OPM in 2018: How Music Festivals Have Changed the Game

The Philippine music scene has certainly been booming over the past couple of years with lots of fresh acts coming out to exhibit “Pinoy Pride” through their song releases. I admit that my interest in the new wave of OPM only began when I heard The Ransom Collective’s song called “Fools” back in 2014. As someone who has been heavily influenced by artistry from the West while growing up, I used to only listen to OPM if it was in English. I know. My colonial mentality could not get any worse than that, but that’s the sad truth about the society that we live in.

Local artists who pour their hearts out through soulful ballads and raps in Filipino would be deemed as lame or in millennial lingo: “jejemon”; but if they were to release it in the English language, then they would be praised and listened to. Thankfully, that ideal is slowly changing, all thanks to the combined efforts of everyone in the local music industry. OPM is being strongly marketed right now and thanks to the digital age, the Filipino youth is now more exposed to local music via music streaming platforms.

In terms of heavy marketing, lots of concerts and gigs featuring local acts have been spawning all over the country. Just recently, I attended the Pinoy Playlist 2018 at the BGC Arts Center in Taguig, a 6-day music festival featuring dozens of OPM artists from varying genres curated by maestros Ryan Cayabyab, Moy Ortiz, and Noel Ferrer.

From OPM veterans such as Dulce to up-and-coming young artists such as TALA, the festival showcased the diversity and uniqueness of Filipino talent.

For all the greatness that came with this event, there was even a ticket discount given to students to make it more accessible and affordable. It proved to be a success since a lot of students came to support and appreciate the local artistry. This was also a great move by the organizers since it allowed OPM to be heard at a larger scale while moving the younger audience with hopes of sharing their newfound love with their children in the future.

This festival shaped my interest and allowed me to explore different genres, as well as get to know different local artists, even those whom I have never tried listening to before. Overall, the event was a success and I cannot wait for its return in the coming years. It was organized well, the time slots were followed, and it served its purpose to promote OPM and increase the youth’s awareness towards it.

Despite the recent loss of OPM icon Rico J. Puno, who is regarded by many as “The King of OPM”; his legacy continues to live on and the impact brought by his generation of OPM hitmakers continues to be felt. A new breed of artists has also come out and as such, we can see that the future of OPM is bright.

OPM is indeed our own. It embodies our unique Filipino culture and is something that we should be proud of. It withstands the test of time and is passed on from generation to generation. OPM continues to innovate and without a doubt, it is here to stay.

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