MANILA—Most of the Filipinos' eyes will be on New Clark City Wednesday for the closing ceremony of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and they're in for quite a reintroduction.
Sure, their current popularity may not be at the same dizzying heights as it was back during the earlier part of this decade, and their last album did not quite storm the charts but the Black Eyed Peas are back and they want us all to do one thing.
"Keep dancing to it," said will.i.am, as he talked to reporters this Tuesday together with groupmates Taboo and apl.de.ap, whom he refer to as "family," about their newest hit, "RITMO."
The song has just hit the US Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, the first time the Black Eyed Peas have entered the rankings in six years. It is a collaboration with Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin and it heavily samples the 90s hit "Rhythm of the Night."
"RITMO," which is part of the official soundtrack of the upcoming third installment of the buddy cop action franchise "Bad Boys," is highly influenced by Afrobeats and the music from Latin America.
The group said that it feels great to be back on the charts, and that they're once again instilling people with "good times" and filling the air with "positive festive music."
Taboo said: "It's music that people love to dance to, work out to —it's the music for everybody and it's the international frequency . . . We're proud of all the great content that we have for 2020."
They are set to perform the song at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
According to apl.de.ap, whose Filipino ties was the primary reason the band was picked, he is extremely grateful towards both Taboo and will.i.am as he knows the sacrifices the two had to make in order to squeeze the performance in their schedules.
The SEA Games date was added to the group's world tour schedule, which has taken them to Brazil, Paraguay, and Australia, among other countries.
"When I heard about the SEA Games, I just wanted to do the torch run. Like how Will did it in the UK," apl.de.ap shared.
"It took me about a month to get the yes [from them]. And now I'm so excited that they're here for this historical and momentous event — This is a celebration of our athletes for their hard work to represent our country."
Apl.de.ap already performed at the major sporting event, as part of the opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena.
He sang "Bebot" as part of a string of numbers, that also included a tribute to OPM legend Francis M.