Author Topic: A Note to OPM  (Read 2880 times)

Offline epik ll ian

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A Note to OPM
« on: July 22, 2009, 10:47:52 PM »
Hi guys!

I'm a Filipino-American, and there's something I've been wanting to express for so long. I didn't know where to post this first, so I decided to start here.

Lately, I've been trying my best to attach myself to OPM music. I try really hard to like it, but I find it really difficult. I've been searching Myx Top 20 charts, OPM forums and looking up Youtube music videos. When I listen to it, all these bands sound like 80's grunge rock bands that play at 5 a.m. in a club when everyone is left and wants to go home to take a sleep. Nothing I listen to is fun or uplifting. The thing I don't think OPM production studios realize is ... outside of the Philippines, nobody listens to bands anymore. The whole raspy lead vocal backed by screaming guitar, heavy drums and bass is truly a thing of the past. It's hardly appealling. Nowadays the trend is to listen to vocal/dance groups like Lady Gaga/SS501/Arashi/Justin Timberlake/Epik High/DBSK. They all have a techno edge which gets people hooked. There still are some "traditional" bands, but they also seem to add some really cool elements to modern pop/rock music like the electric violin which oddly seems to fit in. I feel like OPM hasn't changed for the past 20 years. I'm really open to all kind of music, so I don't think my difficulty to find a good catchy song is because of my music preference. I pretty much like everything except for country. I really like R&B/hip-hop (especially when there's instrumental, not straight rapping), pop, rock and love ballads.

I go to the Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese top music charts, and they have all of these fun pop bands that play. They rally up all of their fans and listeners. Everyone loves these bands and they go tour all around Asia. I want to have that same feeling my Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese-American friends have. I want to be able to show off OPM like everyone else. Are there any fun pop bands out there?

I really want to see OPM prosper like the music of its neighbors. OPM music hardly tours outside of its own country, and it always seemed to baffle me. My guess is, since the Philippines is in the Asian market of music, it needs to sell and produce a similar style of music. From what I can tell, a lot of Filipinos are really are beginning to like K-Pop and J-Pop and even C-Pop and of course American Pop.

The other thing is, I hope Filipino bands can also sing in Tagalog more. A lot of them do, so I credit them that. But, it makes Filipino music seem more genuine, and it will also prevent the Philippines from competing with American music. If Filipinos continue to sing in English, I feel as if they are putting themselves in competition with the UK and USA. The production studios here are almost impossible to compete with. People from all over the world listen to U.S. music. However, if OPM starts discovering dancing/vocal talent, I think it would be possible to see pure Filipino bands tour in Asia more - afterall, the Philippines is in Asia. (Pure Filipino music vs. American sounding music)

Asia is a really modern continent - I know this because I've toured it, and I have a lot of Asian friends. It's also really open to the music coming from all of its nations - regardless of the language barrier. When it comes to music, Asians aren't prejudiced. Thai people like to listen to Japanese Music, Japanese people like to listen to Korean music ... etc. I know this cause I hang around them, and I read a lot of their pop culture literature. However, I do know that a majority of them don't like to get bogged down with depressing 80's rock bands. They like progressive, modern music. For the most part, they're happy people, and they like to see the others around them happy as well. I get depressed when I see popular Asian bands bypass the Philippines in their Asian tours thinking they don't like their music. When SNSD went to deliver a concert in Thailand, I felt kind of sad that they passed the Philippines. There's even a huge Korean community in the Philippines that they need to entertain. I hope the Philippines can produce something that can rival these bands someday and prove them wrong. Fun music will inspire Filipinos with confidence and love for their country. Music has a unique quality of affecting our spirit and emotion. Also, Filipino culture can even travel through other countries quicker since media is so easily accessible throughout the globe. Good music travels quickly through Itunes and Youtube faster than I can even imagine. It's purely how amazing culture can spread so quickly. I have a lot of hope - I bet any Filipino can dance and sing better than any Korean, Japanese or Chinese. So why not market it? I mean hey, we even developed Karaoke before we sold the idea to Japan for marketing. I play the piano/keyboards. Maybe when I'm finished with my education I can do something with it there. I want to see OPM fluorish everywhere outside of Pinas.

What are your guys opinions? I respect what you have to say. Sorry for not writing this in Tagalog. I can understand it and speak it to a degree, but my mom raised me with Kapampangan. All of you are Filipino educated, so I think I'd just embarass myself! Hahaha.
Thanks for those of you who have read this!
I just came back from visiting for the 5th time after I was born there ... I miss it =P

Take care,
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 03:31:49 AM by epik ll ian »

Offline 24242009

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 02:29:04 AM »
Mainstream sucks, if you want really cool music in the PHilippines most of them are either indie or underground. Maybe your listening to pinoy mainstream and it suck

Offline epik ll ian

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 02:50:21 AM »
Well that's true. It's just the world doesn't listen to traditional bands anymore. All this depressing music bites. Can you show me some Filipino indie music then?
Wouldn't it also be nice if this good indie music became mainstream?

Offline hiskoolstudes

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2009, 07:18:17 PM »
try visiting the clubs.

mainstream doesn't suck its just mainsteream
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Offline IncX

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 08:16:01 PM »

try searching Out of Body Special.. it has some rap, but well, the musicianship is topnotch.

there was a time when the phils. mainstream was into the RnB thing, and quite frankly, it sucked.

if you are into those "light hearted" dance stuff with big production numbers and all, i dont think you would be happy with the phils music scene.

as for the reason why pinoy artists dont get famous?

race and economics... why would those USA companies go to pinas to market an asian and when marketing a caucasian would be easier on their pockets and easier in the eyes of their market.

Offline epik ll ian

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 04:09:56 AM »
I've been to several clubs, and there are some interesting bands out there. I'm really, truly amazed at how MUCH  vocal talent is out there and how GREAT it is. So many Filipinos have such amazing music talent, and I'm dead serious about that!  They’re all just waiting to be turned into the next big thing! It’s just unless you don’t have good production support and talent managers etc … your talent can only take you so far, and that’s the sad reality. Poor music quality can make talent seem worse.

One thing which I'll say is, I'm not referring to the race sector. Lots of different ethnicities sell every well here. The US is very sensitive about race and affirmative action is a big thing here. In a matter of fact that's probably the least of the problems. Also, I'm not referring to Pinoy music in the US. I'm referring to Filipino music in the Philippines and in Asia – after all, the Philippines is in Asia.

The style sector is so very crucial to these times in music. A lot of OPM music is still lost back in the '80's, and a lot of people can vouch for this. A lot of my Filipino friends and cousins have all talked to me about this before. Even in the U.S., people are putting away the old band style, and multi-talented dance/vocal groups are really mainstream now. Screaming guitar riffs, loud base and whaling drums are cool, and all, but unless you're the ABSOLUTE best at it and you can amaze people with your talent, and you have an amazing production studio to maximize your talent, these kinds of bands don't sell anymore. I used to like them too, but sad to say, that's not where the trend is. That style was popular in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Times have changed. Some of these kinds of bands still exist, but they have added on a lot of new elements and sounds that make them sell well.

The essence of what I'm talking about, however, is the popularity of Pinoy pop. Yeah, the light hearted dance stuff - bubblegum pop - or whatever you like to call it - it's great. Not all of it, but a lot of it. Sometime's its too bubbly, but there are plenty of songs out there that aren't as light hearted as you think. Big Bang isn't "light hearted." They're actually a hip hop group, but their music is layered with lots of great production/synth/keyboard add ons. The thing is, if you took out all of the production add-ons and the synth layers and awesome techno beats etc. sometimes the tune isn't even that catchy. Ironic, isn't it? Bigbang/2NE1's - Lollipop is a good example of it. But the reason why these songs become so popular is because the artists go for the right style and they are backed up with top-notch, quality music production. That's the reason why there are so MANY diehard Korean wannabes/Kpop fans - Jpop and Cpop too (but not as much) - all across Asia. It's fun seeing the crowds wait outside of the airports when the bands go play in international venues. They literally stand there for hours, and when the band comes out they have all of their signs and they're all screaming and in tears. There are millions of those fans here in the U.S. too, it's actually quite awesome and hilarious too! I would love for there to be Pinoy wannabes/OPM fans. Wouldn't that be amazing? I'd feel so proud! (Aside from music though, I'd also like to say there are many great reasons why Filipinos should be proud to be Pinoy  :-)). A huge Asian pop following is even starting in the Philippines - mostly Kpop. This kind of music is really energetic, and it's the perfect thing that the Philippines needs right now - energy. Music reflects the current state of a country. The future of OPM would be a great reflection of the current state of how dynamic the Philippines is right now. I'm not saying all music should be this way, but I'm not sensing any of that kind of style yet. It's good to have diversity and a mix - somber songs, love ballads etc. The song quality just needs to improve. Right now, OPM just seems to be all the same. Even some of the current best selling albums are time honored classic compilation albums of old artists and bands. Modern music styles are starting to bubble in OPM - possibly - but it's not there yet.

I'm not here to gripe, complain or bring low spirits on anyone since there's so much potential in the Philippines it’s unbelievable. I can fight for that. If you strip all of the artists in Asia down to pure vocals and dance skill - The Philippines has pretty much everyone beat - The Philippine all-stars, for example, are the best hip-hop dancers on the planet. My wish is for there to be a way to market these great voices and dance troupes into actual groups - or bands - that will sell well. You just have to give people what they want. People go crazy for these kinds of bands, like you wouldn't believe! If OPM/Fpop/Pinoy music sold well out of the country as well, and many other listeners followed it, it would work wonders for the Philippines as a whole - tourism and the economy. Media travels so quickly, and it's a great representative image of a country. OPM bands would tour all across the world, and other bands would come visit the Philippines as well. I just don't want to see the Philippines sitting in it's own little world of music because the mainstream music industry isn't doing its job. I'd be interested in finding a job in this area someday because it's so fascinating, and I believe there's a lot that can be done. I'm very optimistic! I wish all the best for the future of OPM too.  :-)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 11:54:08 PM by epik ll ian »

Offline qroon

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 02:01:10 AM »
First it's Bass and not Base (sorry for the nitpick).

OPM is an umbrella term. Loosely, Music by Filipinos :) The underground/indie gig scene is dominated by bands with different sound. Yeah it's raw and powerful. It may be a cliché but there are a lot of good bands/artists out there. And regarding our situation here, the mainstream music will loosely follow the American scene. Sometimes even the underground scene follows the American underground scene.

And remember, Filipinos are Asians by geography only :) We may share some things with out neighbor but culturally, we have more differences than similarities. Well, that is a separate topic. :)

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Offline charvel

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Re: A Note to OPM
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 02:01:26 PM »
for me i like the songs of the opm,but not all songs some of try to enter to this site this is the web site of the can browse,listen or download your favorite music.just to change your mind that opm not sucks.