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Pinoy Bands: Still Making Waves in the Philippine Music Industry

It was in the 1990s that bands in the Philippines have surged through the music scene, gaining support from Filipinos at a scale they have yet to enjoy. The influx of pinoy bands at such time, including but not limited to the Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Wolfgang, Fatal Posporos, Keltscross, Color it Red, Sugar Hiccup, and Put3ska as well as the flourishing number of venues for live gigs such as Club Dredd and Mayric’s are accurate indicators that OPM songs as delivered by these rock bands have found a steady, sturdy following. This is a fresh breakthrough from the always colonial mentality towards creativity in the Philippines. It isn’t only that finally Filipino musicians are finally gaining the support from their fellow Filipinos usually allowed only for the likes of Madonna or Michael Jackson, but that Filipino music as they make it, which is closer to the real and modern Filipino experience than earlier musicians, is now embraced rather than criticized.

For a time, however, the scene was engulfed once again by the international music scene as the millennium drew near and finally came. The advent of foreign boy bands with clear skins and shrill melodies and girl groups with matching sexually provocative outfits and coordinated names have reigned over music channels, radio airplays, record sales and the dreams of the youth, most tragically. But this would prove to be just a trend, to be stomped to its demise as Filipino listeners grew ready for real music closer to their reality as much as musicians have gone daring with their creativity.

By 2003, record sales in the Philippines have tipped in favor of local artists, with an estimate of reaching 70% of the total (Toral). Mere observations also become evidence of this maturity as local songs flood the airwaves, are adopted as official soundtrack of local and international movies, computer games, TV series, and even sports events; and as local artists are continuously featured by music channels here and abroad, compete and win several international competitions. Most of them got featured in international magazines as well. Truly, Filipino Music is not only for the local market but can also compete with the international music industry. Who at this time hasn’t heard or known about bands such as Chicosci, Queso, Pupil, Greyhoundz, Sandwich, Imago, or Parokya Ni Edgar? Musical events and awards shows, whether sponsored by radio stations, universities, organizations or those regularly held in clubs and bars, also keep the music scene alive and kicking.

More and more musicians are coming out of their regional turf and sharing their craft to the rest of the country. Yet another proof of how self-sustaining the Philippines is, we simply never run out of more Filipino artists with more to share. Among those that hail from the provinces are Typecast, which comes from Laguna; Urbandub from Cebu; and Gayuma, from Batangas.

But what’s more interesting and positive is the unity among bands in the country amidst the diversity in their sounds and styles and backgrounds. Indeed, there is kapatiran among these bands that lie behind compilation albums, tribute concerts, song collaborations, project bands, and the featuring of up-and-coming bands with the veterans. In the past years up to the present, albums such as Silver Shiny Jeepney, Doobie Nights, Ultraelectromagneticjam, T-Shirt Day, Mga Gitarista and Music Max Bicol have been released. The variety of and within these albums speaks of the levels that local Filipino artists have reached and are ready to explore both music-wise and in terms of their creative relationships. Such send the signal that there is more to come and that there is room for more.

You can get copies of the music cd’s and albums released by these Filipino artists only at our Music Store.

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