as MNL48 idols,” Sheki said.

Meanwhile, for Jem, the song's title speaks a powerful message with lyrics that are full of metaphor.

“If you listen to it, it will encourage you to go on, fight and believe that there is always a light in every dark situation,” Jem explained.

“Kami as a group, naexperience namin yung ganun. May mga nabanggit doon sa lyrics na red ocean which means yung darkest days namin — yung problems, yung struggles, yung mga hindrance, but now, we really feel yung blue ocean naman is slowly coming to us. We hope na once we reached yung blue ocean namin, we'll never go back na sa red ocean days namin,” she continued.

The music video for No Way Man is now up on MNL48's YouTube channel, which shows off the group's intricate choreography on a rooftop and in fiery and elegant sets, with 496,000 views as of writing. MNL48's last single was 2020's “River.”

Coleen shared, “First time namin na perform yung song together during the music video shoot. Matagal din namin itong naprepare at nadama namin yung unity, harmony, at eagerness ng bawa't isa, kung gaano namin kamahal ang ginagawa namin at kung gaano namin kamahal ang grupo. Very hopeful and optimistic kami sa mga pwedeng mangyari pa sa amin in the future.”

On the difficulty of the dance steps, Sheki added, “Actually, ang ganda nga po ng development. Kasi yung dati tayo sobrang limited yung mga movements, very cute. With 'No Way Man,' nagpo-progress yung movements ng mga girls. And that's the time we realized within ourselves that, 'Kaya ko pala 'to. May ibubuga pa pala ako. And I think that's the best thing na natutunan natin sa No Way Man.'”

MNL48 is one of the first major all-female groups established during the P-Pop era. With that, they are grateful for both experiencing a lot of firsts and being able to help spread and inspire others to begin their musical journey.

“Maybe because we are the first P-Pop idol here in the Philippines, as seniors, naranasan namin lahat ng mga first — first achievement, first bashing, first lahat. Nahirapan po kami na i-establish yung group namin sa Pilipinas. But sobra po akong naniniwala na yung pinaka-na-contribute namin dito sa Pilipinas is our uniqueness po talaga,” Sheki proudly noted.

“We were able to spread a new culture and influence them. We all know na nag-usbungan na po talaga yung P-pop groups. I'm very proud po na ang MNL48 ay kahit papano talaga parang nakapagbigay tayo ng help sa kanila and na-follow nila yung footsteps natin kahit papano especially yung impact and influence namin,” she added.

Meanwhile, center girl MNL48 Abby congratulated their members and their fans, whom they call “MNLoves” for inspiring her to do her best.

“I witnessed every member give their very best for a quality comeback. At first, I doubted if I could do this, but I always kept in mind that I have a good support system in my sisters, co-members, and the MNL48 fans who kept encouraging and believing in me.

“It's hard to be part of an idol group. You have to sacrifice, may mga standard na kailangan sundan, and one thing I can say sa mga nangangarap maging idol, you need to love yourself, you need to respect yourself, and you're not allowed to stop learning.”

MNLove can also look forward to the release of a music card with a mini photobook and a handshake ticket that will be available soon.

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