Original Pinoy Music Essay

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The definition of OPM (Original Pinoy Music) is as diverse as the country from which it originated. It began in 1970s as an effort to establish a kind of music that is uniquely Filipino despite the great preference of foreign music at that time. At that time, it was not called OPM but was separate entities namely Pinoy Rock, Pinoy Jazz, and Manila Sound which are Filipino pop ballads. The term OPM was an initialism for the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit; later was it also used to mean Original Pinoy Music.

OPM is anything that’s performed by a Filipino artist. The songs are commonly in Filipino or English. However, there recently have been movements by provincial bands promoting songs written in their own dialects. Unfortunately, they are experiencing difficulties in attaining national success because not everyone can understand their songs, thus making it difficult for the masses to appreciate them. Also, people in the music industry are a bit reluctant to support such a cause because they believe that it may further isolate the regions from each other.

Music, after all, is supposed to be something that brings people together; for a common cause or because of a sentiment that people share. Since the time of its conception, OPM has definitely gone a long way. There are now thousands of solo artists and bands in the business. Some, such as Lea Salonga and Charice Pempenco, have been recognized overseas. Filipino talents are also being discovered from all over the world. A Filipino-Canadian girl, Maria Aragon, has been praised by international pop icon Lady Gaga for the young girl’s rendition of Gaga’s song, “Born This Way”.

Filipino-American actor, Darren Criss, had starred in a lot of musicals and is currently a part of the hit television series Glee. Allan Pineda, whose stage name is apl. d. ap, is one of the rappers of the famed hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas. The Philippines has a never-ending supply of musical talent and more potential artists are born each day, giving much promise to the further development of the local music industry. Despite being composed by a foreigner, a song may still be considered OPM just as long as it is performed by a Filipino performer.

This does not come as a surprise because the Philippines has always been influenced by foreign customs and aesthetics. Every nation that colonized the Philippines contributed something to the nation’s colorful culture. And so, despite the fact that it is called Original Pinoy Music, it cannot be said that it is purely Filipino. For that reason, Filipino artists have been striving to be able to produce something that will be able to appropriately represent the nation, something to will truly define the identity of Filipino music.

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