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Manila, Philippines

SB19’s Josh Cullen embraces emotional maturity and healing in R&B track “Sumaya”

Josh Cullen

After announcing his participation at this year’s Round Festival in South Korea, Josh Cullen continues his winning streak with the release of his new single, “Sumaya” under Sony Music Entertainment.

Delivering a quiet rumination on heartbreak and acceptance, “Sumaya” comfortably repackages R&B, trap, pop, and bedroom hip-hop with minimalism that reveals rewarding folds and layers as it progresses. It’s a vulnerable track that expresses the ugly truths of a relationship aftermath but is written from a place of genuine care for the other person’s freedom and happiness.

Josh shares, “Sumaya is about the heart-wrenching journey of accepting that it's time to let go of someone and the memories you've shared. It’s a song that delves into the pain and sadness of moving on while still cherishing the good times you had together.”

According to SB19’s lead rapper and vocalist, the lyrics tackle the bittersweet feeling of parting ways and looking back at a kind of love that once felt life-affirming and real. With the line, "kapag naihatid ka, di na kita susunduin,” Josh demonstrates, with nuance and skill, that he is capable of making songs that hit home.    

“The line really captures that final, painful goodbye,” he adds, crediting his good friend Kael Guerrero for helping him write the track. “We drew inspiration from our own life experiences and memories, which makes this song very personal and emotional for both of us.”

In terms of production, Josh shares that he and his co-producer, Kael, were very careful in coming up with the initial groundwork to capture the emotional depth and bittersweet nature of “Sumaya.” He even added some final tweaks to make sure everything felt right, balancing form and intricacies with the genuine intent of his songwriting style. Then, the talented team at Tribute Collective stepped in to re-arrange it, adding their unique touch.

“Kael and Tribute are real gems in this industry, and their combined efforts helped achieve a sound that is haunting and melancholic, perfectly matching the theme of letting go and the sorrow that comes with it,” Josh Cullen explains.

The track's release is accompanied by a music video featuring Josh Cullen as its lead star. The visuals depict the P-Pop superstar waking up from the relics of the past, allowing himself to journey back to a time when life was brimming with love and rosy optimism, but finally realizes that everything is just an illusion that he has to deal with.

Josh shares, “In the music video for Sumaya, I wake up in a house filled with the most important memories of my life, memories of someone I love deeply. As I touch these objects, they start to disintegrate, and I realize it's because of me. As I continue, I find myself shifting between reality and the void, struggling to escape the overwhelming chaos and emotions happening all at once. I don't ever want to forget these memories, yet I know I have to accept and release what I can’t control.”

The music video was directed by Josh Cullen and Jonathan Tal Placido.

The Yoko Na act adds, “Big shout out to Miko del Rosario as well. He stuck with me during those late-night editing sessions. Despite the tight schedule and having no sleep at all, it wasn’t as stressful as I imagined. We were having fun, and their passion and dedication made the whole experience incredibly rewarding.”

Josh Cullen’s “Sumaya” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide. Watch the music video on Josh Cullen’s YouTube channel.


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