PEP EXCLUSIVE Jim Paredes on status of OPM: "It’s not like it’s in the best of health, but it’s not dead."

Jim Paredes on the weakening of OPM and invasion of foreign music: "It reflects the taste of Pinoys, but remember, taste is not something they pick out of thin air. Taste is something that is given, day in, day out, di ba? I mean, we can have a taste for trash, you know. And that’s what we’ve been getting, trashy taste. That’s what I’m saying."


Matapos ang mahigit apat na dekada sa entertainment industry, magkakaroon ng kanyang kauna-unahang solo concert ang dating miyembro ng APO Hiking Society na si Jim Paredes.

May pamagat na Live, Laugh, and Sing, ito ay magaganap sa October 11 sa Newport Theater, Resorts World Manila.

Sa exclusive interview ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Jim noong Miyerkules, September 5, sa Maxim’s Hotel, Pasay City, tinanong namin siya kung bakit niya naisipang magkaroon ng solo concert.

Paliwanag niya, “Well, APO ended two years ago. And uhm…I still wanna perform.

“But, you know, I can’t perform with just Buboy, I mean, that’s too close to APO.”

Taong 2010 nang magdesisyon ang APO Hiking Society na mag-retire bilang grupo; kasama ni Jim dito sina Buboy Garovillo at Danny Javier.

Aktibo ngayon si Buboy sa pag-arte sa pelikula at telebisyon, samantalang si Danny ay inatake ng congestive heart disease noong 2011 bagamat unti-unti na ring naka-recover ngayong taon.

Patuloy ni Jim, na ngayon ay 61 years old na, “So I sort of had to reinvent myself the way Paul McCartney reinvented himself after The Beatles, parang ganun.

“I still wanna perform, e. I still wanna write, I still wanna tour, stuff like that.”

Si Paul McCartney ang isa sa apat na miyembro ng phenomenal British band na Beatles, kung saan kasama rin sina John Lennon, George Harrison, at Ringo Starr.



JIM’S GUESTS. Special guests ni Jim sa solo concert niya sina Jett Pangan, Noel Cabangon, Ebe Dancel, at Yeng Constantino.

Personal choice ba niya na makasama ang apat na singers na ito?

“Yeah, oo.

"Si Yeng, she was part of the first [Pinoy] Dream Academy and I was the Headmaster.

“And she was like the singer-songwriter na talagang... I really think she really—she’s a real winner. And I wanna work with her after all these years.

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“The three other guys… si ano, is a good friend of mine, si Noel Cabangon.

“Si Ebe Dancel, he did a great ‘Batang-Bata Ka Pa’ version before e.

“Si Jett Pangan, I mean, Jett Pangan is legend, you know.

“And we’re singing APO songs with them. Some of the songs I’ve written, I’ll sing with them.”

Ayon pa kay Jim, kakanta siya ng magkahalong APO songs at mga kanta mula sa kanyang solo album na Laro, na ini-relesase noong 2011 ng MCA Music.

“From my new album, I’m doing about five or six [songs].

“And then, I’m doing APO stuff and I’m doing new APO stuff, which did not get that much airplay because we released it only for concertgoers, which I wrote.

“And then I’m doing, believe it or not, I’m doing some Top 40. Which is… I promise you, the most different treatment you’ll ever hear.”

Ang Top 40 ay tumutukoy sa American Top 40 Hit Chart at isa ring general term para sa pinakamabentang kanta na nasa ere sa kasalukuyan.

I DO BIDOO BIDOO. Umani ng positive reviews ang pelikulang I Do Bidoo Bidoo, na pinagbidahan nina Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid, at Eugene Domingo.

Ang nasabing musical film—na joint production ng Unitel Productions at Studio 5—ay gumamit ng 17 hits songs ng APO Hiking Society.

Tinanong ng PEP si Jim kung ano ang nararamdaman niya na nagkaroon ng "tribute film" para sa APO.

Aniya, “Makes me feel like, I’m on legacy mode, you know.

“Parang, we gifted the Filipino people with songs that we made, which we had no idea that would get to be like this.

“It is such a thrill to be... parang we wrote the soundtrack of Filipino lives.”

Kahit ilang dekada na ang nakararaan nang unang iparinig ng APO ang kanilang mga awitin, nakaka-relate pa rin ang maraming Pilipino sa kanilang musika hanggang ngayon.

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“That feels great!" bulalas ni Jim.

"Parang I feel na, ano, we must’ve done something honest and not just trendy, and not just something that answers the sale reports, and media play, and all of that.

“We did something that was really from the heart and people saw it and they went for it.”

Sang-ayon ba siya sa pagre-revive ng mga kanta ng APO ng mas batang singers?

Sagot ni Jim, “I like it. And I don’t tell them how to do it.

“I pretty much leave them alone because I really feel that, when you pick up a song, you take it to a place where it’s never been, you know.

“And that person, if he’s an interesting, creative person, will take it to a place it’s never been.

“That’s why I Doo Bi Doo Bi Doo is successful, because of that.

"Because the arranger, si Vincent de Jesus, really played around with the song.

OPM IS NOT DEAD. Noong August 25 ay lumabas ang isang artikulo na pinamagatang “The life and death of OPM”—na isinulat ni Don Jaucian para sa Philstar.com.

Sa nasabing artikulo ay sinabi ni Jaucian na tila naghihingalo na ang local music industry o OPM (Original Pilipino Music):

“But today, in a world where giant studio producers roam the streets, looking for the next products to sell to the masses, OPM as it was has withered away.

“It has been thrown into some bargain bin, upstaged by Korean girlbands, cover albums, and bossa nova.”

Sinang-ayunan naman ito ni Leloy Claudio sa kanyang artikulo noong August 28, na lumabas sa GMANetwork.com, na pinamagatang “OPM is dead, so sue me.”

Pumukaw ng atensiyon ang mga artikulong ito sa micro-blogging site na Twitter at nag-trending topic pa nga sa Pilipinas ang “#OPM.”

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Kinuha ng PEP ang opinyon ni Jim, na itinuturing bilang isa sa nagsusulong ng OPM sa bansa, tungkol sa mga artikulong ito.

Patay na nga ba ang OPM?

Wika ni Jim, “It’s not like it’s in the best of health, but it’s not dead.

“And you can see that people really relate to OPM when it’s properly situated, like I Do Bidoo Bidoo.

I Do Bidoo Bidoo should be looked at as an example of how OPM can really tell a story, and people can relate to it in ways na talagang they watch it again, two, three times.

“Yung talagang… it’s partly the story, but it came from OPM.

"So, people recognize the honesty in that.

“And I think the whole movement now for artists will be something, like, we’re beginning to realize that for the world to really care to listen to us, we have to be ourselves.

“We cannot be trying to be Americans. We cannot be trying to be K-Pop.

“K-Pop was successful because they were Koreans trying to be themselves, you know.

“It’s time we think like that. That’s the formula.

"The formula is, to be international, you gotta be local."

Isa sa mga ipinunto ng artikulo ni Jaucian tungkol sa paghina ng OPM ay puro revivals na lamang daw ang naririnig sa kasalukuyan.

Ngunit ayon kay Jim, hindi niya ito itinuturing na kahinaan ng local music industry.

“One is, I don’t complain about revivals because in countries like… Brazil, for example, if you’re a serious singer, you’re gonna have in you repertoire, at least one or two Jobim songs.”

Si Antonio Carlos Jobim, o mas kilala bilang Tom Jobim, ay isang Brazilian singer/songwriter/musician na naging malaking bahagi sa pagka-imbento ng bossa nova.

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Pagpapatuloy ni Jim, “In other words, it’s tribute… this is their music.

"And they go, ‘You know what, this music is loved by everybody.’

“What’s my take on it? They do it. Dapat kasali yun. It’s not the weakness.

“The weakness lies, really, with media. They don’t play it.

"They don’t play OPM because they go for the cheap stuff.

“I mean, radio, for example, will have a format like RnB. So, ang dami nang hindi kasali sa RnB, di ba?

“Tapos sasabihin nila, ’E, wala kaming matugtog, e.’

"E, kasalanan niyo, yun ang format niyo, e, di ba?

“Nung ’70s, kaya sumikat lahat, kasi walang format.

"So within the same show, you listen to APO, you listen to Yoyoy Villame, you listen to Juan Dela Cruz...

"What’s the problem, di ba?”

Ngunit sa tingin ba ni Jim ay may sapat na mga banda at artists na gumagawa ng original music sa kasalukuyan?

“There are enough bands that have recorded, that are recording… and the moment you really give total radio support for OPM, more people will come out of the woodwork.

“Look, how many artists are not recording anymore? Because they’re not being played.

“Joey Ayala, for example. Joey Ayala is world-class. But since he doesn’t sound like an American band, nobody wants to listen to him.

“E, kaninong kasalanan yun? Hindi niya kasalanan yun. Kasalanan yun ng radio, or TV, di ba?”

Sa tingin ba ni Jim ay reflection ng taste sa music ng mga Pilipino ang naririnig natin sa radyo at telebisyon ngayon?

“It reflects the taste of Pinoys, but remember, taste is not something they pick out of thin air.

"Taste is something that is given, day in, day out, di ba?

“I mean, we can have a taste for trash, you know.

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"And that’s what we’ve been getting, trashy taste. That’s what I’m saying.”

Kung mas mabibigyan lang daw marahil ng pagkakataon ang mga Pinoy upang makinig sa Original Pilipino Music ay maaaring mabago ang estado nito.

Saad ni Jim, “I teach World Music in Ateneo. And I let them listen to Brazil, for example, or Jamaicans, or something like that.

“I tell them, ’What do you notice, do they try to sound like L.A. [Los Angeles]? No.

“’Do the Jamaicans correct their English? No. They are who they are.’

“Ano tayo, magkamali lang ng Ingles yung beauty queen, nagkakagulo na tayo rito, hindi ba? Mali ang thinking natin.

“We’re not… we’re very parochial. Makitid tayo.

"Dapat sa ‘tin, bumukas.

“Music… the moment you make music coming from your own soul, it democratizes everything.

“In other words, somebody who’s not mestiza, or biritera, or something like that, can come from Bulacan, but will sing with such honesty, bibilhin mo.

“Hindi mo sasabihin, ‘Ay, kasi hindi katunog ni ganito! Hindi marunong mag-Ingles!’

“Hindi tayo mag-iisip ng ganun.

"We don’t even care about Beyoncé if we get into that frame of mind,” wika niya.

Handa na kaya ang mga Pilipino para rito?

“Bubukas tayo within the next three years, I think.

"OPM will be very big, sa tingin ko.

“I mean, now people are seeing that, you know, you can make a musical like this [I Do Bido Bidoo]. You can do this."

Dagdag niya, “Music, songwriting, and compositions are software.

“The voice, the performance, is hardware.

“Lea Salonga is hardware. But she doesn’t sing Filipino songs abroad, di ba?

“Freddie Aguilar is software and hardware. And look at what he has done…yung ‘Anak,’ 57 languages, di ba?

“That’s the formula. But we insist on not following the formula.”

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Sa dami ng mga talent at singing shows ngayon, masasabing puro “hardware” ang meron tayo. “Software” nga ba ang kulang sa OPM?

“Software ang kailangan nating isipin. Wag nating isipin ang hardware.

“Birit lahat. ‘Kala natin, yun na yun.

“Hardware is good. But if you want the world to listen to you, it’s software.

“Look at K-Pop. Meron ka bang naiintindihan dun? Wala. Pa-cute lang sila lahat.”


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