Smart powers PhilPop 2020’s search for next OPM hits

Mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. continues to champion Original Pilipino Music (OPM) by supporting the 2020 PhilPop songwriting tilt. 

Pushing forward amid limitations of a worldwide pandemic, PhilPop Festival Chair Ryan Caybyab shared, “We’ve planned for this year’s festival way back in 2019 when COVID-19 was nowhere in sight. When the pandemic hit us, we had to make a huge pivot in terms of the execution of most ideas, many of which were originally envisioned to happen in the usual, traditional in-person platform.” 

He added, “We did encounter challenges in executing some tasks. In terms of producing the songs for example, it was quite a different process owing to the restrictions in travel and mobility. But I’m happy to say that PhilPop managed to find ways thanks to the ingenuity of the team and their passion to make things happen.” 

Singer-songwriter and Festival Co-chair Noel Cabangon also admitted that lack of physical interaction made early goings of the search quite difficult. “PhilPop festival this year is basically faced with a challenge of not celebrating the event face to face or with physical presence and interaction between the audience and the performers. Everything has to be migrated to digital. It may have its advantage in terms of costs of production but to make it more appealing and creative on digital is a tough challenge.”

Technology bridged much of the distance for this year’s nationwide search. “Technology made things possible for us. Amid the pandemic, it served as a bridge for us to continue engaging with one another. It gave us a platform where we could continue to do things that we previously thought aren’t possible virtually. It also helps provide a new dimension and flavors to our songs as we discover more reasons of how great it is as a tool in music production,” explained Cayabyab.

Cabangon echoed, “Technology is the ultimate answer to the major hurdle of this festival. Connecting people in order to keep the festival preparation running was made possible by the aid of technology.”

Smart People’s Choice for best songs

Smart People’s Choice Award for Best Song also makes a return this year. Music fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite song via Twitter Poll from December 4-11 and through streaming on Spotify and YouTube on December 11.

PhilPop 2020 pulled all the stops by gathering finalists from the following clusters: Mindanao, Visayas, North Luzon, South Luzon, and Metro Manila. Those who will top the votes per cluster will be named Smart’s People’s Choice awardee bringing a total of five winners this year for this category.

Voting for the most popular songs will be an exciting experience for Smart subscribers because this year’s roster proves to be a promising batch. “The entries are wonderful, it was difficult to eliminate songs. Salute to our Lead Adjudicators, Trina Belamide and Jungee Marcelo and to our partners from Warner Music and the regions for patiently and successfully screening the songs,” said Cayabyab.

Going nationwide also helped PhilPop discover even more songwriters whose passion for music are only matched by the entries they were able to come up with. “It’s amazing how much talent our songwriters have and I am glad we are able to encourage many of them including those in the regions to join. This year’s finalists are a great mix of songs and I am sure many - whether they are here or across our borders - will enjoy listening to the top 15 songs.”

To vote for your favorite songs, join the Twitter Poll starting Dec. 4 or stream the songs on Spotify and YouTube. The PhilPop 2020 Finals Night takes centerstage on Dec. 12, 2020. Follow Smart Communications on Facebook and @livesmart on Twitter for more details.

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