Mecca Music returns to the OPM scene with a new artist named Tamara.
Champ Lui-Pio, frontman of Hale and head of Mecca Music, relaunched their independent music label. He introduced 20-year-old singer-songwriter Tamara through an intimate launch held recently at Frank & Dean in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press, Champ expressed how excited he is to create music with their new talent.
He said, "The last artist I managed was in 2013, I think. I wasn't really that aggressive in the business.
"It was until I met her that you know, she really lit the spark.
"We're doing this long-term and we're really excited to just work together and inspire each other to create beautiful music together."
Champ discovered Tamara through a songwriting competition where he was invited as one of the judges.
The band vocalist was very impressed with her talent and immediately offered her a deal under his independent label.
Tamara recalled, "Nung nilapitan ako ni Champ nung competition, talagang, 'Ah bakit ako nilalapitan ni Champ?'
"Hindi nga ako masyado makapagsalita nun kasi medyo na-starstruck ako. Parang, 'Pinapakinggan ko 'to noon araw-araw ah.'"
Tamara grabbed the opportunity to work with one of her biggest idols.
The young singer admits, "Usually, pag nakikinig ako araw-araw, lagi kasama yung mga kanta nila.
"Parang hindi kumpleto yung araw ko kapag wala ng mga kanta nila.
"Tapos kada kapag may playlist ako na OPM, laging kasama mga kanta nila."
Music and performing runs through Tamara's blood.
She said, "I came from a family of musicians, singers, at saka theater actors.
"So kumbaga nandun na rin po siya sistema."
But the young talent admits that she did not know she had potential as a songwriter until Champ reached out.
"Lately ko lang rin nalaman na marunong pala ako magsulat."
Where does she draw inspiration when writing new songs?
She answered, "Minsan sa sarili, minsan sa friends, minsan sa movies."
Aside from Hale, Tamara said she looks up to acoustic singer-songwriter Julianne Tarroja.
For international artists, she names John Mayer and Taylor Swift as her biggest idols.
Last March 2, Tamara officially released her debut single "Ngayon," a love song she wrote when she was just 17 years old.
Tamara recounted, "First time ko kasi ma-heartbroken noon, siguro mga 17.
"'Tapos akala ko, when I write the song, babalik pa siya.
"Parang, 'Pag narinig niya ba 'to, babalik pa ba siya sa akin?'
"Eventually, hindi na siya bumalik, and yung song parang naging pang venting out ko na siya.
"Ngayon, pag pine-perform ko siya sa stage, tapos nagre-react yung mga tao, medyo parang naiiyak na rin ako.
"Parang, 'Iba yung yung feeling, a.' Parang hindi na siya malungkot na, 'A, hindi pala ako mag-isa.'"
With the OPM industry being filled with so many hugot songs, Tamara believes that authenticity will help her stand out.
She said, "Gusto ko yung ginagawa ko... I just write from the heart.
"And pag nagsusulat kasi ako, straight to the point."