• Kent Garcia

MNL48 kicks off RIVER era with music video premiere, digital release

After months of waiting, MNL48 is now finally back with a bang as they ushered in their sixth single “RIVER” today by releasing its much-awaited music video last night, culminating months of preparation despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Directed by Miko Pelino and filmed at different locations within the Marikina Sports Center, the music video shows a major change in the group’s image as they went to show their energetic dance moves and high-octane performing skills in line with the song’s message about facing obstacles in life.

Furthermore, the music video provided a closer glimpse on the black-colored seifuku of the single, with a touch of yellow and gray. Members also performed on various settings such as an open field, abandoned floor and outdoor areas while different elements such as colored smoke and flares added a different dimension to the cinematography of the music video, headed by Director Andrei Fonseca.

Headlining the RIVER senbatsu are its double centers Gabb Skribikin and Abby Trinidad. They are joined by Brei Binuya, Coleen Trinidad, Jan Elaurza, Sela Guia, Ella Amat, Alice de Leon, Jamie Alberto, Laney Sanosa, Sheki Arzaga, Belle delos Reyes and first-time senbatsu members Amy Isidto, Frances Pinlac, Gia Muse, and Jaydee Villaruel.

In an interview with ABS-CBN Entertainment two days ago, Pelino further explained his concept behind the music video saying that in encountering challenges, people should be in “fighting mode.” “It also shows that celebrating small victories isn’t a bad thing and that we should always be ready for the next obstacle in life," he added.

Making her maiden center appearance, Trinidad emphasized the hard work every senbatsu member put in to match the vibe and energy that was required of them. “We did everything to get the perfect results even if we are facing [a] pandemic right now. I would say that sixth single is one of the best, and people should really set their expectations high,” she said.

ABS-CBN Star Hunt executive producer Cham Estrera-Magsaysay also paid tribute to the members’ efforts despite the delays and uncertainties caused by the pandemic. “Proud ako syempre sa girls. From the start pa lang, I saw a big potential,” she said in her Instragram story. Magsaysay also hopes that the music video will help the group to get more mainstream attention.

Thousands of viewers flocked the music video premiere, which happened in the idol group’s YouTube channel, with numbers reaching up to more than 4,000 viewers at one point. The music video quickly garnered views, reaching the 100,000 mark as of 1:00 AM today with more expected to come in the next few days.

Fans also expressed their jubilation and praises on social media, as the hashtag #MNL48RiverMV breaking the 100,000-Tweet mark on Twitter and making it to the top of the domestic trending topics yesterday. Mother group AKB48 and local girl group BINI also promoted the music video on their social media accounts.

Right after the music video premiere, RIVER’s digital tracks were also released on different digital streaming sites. The single is available on Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube Music for download. Joining the main track is its coupling songs “Sampung Taon ng Sakura” centered by Jem Caldejon, and “Labrador Retriever” performed by Team MII and led by Sheki Arzaga.

Auto-generated videos are also appeared on YouTube for streaming, while the Spotify link for RIVER is expected to be uploaded tonight at 6:00 PM (Manila time).

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