There is no long journey like the long journey of P-Pop Queens, 4th Impact. From their 2001 debut to their cover artist days, the successes and letdowns of competitions, and on to their first single, they've stuck together as sisters and artists. In 2021, they signed with ShowBT Philippines and Sony Music Philippines, entering a new era. Let's look back at how they got to where they are now.
The Group of Many Names
They've been through many name changes. Starting as the Cercado (their last name) Sisters during local competitions, to Gollayan (their mother's name) Sisters until 2014. It was then that they auditioned for and competed in SuperstarK6 in Korea(6). They decided to use the name MICA (the initials of their first names) after finding out that it was hard for the Korean audience to pronounce Cercado. A year later, when auditioning for X-Factor UK in 2015, the name MICA was already in use by another performer (Mica Paris), so another switch was made to 4th Power. On arrival in the UK, one more change happened when a copyright claim was made on the new name, forcing a quick switch to 4th Impact. The name stuck, and they've since copyrighted it(4).
The Competition Queens
Today, that audition is legendary. It is the most viewed video in the history of X-Factor UK, with 185 Million views on YouTube to date.
Competitions started early for the Cercado Sisters, who have been competing since they were children, ironically doing better abroad than at home. They even shared that local judges told them they "lacked star quality," connections, and a better team. Their first big win came in 2006 when they joined the World Championships of Performing Arts. They brought home the title of Junior Vocal Group Grand Champion and sixteen gold medals. A return to the same international competition in 2013 earned them a haul of four silver medals, twenty gold medals, and the title of Grand Winner in the Senior Vocal Category.
Their time in Korea competing in SuperstarK6 was one of their first truly big breaks. Not only did the sisters outlast all other non-Korean acts in the season, but even after their elimination, they were brought back as a wildcard act. They made it to the live episodes before finishing in 8th place overall.
After their stint in Korea, they came across a comment saying they were good enough to compete in X-Factor. Help came first from a UK fan who allowed them to use his email address to send their online audition. Their second benefactor was a fairy godmother they call "Inang" (Mama), who sponsored their entire UK trip. History was soon made. They weren't the first Filipinos to audition for X-Factor UK, but they were the first to fly in from the Philippines. Their past competition experience was intriguing enough for the judges to want to see what they were made of. Today, that audition is legendary. It is the most viewed video in the history of X-Factor UK, with 185 Million views on YouTube to date(5).
They aced every challenge until the semi-finals, where they finished in fifth place. Though they had wowed the panel that week, with the judges citing it as their best performance vocally so far, they lacked online votes. Despite that, the sisters took the entire experience as a positive one.
Most people don't know that after nearly ten years and participating in multiple competitions, the sisters had already stopped singing.
When asked about their feelings on X-Factor, they shared that it was like a dream to finally be there. Simon Cowell was surprisingly nurturing towards them, and the racist remark controversy, attributed to a fellow competitor, was blown out of proportion because they were actually friends(7). Most people don't know that after nearly ten years and participating in multiple competitions, the sisters had already stopped singing. Only their mother's request to take the last chance propelled them forward. They may have lost X-Factor UK but gained serious and loyal fans from that experience. Most importantly, they started to believe their dreams were possible.
Independent Era and ShowBT Philippines
That hope kept them alive during the not-so-warm reception of their first original single, 'K(no)w More.' The single was released during their time as independent artists, but even then, they were making moves toward their next contract. It started when the sisters opened for fellow P-Pop group SB19 at their Back In The Zone Concert. It wasn't the last time they worked with them either. SB19 and 4th Impact shared the stage at Forte: a Pop Orchestra Concert, and then the sisters opened for SB19 again at their Our Zone Concert. Other joint performances were scattered throughout the 4-month span as well, so it came as little surprise to the fans when 4th Impact announced they had signed with ShowBT Philippines and officially became the sibling group of the P-Pop Kings.
A Bright Future
Few groups in the industry have fought as long and as hard as 4th Impact.
Since joining the ShowBT family, 4th Impact has been unstoppable. They released their first comeback single, 'Here We Go,' in March of 2022, which included a music video and a single album. They've continued with endless guesting and performances, including the National Costume and Fashion Show for Binibing Pilipinas and, with their most recent release, their first live musical showcase and fan meeting for their second comeback single 'Tapat Sa'yo.'
Few groups in the industry have fought as long and as hard as 4th Impact. The Cercado Sisters have experienced all levels of victory and defeat. There were times when they were on top of the world, performing in front of a smiling Simon Cowell, who fought for them to stay on X-Factor UK. There were also the absolute lows of being artists during the pandemic and nearly losing everything. The future now looks unspeakably bright for 4th Impact. Their Dreamers are still there, 7 years later, fighting for their Queens, and the fans from their competition days are slowly returning to the fold. They are undoubtedly part of the future of P-Pop and OPM.
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