After emerging as an online sensation for their captivating social media presence, distinct personalities, and impromptu meet and greets, the Asian-American ensemble, North Star Boys, chiefly known as NSB, launched their hyperpop track, ‘SUNSHINE’, last August 12.
The track follows the release of their debut single, you are my star, dropped last May 2022. SUNSHINE illustrates an emblematic representation of “perseverance” and “dedication” to the ones you love— delivering an overarching theme highlighted in the track’s official music video, directed by Bae Merola and Angel Andres.
In an exclusive interview with the group, NSB shared more about their newest track; how the creative process of crafting this record developed, what makes the release of this hyperpop record marks the introduction of their sound as an ensemble, why the limited Asian representation in the “creator culture” inspired Regie Macalino to bring awareness about embracing one’s culture, and more.
TNH: Almost a year of making rounds on the entertainment scene, and now you’re releasing your sophomore track, SUNSHINE, following the release of your debut song, you are my star in May 2022; How do you guys feel about presenting this new piece to your listeners all over the globe?
Sebastian Moy: Our first single, you are my star, was a track made for our fans, the Stars. It was an exciting way to enter the music scene by honoring our loyal followers. Releasing our second single, SUNSHINE is our official debut in the hyperpop genre, and we are excited for our fans to really get a feel for our sound. We have a huge audience in the Philippines, and of course, one of our members, Regie Macalino, was born and raised here, so we are grateful to celebrate the release of the single in this amazing country.
TNH: SUNSHINE touches on the concept of “perseverance” and “dedication” to people you value. What prompted the group to share such a message through your track? What underlying message are you aiming to convey to your listeners through the narrative of this record?
Oliver Moy: There’s this quote I’ve seen on the sidewalk spray painted around LA, “Invest love in the ones who stay.” When I wrote SUNSHINE, I wanted to remind listeners to appreciate and value the people in their lives who are there through thick and thin. It’s easy to take people for granted sometimes, but having people in your corner through the good and the bad is powerful. Reciprocating that energy to the people who value you is important. We want to be there for the ones who are there for us.
TNH: For Regie, you’ve mentioned that this song means shedding light on your Filipino heritage, for it is essential for you to incorporate your roots in everything you do. You highlighted the notion of embracing one’s culture and uniqueness through SUNSHINE; Why do you think it is significant to bring awareness about embracing our culture and not being afraid to be different to your Filipino listeners?
Regie Macalino: Asian representation in the creator culture and in media has always been limited. Growing up, there weren’t really too many examples we could look up. We have symbols of Filipino culture throughout the music video, just giving a shoutout to the country I was born in and hopefully inspiring those in our community to follow their dreams and opportunities are limitless if they work hard and believe.
TNH: What can you share about the creative process of this track? How did it evolve, and what specific references greatly influenced the overall structure of the record?
Oliver Moy: I wrote this song by free-styling a bunch of melodies and lyrics; afterwards, I put the recordings together and said, “hm not bad, makes sense.” Regie is always one to come into my room and hop on random songs. I’m glad he did that day because 4 hours and a completed song later, we showed the other members, including Manager Ty and they said it was a hit. We haven’t touched the song since.
TNH: In terms of its sonic arrangement. What can you share about the mood, vibe, and tone of SUNSHINE?
Oliver Moy: This single is a mix of different tones but overall fits in the hyperpop genre. It’s a chill track and a bit sensual and soulful but then picks up a bit on the bridge.
TNH: After producing the track, how do you think the process and experience influenced your artistry as a group and as individual creatives?
Oliver Moy: I write, record, and produce everything myself. It started as a hobby, but looking at what we’ve put out so far, it’s surreal sharing these songs with the world. It’s been cool seeing how everyone gets more and more involved in the process like we had no idea Regie could sing until we started messing around with SUNSHINE. I think we’ll all continue to develop our individual styles as we keep putting out music.
According to the 7-piece group, each member bears their own “sunshine” from which they drew inspiration for this track— an ex-lover, current lover, family member, or as NSB co-founder Oliver Moy says, his newfound friend group-turned family.
Meanwhile, for Filipino NSB member Regie Macalino, the track’s core message means shedding light on his Filipino heritage as elements of his culture are seemingly embedded throughout the narrative of the record’s music video.