OPM hitmakers talk about their hit songs, making it big in showbiz

Published May 23, 2022, 8:12 AM

by Robert Requintina

From left: Nonoy Zuniga, Hajji Alejandro, Pops Fernandez, concert producer Pia Amore Legaspi, Marco Sison, and Rey Valera

Original Pilipino Music (OPM) royals Rey Valera, Hajji Alejandro, Nonoy Zuniga, Marcos Sison and Pops Fernandez are set to embark on a two-month concert tour in the US dubbed “Four Kings and A Queen” beginning in June.

“It’s a brilliant combination of what should be the longest-reigning genre of top entertainers who ruled the airwaves. They remain undisputed in international roadshows,” said Pia Amore Legaspi, of Amore Entertainment, producer for the upcoming concert, during a press conference held in Quezon City recently.

Rey Valera

The concert tour will play in the following cities:

June 25 – Northern California (Graton Casino)

June 26 – Beverly Hills, CA (Saban Theater)

July 1 – Las Vegas, Nevada (Sahara Event Center)

July 3- Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Bally’s Casino)

July 9 – Atlantic City (Bally’s Casino)

July 10 – Chicago (Copernicus Center)

July 15 – Portland Oregon (Double Tree Hotel)

July 17 – Honolulu, Hawaii (Hawaii Convention Center)

Marco Sison

The same concert will be staged in the Philippines in August. The show is being presented by Philippine Airlines, SendWave, and the Law Offices of Atty. John Ye (Ang Ating Accident Attorney).

During a Zoom press conference for their upcoming US concerts, the OPM hitmakers were asked about their own songs that are still close to their hearts.

Rey: “Have you heard of the song ‘Malayo Pa Ang Umaga?’ Hindi lang para sa akin yun kundi para sa PIlipinas yun. Alam nyo na ang ibig sabihin. Malayo, malayo pa tayo kumpara sa ibang bansa. Tuwing uuwi ako sa PIlipinas, (at nakasakay ako sa eroplano), iba ang itsura natin sa taas kumpara sa ibang bansa. Parang bahala ka na, bai. Mare-realize mo yun pag nag abroad ka na. Hindi ako naninira ng kahit na ano pero yun lang yun.”

Nonoy Zuniga

Marco: “Dalawa ang favorites ko na kinakanta ko lagi. Ang first is yung breakthrough song ko “Make Believe” dahil doon ako nakilala. At naging hitmaker naman ako dahil sa “My Love Will See You Through.” Thank God wala pa namang casualties pag kinakanta nila yun.”

Hajji: “Mahalaga sa amin ang first single dahil yun ang nagpakilala sa amin. In my case, back-to-back yun. Sa 45 single, side A at side B, side A was ‘Panakip Butas’ and side b was ‘Tag-Araw, Tag-Ulan.” Yun ang pinaka-importante sa akin. Malaki na ang kinita ko sa dalawang kanta na yan. Pero ang isa naman sa highlight ng career ko ay yung binigay sa akin ni Ryan Cayabyab na ‘Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika.’ “

Nonoy – “Marami akong favorites pero mas nakaka-relate ako sa ‘Love Without Time.’ Lahat ng songs namin ni Willie Cruz, bago namin i-record, pinag-uusapan muna namin ni Willie. Sa ‘Love Without Time,’ may struggles ako nuon sa schooling ko and lovelife ko. So when I sing that song, iba talaga. My mind travels and I love that song. That time, I chose schooling kaya natapos ko ang medicine.”

Pops – “Yung first song ko na ‘Dito’ na hindi ko na makanta kanta dahil naiiyak ako. It’s so sentimental because tamang tama kasi noong nag recording ako, na release yun, kakalaya pa lang ni papa. Kaya narere-relate ko yung song na yun with my dad. Everytime I sing it, hindi ko na natatapos. I choke. So that one and ‘Little Star.’ “

The Filipino artists also gave a piece of advice to upcoming singers who want to make it big in the entertainment scene.

Rey – “Alam ninyo, may mga taga timpla ng kape, yung mailiit na write na kung tutuusin hindi mo papansinin. Ako pinapansin ko sila. Kasi ngayon ko lang na-realize yung mga writer na yan nagiging director yan. Ginagamit nila yung kanta mo sa pelikula nila. Yung isang magandang bagay na ginawa mo sa kanya tapos sasaibihin nya yun sa pamilya nya at yung pamilya niya ikakalat naman yun sa iba. Kaya kung tinarayan mo ay at tinaasan mo yan ng kilay, kakalat din yan. Kasi na realize ko yan na yung mga gumagawa ng kuwento ay yung mismong mga taong nakakausap mo. Kaya yun lang ang napansin ko, huwag mong maliitin yung mga maliit dahil sila rin yung gagawa ng storya about you.”

Marco – “You have to take care of one another and your relationship with your fans. And you grow old with each other, appreciating each other. The 80s is the golden age of OPM. Sa tutoo lang, ang lahat ng kilala ninyong artists are from the 80s. So it’s actually your relationship with your fans, how you treat them, kumbaga paano mo sila bibigyan ng importansya kahit na anong edad.”

Pops Fernandez

Nonoy – “Relasyon ang importante. Para mas tumagal ang isang tao, stay grounded lang dapat. Mahirap pag lumaki ang ulo. If you are grounded, you will establish good relationships with your family, friends. Kailagan lagi kang tumitingin sa pinanggalingan mo. Then right attitude sa trabaho. Kung puwedeng hindi ka dumating ng late at maging professional ka sa mga kasama mo sa trabaho. You have to make your fans happy by staying healthy. Pag healthy tayo mas tatagal ang buhay mo. At longer mong kasama ang mga fans mo.”

Hajji – “Attitude kasi ang mahalaga eh. Pinakamadaling sumikat ngayon because of technology. Ang daling sumikat ngayon. Kami it took us several years. Sikat na kami rito pero wala pang nakakakilala sa amin sa abroad na mga Pinoy. So we’ve really earned our dues. Kailangan mahalin mo ang ginagawa mo para magtagal ka. Hindi mo namamalayan yung oras when you’re doing something you love. I don’t love music but I play music. I’m enjoying it.”

Pops – “Lahat ng sinabi nila tutoo. Appreciate what you do, what you love. Nandito po kami kasi we love what we do. Noong naguumpisa ako napakabata ko pa. Akala ko laro lang siya. Ang gusto ko lang noon mangyari makita ko sarili ko sa TV and okay na yun. Hindi pala ganun lang. You have to be dedicated and professional. Lahat ng kilala mo bigyan mo ng respeto. Ang dami namin pinagdaanan. Lahat yata ng fiesta pinuntahan ko na. It is our way of introducing ourselves. Once you know what you want, and you are dedicated, it will come naturally. It’s not about fame, but what you love to do. It is harder to sustain before. Always show respect to those who have been there before.”

 
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