FILIPINOS love Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and they also love love — that was one of the observations made by Spotify regional executives which led them to launch their newest campaign, Spotify Jams: OPM Love Songs, where popular singers and bands cover classic Filipino hits from yesteryears.
“OPM is big for us, we have close to 10 billion streams [globally of the genre],” Gautam Talwar, managing director of Spotify Southeast Asia (SEA) said during the launch event on Jan. 31 at Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
OPM is also the most streamed genres in the Philippines, he said before adding “OPM streams more than doubled in the last year.”
But that wasn’t always the case as Chee Meng Tan, head of artists and labels at Spotify SEA, said in the same event that “for the longest time the only OPM track that was on the Philippines Top 15 was Up Dharma Down’s ‘Tahanan.’”
“But now seven out of the Top 10 are OPM songs,” he said adding that IV of Spades’ “Mundo,” Ben & Ben’s “Kathang Isip” and Moira dela Torre’s “Tagpuan” were included in the top five most streamed songs of 2018 in the Philippines.
Acknowledging the popularity of the genre and in part to celebrate the streaming service’s 5th year in the country, Spotify is set to release several classic Filipino love songs sung by Rey Valera, Jose Mari Chan, and Regine Velasquez, to name a few, on the platform as covered by Ms. Dela Torre, Sarah Geronimo, and bands like IV of Spades, juan karlos, Ben & Ben, and Silent Sanctuary.
“At Spotify, we realize that helping you discover new music wasn’t enough: we wanted to have a hand in celebrating OPM content of the past and the present. For the launch of this campaign, we wanted to work with some of the top OPM artists of today and get them to cover their favorite OPM love song of the past. We understand the importance of OPM here in the Philippines and we want to celebrate this beautiful genre with our fans,” Mr. Tan said.
Among the songs given new interpretation by the new crop of singers are Mr. Valera’s “Naalala Ka,” sung by Ms. Dela Torre, and Mr. Chan’s “Beautiful Girl,” played by Ben & Ben.
The songs will be released throughout the month via the service’s flagship Filipino playlist, Tatak Pinoy: Feb. 8 for Moira dela Torre and juan karlos; Feb. 14 for Sarah Geronimo and Silent Sanctuary; and Feb. 22 for Ben & Ben and IV of Spades. — Zsarlene B. Chua