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The OPM Lookout: Darwin Navarro and his journey as a rising Indie artist

The OPM Lookout: Darwin Navarro and his journey as a rising Indie artist

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Get to know The Next Odd Creature’s finalist Darwin Navarro as he strives to make a mark as a colorful indie pop-folk Filipino artist.

darwin navarro | Facebook

One thing that you should learn about me is that I write songs to capture a moment, a feeling, and a person. And these songs let me keep love alive, even if it’s already passed, even if he’s already gone.

The OPM Lookout: Darwin Navarro and his journey as a rising Indie artist

Darwin Navarro introduces as he strums his guitar to sing, Jose, in The Next Odd Creature live by O/C Records. The budding singer and songwriter work his way up the OPM scene by sharing his own personal experiences on the complexities of love. Darwin shares with us his own struggles and achievements in his journey of passion and stardom.

Coping with music

Catchy, personal, and heartbreaking. These are the three words he used to describe his music. Going by the stage name, darwin navarro, the 22-year-old indie artist began his journey by joining open mic events. This prompted him to make connections with other budding singers.

In 2019, I discovered Jess & Pat’s, a restaurant in Maginhawa where they always hold open mic nights. From there, I’ve always frequented the place and met a lot of talented indie artists who are also striving to make a name in the OPM scene. I was really inspired by the people I met in Jess & Pat’s and from there I was introduced to this amazing Filipino music industry.

From there, he started writing his songs based on his experiences of love and heartbreak. It eventually paved the way to finally release his indie pop-folk singles Kahit Na Mali, Feelings, and many more. He also just recently released his debut song under O/C Records, Kailan, and we just could not get enough of its nostalgic yet upbeat tunes.

Behind the scenes, Darwin revealed that he composes songs as a way to cope and deal with his innermost demons,

Song-writing is my coping mechanism to deal with all of my feelings and organize my thoughts. Usually, I start off with a melody I have in mind, and from there I just continue writing the song.

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darwin navarro | Facebook

Behind The Music

Aside from singing and making music, Darwin is a fourth-year college taking Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Asia and the Pacific. He loves to dance and take pictures. He also spends his free time baking.

His love for music has been there ever since he was a child. He recalled how the Disney movie High School Musical greatly influenced his childhood. Watching people sing and perform inspired him to discover his love for singing.

Speaking of inspiration, Darwin was enthusiastic to share that he is a big fan of Taylor Swift. The said popular international singer of Love Story has also contributed to his song ideas and composition.

She’s my icon. My queen. My mother. I just love how she values songwriting so much and how beautifully written her songs are.

darwin navarro | Facebook

The OPM scene for a newbie

It is never easy to start small. As a newbie in the industry, challenges are inevitable and successes are difficult to obtain and oftentimes slow-paced.

Darwin admitted that one of his challenges is the lack of an audience listening to his kind of music. In addition, there are a lot of talented indie artists competing for a spotlight in the industry. However, he still remains determined to continue what he started despite the circumstances.

Meanwhile, OPM has long been fading in the background with the strong pull of western cultural influences. This includes K-Pop and American artists and celebrities. Filipino musicians are struggling to keep up with the standards set by international artists.

As a part of the industry, Darwin explained the importance of promoting Filipino music through social media.

Social media is really an effective tool to promote the local indie scene. Posting stuff online and getting [your] friends to promote [your] craft are baby steps to promote Filipino music.

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While fast and efficient, he suggested that the best way to support the local industry is through an intimate and personal experience of attending gigs.

“I truly think that attending gigs is really one of the things that elevate Filipino music. Gigs in the local indie scene are magical and divine,” he said. “From Muni-Muni, Indayo, Lola Amour, and more. Watching them perform is a work of art and if you can invite your friends to watch with you, you’ll [be] so addicted to it!”

For aspiring singers like him, Darwin advised to only focus on their goal and passion rather than the audience and numbers.

Keep on releasing content. Post everything. Don’t care about the audience. Care about your love for music. Although you might get too anxious because of how your music will do (like the reach and all that), don’t let that stop you from making your craft. Always think that you make music because you love doing it.

darwin navarro | Facebook

At the end of the day, we all turn to music to enjoy and build memories.

As an avid hopeless romantic, nothing is better than a song that you can relate to and cry on. From falling in love to having your heart broken. No person could or would ever deny the magical way Darwin captures the hearts of his listeners through his own story of love and pain.

That day has come for you to know… You are the pain I accepted and chose.

– darwin navarro, ‘Feelings’

More about the author: Lea Briones

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