This Girl Used Her Debut to Launch Her Indie OPM Career

Article by Claire Chingkoe

Nothing screams debut more than launching a single on the day of your actual debut! Following her stint as the youngest writer aboard WIM’s Internship Program, Annika Villarroel has been keeping herself pretty busy. Apart from studying for her college entrance exams, she’s also been spending her time on another creative endeavour: song writing.

This new outlet inevitably gave birth to her first single, “Outsiders”, which she released on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Soundcloud and 150+ streaming services on the night of her 18th birthday! Not only that, the entire celebration became the set for her Outsiders music video! Check it out here!


After the initial listen, you can tell the song is definitely catchy, roadtrip-inducing, and dance-worthy – the perfect song to set the mood at any party! When asked about the inspiration behind it, though, the lyrics seem to hold a deeper story.

“It actually revolves around reckless dating culture, which is sadly becoming the norm. When things start to become unstable, there is a tendency to blame the other person for causing the issue. Instead, the song is saying that I actually chose to be this way, that I’m owning up to my choices, and that ‘I could do it just like this’.

It’s being okay when things get rocky and difficult, when things don’t necessarily go according to plan. The words ‘reckless hearts in a world of pain’ can explain this a little more. When you keep pointing fingers at one another, it just leaves everyone feeling hurt and abused. The song is about overcoming that feeling; that feeling of being alone and an ‘outsider’ despite living in the city and being surrounded by so many people.”

Annika shares that the lyrics can mean different things to different people, too. “It’s open to interpretation! Like when the song goes ‘in the light we burned brighter than fire’. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? Did you burn so bright that the flames ended up hurting you? Or did you burn so bright you felt like you could take over the world? It all depends on what the listener is going through.”When asked about her overall music style, she says that she thoroughly enjoys experimenting with electronic music. “There’s a lot of criticism on electronic music, that it’s far from “traditional music” and that “it’s just ‘noise someone created from a laptop somewhere” and I don’t believe that at all!

For me, I enjoy music that will bring good times and good memories. I strive to create music that would be the soundtrack to someone’s adventure. That’s really what I create music for. Even if the experience that helped inspire the song wasn’t exactly the best, it should still be something that I can look back on without any hard feelings.”

Lastly, of course, we had to ask about her favorite OPM artists and her take on the growing OPM industry. “I could go on forever! Some of my current favorites include crwn, Kiana Valenciano, B.P. Valenzuela, Jess Connelly, Riddo & Lia Mabaquiao, Sofia Gonzalez, Bea Valera, Ben&Ben, Reese Lansangan, Earl Generao, IV of Spades, and Ysanygo. These are just some of the many talented artists redefining what OPM means and that’s exactly what I want to do with my music as well.”

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Annika is definitely going places. Listen to Annika’s latest single on Spotify here:

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