Global Pinoy Music: Helping Filipino artists to ‘shine abroad’
In hopes of creating opportunities for Filipino artists to “shine abroad,” Warner Music Philippines recently launched a project called Global Pinoy Music (GLOPM)—a space that encourages collaborations among local talents and international producers with Filipino roots.
“That has always been a goal for us. We want to give our artists the best chance to succeed … And I think one way to do that is to foster collaborations and learn from producers doing [great] things on the world stage … There’s this transfer of information and knowledge that, I hope, will help the artists taking part in this initiative,” Kelley Mangahas, A&R manager for Warner PH, told the Inquirer in a Zoom interview.
For the initial set of collaboration and singles, Leanne & Naara were paired with Filipino-Canadian producer August Rigo, who has worked for acts like BTS, One Direction, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown. Together they reworked the song “Anticipation,” from the indie-pop duo’s vault.
The PhilPop 2020 winners and indie duo Reon came up with the track “Back to the Times” with Grammy Award-nominated, Filipino-Dutch producer Xerxes Bakker (Maroon 5, Snoop Dogg, Imagine Dragons). The song “Good Old Days,” meanwhile, was the result of R & B singer’s Quest’s team-up with Filipino-Canadians Samuel and Robert Gerongco of Kuya Productions (Christina Aguilera, Alessia Cara, EXO).
“It was me and Alex Lim, our A&R marketing for Visayas and Mindanao, who decided on the pairings. We put together artists and producers who have similar vibes, and see how it all works out. At the end of the day, each artist has his or her own journey but we also want their songs to be part of a bigger picture,” Mangahas said.
“Music is always changing and evolving. How music is produced now is different from how things were done before. There are a lot of tricks, tips, production standards they (global Filipino producers) can teach us. How they write songs, how they produce them—we want to learn those, and then apply our own tastes,” he said.
Expand their network
Aside from song collaborations, Mangahas believes that GLOPM can also help their artists expand their network further. Case in point: Though it wasn’t in the original plan, Filipino-Canadian musician Ricky Tillo, who has been playing guitar for Lady Gaga since 2010, ended up in Leanne & Naara and Rigo’s collaboration.
“The song ‘Anticipation,’ was considered for Leanne & Naara’s album but didn’t make it. August really helped rework it and they came up with something very fresh and different. August then called up Ricky Tillo, who ended up playing for the track,” Mangahas said. “It’s all about bringing in different flavors. The girls learned a lot from the experience.”
On why they purposely sought producers with Filipino heritage for the project, Mangahas said that having a shared culture and background will make it easier for their artists to express themselves. “These producers doing their thing on the world stage also want to give back and work with artists here in the Philippines,” he said. “There’s this desire in them to connect.”
Fans can expect more collaborations in the future, Mangahas said. And once there are enough songs, a compilation album may follow—or maybe even live performances, depending on the situation.
“We want to have clear sets of releases and collaborations … We don’t want this to be just a one-off thing,” he said.
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