Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is a term that encompasses the diverse range of music styles and genres created by Filipino artists. Over the years, OPM has evolved and transformed, reflecting the changing tastes and influences of Filipino musicians and society. Below are the key differences between OPM in the past and its contemporary landscape.

It was Daniel Morales Javier or better known as Danny Javier of APO Hiking Society who coined the term Original Pilipino Music (OPM) which refers to Philippine Music composed by Filipino Artists.
Photo from www.wikipedia.com

1. Musical Style and Influences:

Then: In the earlier days of OPM, artists drew inspiration from traditional Filipino folk music, romantic ballads, and classical melodies. The music was often characterized by heartfelt lyrics, simple melodies, and a focus on storytelling. Influences from Western music, such as American pop and rock, were also evident.

Now: The OPM scene has become more diverse, experimental, and influenced by various international genres. Artists now incorporate elements of pop, R&B, hip-hop, EDM, and rock, among others. The music has become more dynamic, reflecting the fusion of different musical styles and global trends.

2. Language and Themes:

Then: OPM in the past predominantly featured songs in Filipino (Tagalog), which was the primary language used for expressing emotions and telling stories. The themes often revolved around love, heartbreak, nationalism, and social issues, resonating with the sentiments of the Filipino people.

Now: While songs in Filipino remain popular, OPM has also embraced English and other regional languages, reflecting a more globalized approach. Modern OPM tackles a wider range of themes, addressing personal experiences, social commentary, mental health, empowerment, and even international issues. It has become more inclusive, capturing the diverse experiences of Filipinos today.

3. Technology and Production:

Then: In the past, OPM relied on traditional recording methods and limited production techniques. Recording equipment and facilities were often scarce, leading to a raw and authentic sound. Live performances were highly valued, allowing artists to connect directly with their audience.

Now: With advancements in technology, OPM has embraced digital production tools and techniques. Artists now have access to professional recording studios, digital platforms, and social media, enabling them to produce high-quality music and reach a wider audience. The rise of streaming services has also revolutionized the way OPM is consumed and discovered.

4. Industry Support and Exposure:

Then: OPM faced challenges in terms of industry support and exposure, with limited avenues for artists to showcase their talent. Record labels played a significant role in promoting and distributing OPM, often dictating the artists’ creative direction.

Now: The current OPM landscape benefits from a more accessible and interconnected music industry. Independent artists have gained prominence, thanks to social media, online platforms, and the ability to self-publish music. There is greater freedom for artists to explore their creativity, collaborate, and reach a global audience.

SB19 is a contemporary Filipino boy band with five members namely from left to right—Josh, Pablo, Stell, Justin and Ken.
Photo from SB19 Official Facebook Page

The evolution of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) from its roots to the present day reflects the dynamic nature of Filipino music and the ever-changing society it represents. While OPM then and now differ in terms of style, language, themes, and industry dynamics, both eras contribute to the rich tapestry of Filipino musical heritage. OPM continues to thrive, providing a platform for artists to express their creativity, connect with listeners, and celebrate the diverse sounds of the Philippines.