The 2020’s have been a good decade so far for Original Pilipino Music or OPM. Thanks to our extremely talented local music artists who positively shared their musicality with everyone. For the past year, OPM artists have started to gain countless international recognitions through their art. At the same time, as more opportunities open up in the local music scene, new artists arise; building their own empires. Obviously, they are so good, we don’t want to gatekeep them!
Here are the TOP 5 emerging OPM artists to watch out for:
OPM Baddie Denise Julia
Denise Julia launched her music career back in 2021 and started making waves when she dropped ‘NVMD’ the following year. Given the moniker ‘patron saint of situationships‘ by her fans, she writes songs about knotty love and perplexing emotions.
Denise earned appreciation for her elegant sound and fairy-like harmonies—an unexpected tune from a Filipino artist. She takes an active stance in each phase of her music production—a process she takes pride in. Her combination of sultriness and confidence sets her apart, undoubtedly a true jewel in the OPM crown.
She just released her debut album ‘Sweet Nothings (Chapter 1)’ featuring the new singles ‘B.A.D.’ and ‘Lackin”
Downtown Rep Hev Abi
This new charismatic rapper generates buzz with his pen game and trap sound. An artist you would listen to on a chill night out or on a late-night drive. Not to mention, Hev Abi meticulously ensures the quality in every aspect of his music—from crafting lyrics to fine-tuning beats. Moreover, he thrives on challenging the boundaries of his creativity by exploring samples from various artists.
His melodic rap style coupled with his smooth vocals resonate effectively with the masses. Through his adept lyricism, this player knows how to play the music game without question. With his new album, ‘Kung Alam Mo Lang,’ he embarks on solidifying his name in the industry.
OPM Trendsetter Yara
YARA has arrived to pollinate our lives! This PPOP girl group shookt everyone when they revived and reinterpreted the iconic song ‘Bakit Papa,’ originally performed by Sexbomb. These gals light up the stage with their fierce voices and feisty yet amusing auras—a pop culture icon in the making!
Not even a year since their debut, they have shown potential for versatility with both sound and concepts. So, brace yourselves as they grace OPM landscape with upcoming releases!
Boy Next Door Maki
Maki went viral in early 2023 with his hit track, ‘Saan?’ a heartbreaking search for a lost love, hoping for a serendipitous encounter. This song chiefly follows the concept of his latest EP, ‘Tanong,’ with ‘Bakit?’ and ‘Kailan?’.
This rookie evidently brings a delightful blend of good memories and peace of mind through his songs. Picture yourself on a road trip or by a beach campfire, letting the soothing vibe of his gentle, kilig-infused vocals wash over you. Prepare to be smitten by Maki’s music for moments when you crave romance and serenity.
Pop-Rock Sensation Jed Baruelo
Jed Baruelo’s song ‘Nahuhulog’ has become famous online, specifically among TikTok Alternative Universe (AU) authors who often use it in their AU stories. This emotional song explores the depths of falling for someone and being completely enamored. What adds a unique touch to this track is that Jed co-produced it with his father.
A breath of fresh air enters the OPM realm with Jed’s anthemic music—lingering long in your heart and mind after listening. This 19-year-old star is poised for greatness, and you won’t want to miss a beat of his musical journey.
OPM evolved from its humble beginnings of mainly focusing on television artists. It has always been an open platform where Filipinos can share stories rooted in our universal love and life experiences. Finally, we witness its remarkable journey of welcoming independent artists into the mainstream. So, dive in and follow these five artists as they continue to shape the sound and soul of our musical landscape.
Lei is a dynamic writer with a keenness for covering current events, entertainment, and pop culture. He offers new perspectives that captivate readers, celebrating those who make a positive impact in their communities. His writing is a reflection of his vibrant personality, where motivation meets entertainment and aspiration meets pop culture.