A love for Filipino music is steadily growing, crossing oceans and reaching new heights. NYLON Manila asks Gen Z artists: how can people support OPM?
Original Pilipino Music, or OPM, has had a long, rich history. Spanning all kinds of genres and styles, influenced by everything from our cultural roots to global musicians, our local music scene is diverse and electric, spreading what could only be described as magic from small bars to global stages.
This new generation, in particular, has access to this diverse music, ways to listen to it, and ways to share their love for it. Additionally, more and more milestones are being hit by music from Filipino artists, from GENTO to ERE to Raining In Manila. International renown isn’t an ultimate goal because we want validation from people around the world, but because recognition of Filipino music on such a large scale is a beautiful thing to have and to witness. There’s no doubt that there’s nowhere to go but up for OPM, and leading the charge are the youth of today—making, discovering, re-discovering, and enjoying the music that thrums beneath our feet and is intrinsically entwined in our very being.
To celebrate OPM and bring Filipino music to new heights, Billboard Philippines hosted a launch party that welcomed guests from all corners of the music industry, from label executives to rising young Filipino musicians. On the blue carpet, we asked a roster of Gen Z artists how they think people can best support OPM in this day and age. Read on for the round-up of their answers, and head on over to our TikTok to listen to all of them!
THE TECHNOLOGY HELPS
@nylonmanila How can we support OPM? Here are the answers of #Vivoree, #Jayda, and #JanineTenoso ♬ original sound – NYLON Manila
One word: streaming. Vivoree, Juan Karlos, Arthur Miguel, BINI, G22 and more all agree—streaming is how we can support OPM, even though the money artists make from streaming is not the biggest, but that’s a conversation for another day. We don’t just listen to music on vinyls or CDs—there’s a whole new world of digital streaming and charts and music videos that enrich our experience of music and allow it to reach others.
Streaming is a given, of course, but how many of us partake in the celebration of Filipinos and their music going global without actually listening to the music? This isn’t a guilt-trip, just a reminder of a popular observation that many Filipinos still value music from all around the globe more highly than they do our own. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it could largely be a case of simply not being exposed to the music that they’d enjoy as much as the music from the West, for example.
But now, with streaming and the Internet, it’s much easier for us to discover new music and patronize what’s ours. We can support OPM not just by listening to the music, as Iñigo Pascual says, but also “promoting it to other people.” Whenever he’s in America, the artist shares, he promotes his artist friends from the Philippines and feels proud when people are fans of his peers. Spreading the word, particularly on social media, is what we’re great at—why not maximize it to promote our local artists?
SHARING THE EXPERIENCE
@nylonmanila Here’s a reminder from #JuanKarlos, #InigoPascual, #KyleEcharri, and #JasonDhakal ♬ original sound – NYLON Manila
“By listening to OPM!” Juan Karlos says simply. “By sharing it. By going to gigs!” The ERE singer admits there’s nothing wrong with supporting international artists (he does himself), but he tries to keep a good balance of consuming music from all over. Support even those who are just starting out, Gelo of BGYO notes. Wherever someone comes from, if the music hits, why not stream and share and talk about it? You don’t need to start a fan account, but to continue the trajectory of OPM today, why not make use of our increased interconnectivity to spread the word about what you love?
Singer-songwriter James Reid also mentioned that going to live performances are one way to support the music. “I think that would also help a lot of the upcoming local artists [and] indie artists,” he says. Live music is a completely different experience from just blasting music in your room, and the Filipino gig scene is stellar, intimate, and quite unparalleled.
@nylonmanila Gen Z artists #UniqueSilonga, #AlexBruce, #ArthurMiguel, and #Kenaniah ♬ original sound – NYLON Manila
“Sa pamamagitan ng pagsh-share at hindi pag-ggatekeep,” Unique Salonga says, echoing Janine Teñoso. Often, there are people who turn their noses up at the “mainstreamification” of their favorite genre or artist (even internationally), but there’s truly nothing wrong with sharing a love for the music and the artist with others. Love isn’t limited, and neither is the music.
JUST LOVE THE MUSIC AUTHENTICALLY
@nylonmanila We attended the #BillboardPhilippines launch and asked artists like #NadineLustre, #JamesReid, and #DiaMate ♬ original sound – NYLON Manila
Jason Dhakal is right—we can’t really tell people what to do, can we? “Just enjoy the music,” he remarks. When you do find the music that you love—and you will—that’s 100% enough. One of the benefits of an increasingly more connected world is that the visibility of art and artists from all over the world is growing, and that’s because more people are able to discover new things and love them more openly.
“Just be open-minded and love all kinds of music,” Alex Bruce adds. Explore the styles and the genres, as Janine Berdin advises. Explore like you would with international artists, keep an open mind, and use all that technology to champion the standout that is Filipino music.
Continue Reading: All The Times Regine Velasquez Showed Love To Young OPM Artists