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Spotify Radar Nurtures Fledging Filipino Sound

James Francisco

2023 poses as a year of emergence—as the booming Filipino-music industry converges local sound with themes of traditional storytelling. The language of which music is composed may vary, yet the effect it bestows upon the soul makes it suitable for all.

Spotify Radar pioneers the movement, providing a platform for emerging Filipino artists to introduce their storytelling through music. The 2020 initiative, RADAR, has collaborated with Asian-bred talents with audiences from over 180 countries encapsulated through one channel. 

“The growth of emerging artists is a testament to the rising appetite for home-grown music. From soloists to groups, Indo-Pop to Pinoy Hip-Hop, each of these artists across genres represents a diverse spectrum of music in their own countries. We are already seeing new fans from other parts of the world discovering them. This is just the beginning, and we’re so excited to introduce all of them to a broader fan base through RADAR 2023,” mentions Kossy Ng, Head of Music, Spotify Asia.

May 2023 saw the release of 65 new voices across Asia, with 12 hailing from the Philippines in pursuit of amplifying Original Philippine Music (OPM) to the world.

Diversifying Filipino-SoundTraditionally, OPM may inherit traits of indifference and repetitiveness, with the newest local telenovelas and sitcoms featuring familiar tunes one might hear on the radio station on the way to work. Despite this conventionality, the growing culture has learned to embrace a sense of unorthodoxy—with fresh tunes and beats seeping toward the mainstream.

Spotify Radar nurtures fledging Filipino sound 1

Photo caption: OPM Spotify Radar Featured Artists, PLAYERTWO

Situated within the vast Filipino ecosystem comprises the Davao-based Hip-Hop group PLAYERTWO, recognized for their organic-DIY music videos and trending sounds. The TIKTIKTOKIN group views the collaboration being an “amazing honor,” with Spotify providing the wheels bound for international recognition.

“It feels really good to be spotlighted and pushed to a global audience as it gives us a better chance of connecting to people whose songs are meant to be listened to and showcasing that OPM is changing and developing,” mentions founding member Ivo Impresso.

Inclusivity beyond borders

The everchanging OPM genre proves that Filipino sound and culture are by the people, for the people. Spotify resembles a speaker for the world to hear and embrace, as the pioneering roster exemplifies the beauty and magic of what is to come. It may mean one thing to compose and release something rooted in personal expression and another for it to be heard and received by the world.

Captivated by her sensual charm, Illest Morena perceives the opportunity as a mode of connecting with her audience overseas. Likened to the gleaming potential of local talents, the R&B/Soul rapper hopes to gain traction and favorability through her display of artistic expression.

“It’s great for emerging artists because it helps us reach more people who enjoy what we put out. OPM has a lot of genres–there’s one for everyone. I’m also hoping to reach my fellow Filipinos abroad who might not be as familiar with OPM or would love to listen to music they can relate to,” she tells Complex Philippines.

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