How Philpop Bootcamp Nurtures the OPM Scene One Song at a Time
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, June 10, 2019 5:35pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
Imagine a world where people love Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is as well-received globally as Western music or Korean Pop.
As Filipinos, we should be the first ambassadors of our local music scene. We are thankful for local artists who embrace their language, culture, and roots. For sure, there are still talents waiting to be honed and aspiring composers who deserve to be in the spotlight. And to train more talents, Philpop creates a boot camp for amateur and professional songwriters.
Philippine Popular Music Festival or Philpop, is a songwriting competition aiming to search for the next generation of composers to contribute to OPM. Since 2012, they have been holding the competition and creating an avenue for aspiring songwriters. The songs “Dati” by Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos, “Nanay Tatay” by Chud Festejo, and “Di Na Muli” by Itchyworms all won the grand prize from Philpop competitions. As the founders see potential in songwriters, they decided to hold a boot camp to refine fresh talents.
The Road to Become Artists
Philpop holds the boot camp to create a safe space for composers. Philpop Executive Director Dinah Remolacio believes it allows them to be vulnerable and creative. Since 2017, Philpop encourages songwriters to use, not only Tagalog, but their local dialects when composing a song. Ferdinand Aragon from Cebu City, from Philpop Bootcamp 2017 for example, earned praises and the 1st runner-up spot for his song “Di Ko Man,” which is written in Bisaya.
Taking part in the Philpop Bootcamp is like leaving the actual world and entering the music world. For days, the participants (aka fellows) will immerse in workshops, seminars and sessions, like Record Label in a Box, Digital Music Streaming, and Music Publishing and IP Rights among other—all of which are vital to their career as composers.
There are qualifications for participants, most important of all is, of course, you have to be Filipino. There will be 20 sponsored fellows—meaning they passed the boot camp’s strict Adjudication Process and sponsors will pay their registration through PhilPop Foundation. But there are also limited slots for regular fellows who are willing to pay a certain amount.
Once Philpop chooses someone as a fellow, veteran and professional singer-songwriters will be hands-on in training them. Singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon, and composers Jungee Marcelo and Trina Belamide and National Artist Maestro Ryan Cayabyab will also give songwriting lessons and encourage fellows to be better in their craft. Former Philpop contestants like Yumi Lacsamana, Davey Langit and Jek Buenafe will also be there to coach share their experience and expertise to the boot camp fellows.
Talents That Mold OPM’s Future
The boot camp days will be nothing but worth it. Take it from former boot camp fellow and now coach Jek who believes it will give a composer the necessary skills and attitude to develop songwriting skills and perform own compositions. Plus, it’s not every day you’ll be trained by OPM legends themselves. If you would like to make a positive impact in the OPM industry, it’s wise to learn from the best.
Philpop continues to look for songwriters who can create music Filipinos can be proud of and say, “This is ours.” Every year, there are new talents waiting to be discovered and some just need a little push to break out of their shells.
Dear aspiring and future composers, the future of OPM is in your hands. We encourage to take part in training and Philpop Boot Camp is only one of them. If you have the talent, you should not keep it for yourself—it is yours to show.