by Nickie Wang
Believe it or not, most local artists are alarmed with the current state of the music industry in the country. As individuals, as most people say, they can only do so much to arrest the aggravating situation but if they collaborate to achieve a common goal, then it gives them a stronger foothold.
For so many years there have been numerous efforts to revive Original Pinoy Music but most of these attempts failed to salvage the collapsing business. This year, a group of 16 music artists are joining forces to celebrate local music brand while convincing music consumers that OPM, though has not fully recovered, is alive and kicking.
Singers like Myrus, Barbie Almalbis, Arnee Hidalgo, and Princess Velasco, boyband 1:43 and rock artists Pepe Smith, Mcoy Fundales and Letter Day Story are among the brave names that are part of the movement called “Tunog Natin.” For several months, “Tunog Natin” staged concert series in different Ayala Malls, now these artists are taking it to a whole new level by coming up with a compilation album geared to revive the audiences’ appreciation for OPM.
Making the compilation album more interesting are collaborations between artists of different music genres. For instance, Arnee Hidalgo recorded Apo Hiking Society’s “Pumapatak Ang Ulan” with quirky all-male band Tanya Markova while swift talker Gloc-9 and jazz singer Tricia Garcia covered a Rey Valera classic, “Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko.” Princess Velasco and Myrus, who is also the project head of “Tunog Natin,” revived Noel Cabangun’s “Kanlungan.”
“We updated some of OPM’s masterpieces so these songs can be reintroduced to the young generation,” says one of the artists during the album launch, “It is some sort of rediscovering the gems of OPM before we can move forward to coming up with a braver material.”
The compilation CD features three original tracks performed by quartet Kiss Jane (“Beep, Beep”), Mccoy Fundales and Barbie Almalbis (“Kay Sarap Mabuhay”), and all participating artists in the album theme song, “Heto Ako.”
Interestingly, the 10-track record does not have any carrier single. All tracks in the album are intended to be released individually as singles due to the fact that all participating artists came from different music labels. Thus “Tunog Natin” is considered as an independent release.
Music, in general is a collapsing business. If OPM suffers great loss, foreign music that dominates local airwaves also suffers the same in the global market. In the United States in particular, thousands of music retail stores have closed down due to continuous sales decline.
Back home, apart from combating music piracy and competing with foreign artists, local musicians are becoming keen in supporting one another. The very idea of “Tunog Natin” is to celebrate the beauty of local brand of music. The effort is made possible by the generous help of financially stable companies that believe in the artistry of Filipino musicians.
The OPM artists alone, again, can only do so much but with the help of different institutions, even those who are not related to music, but are just genuinely interested to support and revive local sound, then this attempt will see better days.