As always, I’m greatly privileged to be screening the finalists for the 2014 Awit Awards. There was a time when I was the one being screened and, by some freak occurrence, I managed to take home one of those coveted trophies.
Kudos to the folks at PARI (Philippine Association of the Record Industry) for holding the industry together amidst the shift in OPM (Original Pilipino Music) and the way people consume music.
Categories I screened this year were Best Ballad Recording, Best Christmas Recording, Best Inspirational/Religious Recording, Best Jazz Recording, Best R&B Recording, Best Regional Recording, Best Song Written for Movie, TV or Stageplay, and Song of The Year.
Though only the song titles were identified, there were obviously a lot of Zia Quizon and Regine Velasquez in the nominated songs—that’s not a bad thing. Both are immensely talented and deserve the recognition.
However, OPM music now sounds more laid back and more American than ever. Some even sound like direct rip-offs from popular foreign hits. Still, there are a lot of composers and arrangers who strive to offer a unique sound that’s a fusion of contemporary music and that Pinoy flavor.
After listening to almost a hundred songs, there are a few which stood out. I know we hardly listen to OPM these days, so I’ll be sharing those which I feel deserve to be highlighted:
Ikot-Ikot by Sarah Geronimo, written by Thyro Alfaro for Song of The Year. First time I heard this song, I was impressed with the way it was arranged and sung. This is Pinoy pop at its finest. The video’s cool too.
Hilom by Kitchie Nadal for Song of The Year. I don’t know if this song enjoyed much airplay but one thing’s for sure, Kitchie sounds world class as always. Couldn’t find a decent video in Youtube except for this live performance. The album recording sounds way better.
Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo by Zia Quizon, written by Jungee Marcelo, for Best Song Written for Movie, Television or Stageplay. Even the corniest lyrics can sound upscale when interpreted by a very talented artist. An easy favorite.
Dati by Sam Concepcion, Tippy dos Santos and Quest, written by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana, for Best R&B Song. Can’t help but think of Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks’ No Air or those duets in High School Musical. This one sounds what the 21st generation go for these days.
Hele ni Inay by Regine Velasquez, not sure who wrote it, for Best Christmas Recording. I’m biased. I prefer Christmas ballads than the loud fanfare. The baby sound effects at the start and end of the song are adorable—no doubt Regine’s baby with songwriter Ogie Alcasid.
Darating Din by KZ Tandingan for Best Jazz Recording. I might be wrong on this one. Like I mentioned, only the song titles were written in the online form so I can’t remember if this was the track included. Anyway, the song’s fantastic!