Music

2010s Biggest Trends in the OPM Scene

Mabuhay! Kumusta? It’s been a while since I have created my last blog post. I bet everybody’s enjoying the holidays. 🙂

We’re a few days away to 2020, which meant that this decade is about to end. In the OPM scene, a lot of trends have been set by the industry. Allow me to cite some of these trends.

ARTISTA-SLASH-RECORDING ARTISTS

This trend has been existent in the Philippine film and music industry since the advent of the studio system in the 1950s-1960s. Due to these artistas‘ monumental popularity, TV stations, film production companies, and recording companies have been seeing this still as a lucrative industrial practice. Such practice is not only a good offering to their fans, but also one of the effective marketing tools for every celebrity. Some of the actors who fall in this category are Anne Curtis, Alden Richards, Kim Chiu, James Reid, Nadine Lustre, and Ken Chan.

EX-KONTESERAS

Sarah Geronimo is undeniably one of the biggest superstars who had her roots from winning Star for A Night. While Geronimo has been reaching the “Tala” as a dance-pop singer, more and more singing competition alumni have been making waves in the industry.

Angeline Quinto started the 2010s generation of singing competition alumni when she won Star Power in 2011. Since the start of the decade, Quinto has been consistently commissioned to perform some of the theme songs for ABS-CBN’s drama series and Star Cinema’s movies.

Angeline Quinto’s winning song, “Patuloy Ang Pangarap”

KZ Tandingan broke the biritera mold when she won X-Factor Philippines in 2012. While most of her kontesera contemporaries showed their vocal prowess through stratospheric vocal ranges, Tandingan did another way. She showed her vocal prowess through improvisations, such as scats. Not to mention, she was shown such skill when she joined a Chinese singing competition called “Singer” in 2018.

The singing competition scene in the Philippine music scene looked bigger when a Filipinized franchise of The Voice went on-air. The Voice of the Philippines, as well as its counterpoints for younger singers (The Voice Kids and The Voice Teens), have produced some of the now-bigger names in the Philippine music industry, such as Daryl Ong, Morissette Amon, and Elha Nympha.

With the return of the Idol franchise in the Philippines, it gave names in the industry, such as Zephanie Dimaranan, as well as the iDolls Lucas Garcia, Enzo Almario, and Matty Juniosa.

Zephanie Dimaranan’s winning song, “Pangarap Kong Pangarap Mo,” written by Jonathan Manalo

iDolls Matty Juniosa, Lucas Garcia,and Enzo Almario with their cover of “Dalaga.”

Upon the return of Tawag ng Tanghalan on air in 2016 as one of the major segments of It’s Showtime, this homegrown brand has raked millions of views of its contenders’ performances and brought the TNT Boys (Francis Concepcion, Mackie Empuerto, and Keifer Sanchez) to stardom, here and abroad. It has also launched TNT Records, a subsidiary of Star Music for Tawag ng Tanghalan sa Showtime alumni. Season 1 Runners-up Sam Mangubat and Froilan Canlas have also topped the MOR Dyis Is It charts this year. While it has produced three regular seasons, one kids’ edition, one celebrity edition, and an All-Star Grand Resbak, it is about to launch its fourth season this January 2020.

The TNT Boys’ first original song, “Together We Fly,” written by Chochay Magno.
Tawag ng Tanghalan sa Showtime Season 2 Grand Champion Janine Berdin’s “Nasa Puso,” Kadenang Ginto’s theme song.
Tawag ng Tanghalan sa Showtime Season 1 Grand Champion Noven Belleza’s winning medley of Air Supply’s songs.
Tawag ng Tanghalan sa Showtime Season 3 Grand Champion Elaine Duran’s winning version of Shanti Dope’s “Nadarang.”

SOFT FEMALE VOCALS

Powerful voices have prevailed in the Philippine music industry for such a long time. However, it also paved way to the industry’s softest yet heartfelt vocals. In connection to hugot culture, ex-commercial jingle singer and The Voice of the Philippines alumna Moira dela Torre made her biggest break when she performed “Malaya” as the official soundtrack of 2016 film “Camp Sawi.”

Other singers followed suit, such as Janine Teñoso.

THE BURGEONING RAP SCENE

While the late Francis Magalona and Gloc 9 have been the most celebrated rappers in the Philippine rap scene, a lot of rappers followed suit. One of the biggest solo rap acts of the decade is Shanti Dope, who released the following songs: “Nadarang,” “MAU,” “Shantidope,” “Amatz,” and many more.

ALLMO$T’s “Dalaga” became widely popular when social media influencer Mimiyuuh’s video of her doing a wacky facial expression went viral on social media.

Social media influencer Mimiyuuuh’s humorous interpretation of the Dalagang Filipina.

Ex Battalion became one of the biggest groups in the Filipino music scene in 2017 when they released a heartbreak anthem, “Hayaan Mo Sila.”

Other rap artists that made their name in the 2010s Filipino rap scene were Panty Droppaz League, Ron Henley, Nik Makino, and Arvey.

NEWER SOUNDS

The indie scene is never left behind, as a lot of bands have introduced newer styles in the 2010s. Some of the biggest players from the indie scene that broke into mainstream are Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, and December Avenue.

The juan karlos band led by The Voice Kids alumnus Juan Karlos Labajo also made it big in the Filipino music industry with the monster hit, “Buwan.” It has the art song-like feel and lyricism with rock instrumentations.

These trends have proven that the OPM scene remains alive. In this digital age, the next big thing may be either one of the indie acts that would go viral or one of the singing competition finalists. Basically ANYONE.

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Entertainment, Music

OPM: The Year in Review

2018 is the year for Original Pilipino Music.

This year, more bands emerged in the OPM scene, especially with the launch of Coke Studio’s second season (which could have been culminated with a Christmas concert that was later postponed to early 2019). Some of the strongest acts this year were December Avenue (with their songs “Bulong” and the smash hit duet with Moira dela Torre, “Kung Di Rin Lang Ikaw”), IV of Spades, and I Belong to the Zoo (with their songs “Balang Araw” and “Sana”).

Ben&Ben became stronger in 2018 with their songs “Kathang Isip,” Exes Baggage OST “Maybe the Night,” and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral OST “Susi.”

The Voice Kids alumnus JK Labajo, together with his band, juan karlos, has also made it into the music charts with songs “Sistema” and the chart-topping hit, “Buwan.”

As for the solo acts, The Voice Season 1 alumna Moira dela Torre and Tawag ng Tanghalan’s YouTube Idol Sam Mangubat dominated 2018.

Apart from a duet with December Avenue, dela Torre has released more original songs, such as “Tagpuan” and Glorious OST, “Saglit.” She has also released a cover version of Rey Valera’s “Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko,” which became the official theme song for the film, “The Hows of Us.”

On the other hand, Mangubat released three chart-topping singles, namely “Pagka’t Nariyan Ka,” “Clueless,” and Himig Handog 2018 entry, “Wala Kang Alam.” His concert last September, entitled “I Am Sam,” was also a sold-out event.

For the hiphop category, both Ex Battalion and Shanti Dope released chart-topping singles.

Vocal groups such as BoybandPH and MNL 48 also made it this year. While MNL 48 released Tagalog translations of “Aitakatta,” “Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie,” and “Talulot ng Sakura,” BoybandPH dominated the music charts with their songs “Hanggang Kailan Kaya” and Himig Handog 2018 entry “Para Sa Tabi.”

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Entertainment, Music

More (and MOR) Hits!

I have been binge-listening to MOR 101.9’s Dyis Is It lately to keep myself updated with the latest OPM hits. Here’s what I have discovered. The artists who have been topping the charts are Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 1 alumni Sam Mangubat and Froilan Canlas, as well as PBB Lucky 7 alumni Edward Barber and Maymay Entrata.

Apart from their followers’ support through votes, why did their song become the top hits at the moment?

  1. Wala Nang Iba by Froilan Canlas

Launched last November 23, 2018 on ABS-CBN’s “It’s Showtime”, it talks about a guy who is about to confess his feelings to the girl he has been liking but initially too shy to admit. The song was written by Noell Fuellas, Canlas’s former student in songwriting.

2. Wala Kang Alam by Sam Mangubat

Originally one of the entries for this year’s Himig Handog, it talks about a guy who expresses his disappointment towards the girl who hardly understood his struggles. The song was written by Mel Magno and Martin John Arellano.

3. BMG by Edward Barber

BMG, an abbreviation for “Be My Girl,” talks about a guy who promises to give his greatest love for the girl he likes. The song was written by Mikel Arevalo.

4. Bituin by Maymay Entrata

Originally launched as a promotional song for ABS-CBN’s Star Hunt (the television network’s audition program), it is a dance-worthy EDM song. The song was written by Yeng Constantino.

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Music, Television

Himig Handog 2018: Love Songs and Love Stories Top 10 (REVIEW)

This Sunday, October 21, Himig Handog will feature “Dalawang Pag-ibig Niya” (a collaboration between Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Season 2’s “Precious Darling” Krystal Brimner, Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids “Inday Wonder” Sheenna Belarmino, and MNL 48) and “Mas Mabuti Pa” (by Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 2 Grand Champion Janine Berdin). “Kababata” and “Sugarol” will also be featured. The grand finals will be held on November 25, 2018, also aired in ASAP.

This article will give you guys a sneak peek of each entry, as well as my reviews.

Here are the top 10 entries for this year’s Himig Handog Love Songs and Love Stories.

“Dalawang Pag-ibig Niya” is a collaboration between Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids’ “Inday Wonder” Sheenna Belarmino, Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Season 2’s “Precious Darling” Krystal Brimner, and all-girl group MNL 48. The song was written by Bernard Reforsado of Albay. It is an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) fit for pre-teens, almost similar to K-Pop (think of Momoland) and J-Pop. The song speaks of a girl having a crush on someone who rather chose the girl who is more “pabebe” (acting cute) than her. It also talks about social media romances, such as stalking and existence of posers.

“Hati na Lang Tayo Sa Kanya” is interpreted by Tawag ng Tanghalan’s “Powerhouse Performer” Eumee and actor JC Santos. Written by Joseph Santiago of Quezon City, it talks about a woman’s willingness to share the love of her life with another woman. In fact, looking at the song’s lyrics, it is fit to become a soundtrack of a mistress-themed drama (e.g., The Legal Wife). It is a power ballad where Eumee’s voice was a mix of Jessie J and Lara Fabian (Remember Broken Vow?). While Eumee’s vocals characterized the “wife,” Santos’s speech signified the man being fought for. However, the song’s interpretation could have been more effective if another female singer would have a contrapuntal part with Eumee’s parts. The most I could idealize with this song is that the second female part would act as the “third wheel” or the “mistress.”

“Kababata,” written by John Micheal Edixon of Parañaque was an R&B ballad interpreted by Kyla and Kritiko. Reminiscent of Gloc 9’s themes, Kritiko’s parts narrated how his childhood with his girl friend went, until the girl underwent a major tragedy in her life. Kyla’s ad-libs in the part, “Bakit nila sa’yo ‘to nagawa?” signified the girl’s suffering, screaming for help.

“Mas Mabuti Pa,” is a collaborative work between Mhonver Lopez and Joanna Concepcion, both from Laguna, and sung by Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 2’s Grand Champion and “New Gem of OPM,” Janine Berdin. It is a pop-rock ballad, which spoke of a girl who gave up giving all her love as her efforts were rather snubbed. Despite her young age, Berdin was able to interpret the song to the extent that I got teary-eyed in most parts. She was also able to variate her dynamics as she maintained her husky pop-rock voice.

Robert William Pereña (of Dubai)’s “Para Sa Tabi,” is a light R&B song by BoybandPH. It talks about a man’s struggles being the “third wheel,” and reminds men not to rush things, especially love. The “Mama, para” hook was LSS-inducing that it would potentially become a radio hit soon. Their vocal blend was stellar, especially in the last line, “Diyan sa tabi,” that I would seriously recommend everyone to watch their ASAP performance video of the said song on YouTube. Attached is the link.

Kyle Raphael Borbon (of Davao)’s “Sa Mga Bituin Na Lang Ibubulong,” performed by actor JM de Guzman, is an indie ballad, synonymous to Sud’s. Unlike the rest of the entries, it is rather toned down.

“Sugarol,” written by Jan Sabili of Muntinlupa, is sung by actress Maris Racal. It is a waltz-like ballad, which talked about taking risks, despite experiencing false hopes in the past. The song could have progressed better if variations will be done in every stanza.

Sarah Jane Gandia (of USA)’s “Tinatapos Ko Na,” interpreted by Jona, talks about the closure of a romantic relationship. The song started quietly, which channeled Jona’s pure vocals as the instruments slowly entered. This song proved that Jona was more than just a belter. She was able to variate her dynamics, which enhanced the song’s heartbreaking theme.

Philip Arvin Janilla (of Antipolo)’s “Wakasan” is sung by Agsunta. The title may actually fool you because the song does not talk about closure. It talks about how society did not want the persona to become someone’s boyfriend. However, despite all odds, the persona does not give up until he is able to be with his loved one.

Last of the ten is “Wala Kang Alam,” sung by Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 1 First Runner-Up and “YouTube Idol” Sam Mangubat. It talks about how a man got left out of the blue in the middle of his struggles. It may pass as the male counterpart of Lopez and Concepcion’s “Mas Mabuti Pa.” It is a heavy ballad, synonymous to the ones sung by Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano. The instrumentation, which was heavy on timpani and strings, were reminiscent of Homer Flores’s arrangements for most of the teleserye soundtracks.

Of all the ten entries, here is my top 5: Hati Na Lang Tayo Sa Kanya, Kababata, Mas Mabuti Pa, Tinatapos Ko Na, and Para Sa Tabi. While Para Sa Tabi may become a potential radio hit, the most heartfelt interpretations were Hati Na Lang Tayo Sa Kanya and Tinatapos Ko Na.

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