OPM also stands for ‘Ogie, Pickup Man’

Singer’s latest projects meant to promote local music onscreen and online

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The coincidence is not lost on singer Ogie Alcasid, who is currently president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-Aawit (OPM). These days, all his projects (and efforts) seem geared toward the promotion of local music and musicians.

Even “Boy Pickup,” the wildly popular segment on the GMA 7 gag show “Bubble Gang” which will soon become a movie (GMA Films/Regal), is a vehicle for his music advocacy.

Soundtrack

“We are preparing an original soundtrack for the ‘Boy Pickup’ movie,” he told the Inquirer.

Collaborating with him on the soundtrack are Filipino-American hip-hop group Q-York and wife Regine Velasquez. “We will soon have a full Boy Pickup fashion line: caps, shoes, shirts, shorts, accessories. Exciting.”

“Kids love the bling-bling. Boy Pickup items are selling well at Francis Magalona Clothing Store outlets,” Ogie noted.

Boy Pickup, he related, traces its roots to the hip-hop community. “[“Bubble Gang” costar] Michael V. and I are big fans of FlipTop,” he confessed.

FlipTop swagger

FlipTop videos — which feature Filipino rappers engaged in a showdown a la modern balagtasan — have gone viral. “We watch FlipTop videos on YouTube all the time,” Ogie explained.

In creating Boy Pickup, he tried to imbibe the “FlipTop swagger and look” — with a little of 50 Cent thrown in for good measure.

Now, Boy Pickup has gone viral as well — with its own loyal following on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Even Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and other politicians have been quoting Boy Pickup in their speeches.

“I never thought it would grow this big,” Ogie quipped. The Boy Pickup movie, which is directed by Dominic Zapata, also features Pinoy rock legend Joey “Pepe” Smith.

“Pepe is my sensei. He is Yoda to Boy’s Luke Skywalker,” Ogie said.

Ogie has another movie this year, “I Do Bidoo Bidoo,” which also pays tribute to local music icons, the Apo Hiking Society.

Produced by Unitel and directed by Chris Martinez, “I Do” gives Ogie and the cast (Zsa Zsa Padilla, Gary Valenciano, and Eugene Domingo) an opportunity to revisit the Apo songbook.

“It’s in line with what I advocate for OPM,” Ogie said. “The movie will hopefully introduce the music of Apo to today’s youth.” Apo’s music can easily move across generations, he said, “because their songs are about everyday stories everyone can relate to… Pinoy na Pinoy.”

Online store

With the help of other music artists like Jett Pangan of The Dawn, Ogie has put together a project dubbed opm2go — an online music store that makes local songs available for downloading at P10 and P15 a pop. “Fifty percent of the revenues of every song will go to the artist,” Ogie said.

Songs of artists as diverse as Celeste Legaspi and Salbakuta are available on the opm2go site.

Although it is a separate endeavor from his job as OPM head, the idea for the online store arose from numerous discussions with local musicians — particularly, independent and unsigned bands and singers. “A lot of our artists are looking for solutions to very basic problems,” he said.

Straight arrow

At a time when local record labels are closing shop, opm2go encourages musicians to head straight to the consumer.

“Sales are shifting from CDs to mp3 downloading,” Ogie conceded. “Our goal is to popularize the new sound of OPM — not only in the Philippines, but all over the world. We want to help musicians sell their songs so they can continue creating their music,” he said.

(bayanisandiego@hotmail.com)

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