Entertainment / music / Opinion

Ppop: Another backward step for Pinoy pop


by Nickie Wang

The Philippines is greatly affected by the movement called Korean wave. Wikipedia puts it as the spread of South Korean culture around the world.

Probably we are not the only country that is extremely fascinated with Korean music. The popular genre called K-pop has also reached the United States, Canada and Australia. But unlike in those territories, our fascination has inspired the birth of a new genre, though that not everybody is happy about.

It’s hard to know when exactly P-pop was born, but one thing is sure, the genre is in its formative years and appears to be a cheap K-pop knock off. 

There’s a big difference between enjoying K-pop and trying to sound like K-pop. Unfortunately, the groups being introduced today are more about the latter.

Take XLR8 for example, the manufactured band of eight members have been the center of mockery since they debuted on the music scene. Apparently, the band’s a rip off of every thing K-pop, from music to clothing style, from hairdo to the way it performs onstage.

XLR8 is not the first manufactured Filipino band that is dangerously inspired by K-pop. In Sarah Geronimo’s Record Breaker concert in 2009, (at the wake of Wonder Girls popularity) Viva Entertainment introduced a girl group called PopGirls.

As expected, the introduction was followed by the emergence of other groups like 1:43, Freshmyx, Down to Mars, Sakto, A-FIVE, and RPM, to name a few.

Sadly, none of them has been warmly welcomed by the public nor landed in the charts (with XLR8 as an exemption, according to Viva Records, its debut album has turned gold).

Like any manufactured bands, these P-pop groups hve no bright future on the scene.We maybe wrong, though.

In the late ‘90s, music critics predicted that K-pop would not proliferate and that it would be just a fad for a couple of years, it’s been around more for than a decade now and is still warmly embraced all throughout the region.

Meanwhile, P-pop is different. It will have a different fate compared to K-pop. Its popularity (if it’s popular at all) will wane and the genre’s follower will wake up from their hallucination that P-pop is going to be the face of OPM’s future.  No copycat lasts in the business to start with.

OPM’s lifeline

The word originality is hardly known among local music artists these days. It’s distressing that what these people are feeding music consumers are either cover songs or rip off music from foreign artists.

There have been many efforts to resuscitate Original Pinoy Music back to its heyday when Filipino songs ruled the music charts and record stores. Organizations like Filipino Composers Development Cooperative and Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, amid their efforts to encourage musicians and record producers to create better quality music, can’t still salvage the puny industry from its miserable state.

Does anyone still remember the executive order reinstated by President Benigno Aquino in August last year?

To refresh your memory, the executive order requires all radio stations, with musical format, to broadcast at least four OPM (Original Pinoy Music) songs every clock hour. They say it will encourage more musicians to create better OPM and listeners to appreciate local music more. But what has happened now?

This is the miserable truth that even the likes of Ogie Alcasid, Ryan Cayabyab, or by the so-called industry’s hit makers cannot solve. Not in their lifetime. Only if the country has a strong foundation or a better music education, then local musicians wouldn’t settle on what they could copy which also reflects their huge obsession with doing covers. Until nothing is drastically done, any effort will just go to waste and this industry will be devoured by an even more influential and dynamic foreign music, which in our current case, by K-pop.

Where have all our singers gone?

Some people think that once a person is able to hold a microphone he or she is good to go to be a music star.  There have been clamors to make the local music circuit alive again. Different efforts to give proper exposure to those who have the real talent have been done. But consider these following examples:

Kris Aquino’s 5th spoken-word album entitled My Heart’s Journey has turned double platinum in just one month. Former Pinoy Big Brother teen housemate Ryan Bang (a Korean who acts like Filipino) has just released a CD and had a grand launch on Asap. BFFs Solenn Heussaf and Anne Curtis are also venturing into music recording.

The names mentioned are just few of those that define the real state of local music nowadays. What are being given are songs that destined to be junks in our music player. What have happened to our talented singers and music artist?

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