Why Non-Singers Doing Lip-Sync and Releasing Albums Are Insulting the Dead OPM

OPM is dead

For the past week, one of the most hot topics in the Philippine music industry is the issue of non-singers who do lip-syncing on TV and had the guts to release albums. Now, here is the P1-million question. Do these “artists” really deserve the admiration and popularity? Why are they insulting the already dead OPM (Original Pilipino Music)?

Apparently, the debate started when Rhap Salazar made his controversial tweet, “I hate seeing artists lip-syncing on TV, yung iba nagkaka-album pa.” Many netizens criticized the 19-year old multi-awarded singer, although he later clarified that he is not bashing any particular artist. This ignited different point of views from netizens and local artists as well.

A day later, iconic singer Gary Valenciano defended Rhap Salazar, saying that the young singer has the authority to say it because he worked hard to become a good singer. Recently, singer-comedian Vice Ganda said that it would be better if Salazar said “I don’t like” instead of “I hate,” adding that there’s nothing with ‘non-singers.’

For Lea Salonga, she said that music industry is a matter of supply and demand. And although she understands the sentiments of Rhap Salazar, she also accepts the fact music producers release albums for these “non-singers” simply because there is a demand, and that such albums sell simply because fans buy them.

Now, here’s my take on this issue. But first of all, I am not a singer and I also rarely sing on videoke. But when it comes to music per se, I am an avid fan since the mid 70s when I was growing up. I love all kinds of music – novelty, pop, ballad, rock, heavy metal, rap, acoustic, reggae, you name it. And yes, I’m a great fan of OPM.

This issue is actually not new. Back in the 80s, I have already seen many actors and actresses doing lip-syncing on TV just to promote their upcoming movies, but not as blatant as today. Besides, the local movie industry is also dying. And yes, we must admit that OPM non-singers are here to stay, whether we like it or not.

But while I respect the opinions of the three artists I mentioned above, I would like to emphasize on the effect of non-singers to the listening public. Obviously, fans listen to them not expecting to hear a wonderful voice but the mere fact that they see their idols performing. That’s their personal choice, and I respect them, too.

But as an avid music listener, I really think that OPM is dead, and that these non-singers are not really helping to make it alive again. In fact, they are insulting the local music industry. You see, there is a very thick line between the love for art and enjoying entertainment. Sadly, many Filipinos don’t see it, or they ignore it.

I understand that releasing an album or holding a concert is a business, and no matter how great you sing, if the producers feel that your album will not sell, they will not invest on you. The selection of songs also matters a lot, especially the carrier single. Therefore, being a great singer is not the only guarantee that your album will sell.

Well, we must accept the fact that there are only a few “high quality” song writers and composers today as compared to the earlier decades. We must also understand that the music trend changes. It has been years since pop music alone is conquering the music industry. And yes, I really hope other music genre will be active again.

I also understand that “magic” and “right timing” are major factors to consider to assume that fans will love songs once they are released. I know many great singers and bands (local and abroad) whose albums did not sell well even if they spend a truckload of money in promotion. I hate to say this, but I think this is what OPM is suffering from today.

I’m happy to say that I lived in an era when OPM was on its highest peak back in the 70s to the 90s. On the other hand, I am sad that my teen children are now living when many non-singers today are laughing after making a lot of money from selling garbage. And why is this happening now? Obviously, many people today are tolerating them. It’s that simple; no need for further explanation.

Well, let’s blame PNoy (pun intended) for not controlling music piracy.

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