Filipino pop group Alamat have dropped their latest single ‘Kasmala’.
The upbeat dance-pop track premiered on major streaming services last Thursday (July 15) with an accompanying music video.
The three-minute clip sees the band singing and performing choreographed dance moves in several cinematic settings – in decadent halls, empty fields, and a rusted shed.
The music video of ‘Kasmala’ digs into themes of colonialism and bigotry, serving as the group’s strong rebuke against modern-day racism. ‘Kasmala’ is a play on the Tagalog word “malakas”, which means “strong”.
The lyrics of the song feature lines in different Filipino languages: Tagalog, Ilocano, Ilonggo, Pampango, Bisaya, Waray and Bicolano.
Watch the music video below.
Ahead of the song’s release, Alamat had released three sets of photographs tackling anti-Filipino sentiments throughout history.
The first set of photographs, titled ‘MUHI’, saw the band don elaborate headpieces featuring real-life slurs and slogans used against Filipinos from the late 19th century and until late 2010. The headpieces were created by Leeroy New, who is credited for the “muscle dress” worn by Lady Gaga for her music video for ‘Marry The Night’.
“The ‘Muhi’ set takes inspiration from the #StopAsianHate campaign, reminding our fellow Filipinos that we, too, have always been subject to hate, dehumanisation, and prejudice throughout history,” the band said in an Instagram post.
“But in spite of the hate thrown against us, we shall not be broken down. We shall persist and continue to thrive. We shall endure. For we are strong. We are KASMALA.”
One of the photos had the words “goo-goo” plastered across a headpiece, referring to a derogatory word used by American troops during the Philippine-American war.
Headpieces carry the words “Work no Filipinos”, alluding to violence and racism against Filipino migrant farmers in California while the Philippines was a US colony, and the term “orange savages”, in reference to an American woman’s racist rant against her Filipino neighbours in 2017.
Formed in 2020, Alamat consist of eight members Taneo, Mo, Jao, Tomas, R-Ji, Valfer, Gami, and Alas, who come from different regions of the Philippines. The band made headlines earlier this year when they debuted single with the single ‘kbye’, which was sung in seven different Filipino languages.