We thought the previous solo debuts of members of P-Pop group SB19 were sudden (we're looking at you, PABLO), but none of them compares to the solo debut of Josh Cullen. The lead rapper and sub-vocalist of SB19 dropped his first solo collaboration, 'Sofa (feat. Josh Cullen & Carrot Mayor)(Remix)' with his cousins Ace (Ocho the Bullet) and Camille (Carrot Mayor). All this after the barest hint that he *might* someday release something.
The remix comes in the wave of his cousins' recent release of the original version of 'Sofa (feat. Carrot Mayor)'. Josh took to social media to promote his cousins' music and hint that Ace would be his "personal producer." Little did we know that his solo debut would come so soon. With Josh's help, the original track shot quickly into the Twitter trends list (Philippines) and several countries' iTunes charts. All this earned Ocho the Bullet some much-needed and deserved publicity.
After a few dozen listens, we can proudly say that 'Sofa Remix' is a catchy R&B track with heavy beats and a sticky melody. It suits the artists well, especially Josh Cullen, who wrote the lyrics for the new opening verse. A closer look at those lyrics (which Josh tweeted an image of shortly after the release) reveals something not often seen in popular R&B songs, especially R&B love songs. With his line, "would you give it to me baby, just lemme know when you're ready," Josh is prioritizing respect and consent in his lyrics. It's a stance the artist has long held, having taken to Twitter in the past to share his thoughts on sexual harassment and society's disrespect towards women and girls.
Josh, who's always been known for his distinct rap style and unique, playful vocals, is highlighted perfectly here. As a sub-vocalist of SB19, "unique" was sometimes used as a back-handed compliment. Here, we see the artist coming into his own, and "unique" has become the perfect trademark of his sound. No one is more proud of him than his fans, the BBQ, who immediately took to Twitter to promote and celebrate.
The unexpected remix shot to the top of Music, Pop, and R&B Twitter Trends within hours, charting at #1 in the Philippines and #4 worldwide. It entered at #1 on iTunes Philippines, UAE and Qatar Top Songs Chart (all genres) and at #22 on iTunes Canada. With the accolades and charts still stacking up (it's only been a few hours at this writing, after all), there seems to be no limit to what a soloist from SB19 is capable of.
So, what are we asking for next? Maybe a music video? Of course, we are just greedy enough to ask for a live performance too. Will we ever be ready for Josh's sudden and shocking releases? No, probably not.