Filipinos having a surplus of musical talent is a well-known fact. Hundreds of Tiktoks feature our impromptu karaoke showdowns and the insane vocal range of unassuming people. It’s a bewildering feeling that doesn’t escape Leonard Lim.
“There are so many talents out there, and for some reason, all of you can sing and dance. It’s crazy,” said Lim, who is bringing WILD Group to the Philippines.
The Singapore-based talent and marketing agency was founded in 2020 by Lim, its CEO. Before setting up WILD, Lim worked in the music and entertainment industry for seven years as a model as well on the business side before going “100% entrepreneur” with the network he acquired.
Today, WILD Group is home to 45 artists, producers, models, and content creators, such as Sorn and Seungyeon from CLC, Yubin from Wonder Girls, LANA, Junoflo, and Tasha Low. Lim hopes to bring the same success and influence to Southeast Asia, and it starts with one of the most passionate fanbases in the region.
Leonard Lim sat down with Complex PH to talk about his plans for globalizing Filipino talent, what sets WILD apart, and his upcoming project with Nadine Lustre.
What convinced you to set up shop in the Philippines?
Eight months ago, we moved the headquarters from Korea to Singapore to explore the Southeast Asian market. I realized there is so much talent out here that we can provide a global platform as best as possible.
I really like the Philippines because everyone speaks English well. You guys are the biggest English-speaking population in Southeast Asia. WILD is an international and hybrid entertainment company, and most of our music is in English, so Manila and the Philippines just made sense.
Another thing is that the country is very Westernized. When I was in Manila, I realized a lot of American culture is right there in the heart of the Philippines. So that aesthetic and appeal give Filipinos a huge chance to tap into the global audience.
Have you signed any Filipino creators or musicians yet that you can share with us?
We have a big music project that we’ll release in a couple of months, which will probably be pretty big news. It’s with Nadine Lustre.
It will come out in Q2 this year with WILD as the record label. It’s the first time I’ve said this news out loud. So if you guys are the first ones to announce it, I want it to be read correctly out of respect for Nadine and for us to promote it correctly to the Philippines.
I will say that Nadine is not only supremely talented but also super humble, very down-to-earth, and hardworking. She knows what she wants. I couldn’t speak more highly about first impressions and working with someone.
How much input did Nadine have with the single?
[Nadine had] 100%. Much of Nadine’s input went into this song, and that’s how WILD usually works with our artists.
The creative process is a partnership. So when we’re putting out music, I want it to be something that comes from inside and that the artist is proud of.
Another is that the output must also be something WILD believes in. It’s true to the artist’s brand value and marketable as well. We don’t just want to make music; it has to be heard and appreciated by the masses.
Aside from Nadine, are you eyeing other artists or launching events?
We want to focus on Nadine’s project first, but I will say, yeah, there is another high-profile artist we will be working with.
I think we’ll be doing more promotions outside of the Philippines. So my team and Nadine would sit down and discuss it, but at the end of the day, we really want to prioritize getting [the song] right for Nadine first.
Anything else you want Filipino audiences to know?
We’re constantly looking for new talents in the Philippines and are open-minded to working with artists who want to expose themselves [to audiences] outside of the country.
Maybe some of you are high-profile artists out there that are looking to collaborate with other Southeast Asian or K-Pop artists. Maybe we’re the right people to talk about it with.