The rise of terrible singers

SHE has already made millions as a celebrity endorser and television star and for starring in a string of box office movies, but Anne Curtis was not satisfied yet, she’s also conquered the music business—sort of.

In September 2011, the then 26-year-old Anne unveiled Annebisyosa, a record album that features six tracks all produced by Viva Records. The CD turned platinum the same year.

Following the success of her debut album, Anne embarked on a series of concerts and performances with Annebisyosa  (2012) and Annekapal (2014) concerts at the Big Dome being the most notable ones in terms of attendance and media mileage. And it all happened amid Anne being a terrible singer (and we use the word singer due to lack of proper term) stressfully straining her throat to belt out songs not made for her kind of trip.

anne curtis 2013

To call Anne an audio terrorist is an understatement. Although she has attended series of vocal lesson and coaching, she still can’t pass as a decent singer. She knows that very well, hence whenever asked why she’s still doing it, she just smiles and answers she does it all for the sake of fun and entertainment.

With this rather strange success, many followed in the footsteps of Anne and most of them are not doing it for the sake of fun. They mean serious business believing that having the ability to sing is fast becoming optional, you just need to have a good PR and a crazy fan base. This explains why Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo’s records are dominating music bars. This is also the same reason why the likes of Maja Salvador,  Enchong Dee, Kylie Padilla, Barbie Forteza and Richard Yap all have the guts to enter the recording studio to dish out nothing but audio trash. Yes, it’s music for their fans, but for everyone else, it’s auditory torture.Enchong-Dee Chinito problem

It’s not about coming off harsh towards celebrities who wanted to try out singing, they can do as they please but they cannot deny the fact that they are not doing music industry any favor. They may be able to sell records and stage sold out arenas but they can’t have the same respect people give to musicians and artists who invest on music education to improve their craft.

The rise of terrible singers pretty much sums up the year on the local music scene.

Everybody wants free music 

With reality singing shows dominating television and new music stars have been introduced this year, it is interesting that OPM has not produced any record worthy of the music consumers’ money beside the fact that people don’t actually buy records anymore.

At the end of last year, at least 11 records were Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI) certified platinum. This year, only five records released in the last 12 months achieved the same feat not including Julie Anne San Jose’s 2011 self-titled album that turned Diamond this month and Kathryn Bernardo’s debut album that turned Platinum just this week.

Kathryn Bernardo You don't know me

This year’s certified platinum records were Herbert C’s Kinabukasan, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo’s collaborative effort TomDen, Noel Cabangon’s Tuloy and Byahe, Daniel Padilla’s I Heart You, Regine Velasquez’s Hulog ng Langit and Julie Anne San Jose’s sophomore album Deeper.

It’s clear that it was not a good harvest for the OPM artists and for the local industry in general. For consolation, 16 studio albums turned gold compared to last year’s 15.

While CD sales are down, there’s a growing market for downloaded albums and singles, but that is not nearly enough to offset the loss of the physical equivalents because everyone wants free music downloaded straight to their mobile devices using free apps, of course. So where is the music industry headed?

Perhaps the new paradigm in music business can answer the question. Music apps like Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music and the locally popular Spinnr and Deezer lord the music streaming business these days. It works like this, instead of buying songs and albums, you pay a monthly subscription fee or get served an ad every few songs if you’re on the free tier.

Upcoming local singers and bands turn to music streaming companies to help them introduce their music to the public. On one hand, it gives every musician an equal footing. One must have interesting materials to get noticed though. On the other hand, with millions of tracks available on music streaming platform, a musician must still have aggressive machinery that will introduce both the music and the artist to music consumers.

The trick now, if you cannot make consumers buy your records legally, then it’s time to entice them to see you in live performances where return of investment is faster than waiting for royalties paid out by music streaming companies through record labels.

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