Pinoy pop, rap and those in between – Manila Bulletin

Top clockwise: Claudia ALAMAT Maria Belleza William Elvin Just Hush x Lo Ki Jom x KXLE

Just in case you’re not updated with the sound of what’s happening outside the sphere of what you knew to be OPM, today’s landscape is dominated by K-pop inspired pop groups, rap music acts and those in between. And as these releases prove (a portion of what came out recently, really), these ain’t your mama’s brand of OPM anymore. And that’s exactly how we like it.

One of the better P-pop groups around, ALAMAT drops a stripped-down version of their fan-fave track “Sa Panaginip Na Lang.” Here, emphasis was put on the vocal work by ALAMAT which includes Mo, Taneo, Tomas, R-Ji, Jao and Alas. It’s refreshing to hear that ALAMAT, who specializes in dance performances and their fashion forward styling, is also putting in the same amount of work to sound better sans the flash.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oADooBA8WM

Claudia (Barretto) rolls anew with a club ready bop titled “Trigger.” This vibe-induced, head-bobbing new original is the first single for Claudia after her collaboration track “Everything.” Claudia is currently on her ambient-lo fi-R&B phase and each release establishes Claudia as a tastemaker for the genre. And as she goes, Claudia adds to her mystique, this time it’s ‘cool club chick on an atmospheric vamp’ adds to her persona. Providing some quick verses on the break is Curtismith.

One of more interesting collaborations to come poppin’ is the Just Hush and Lo Ki’s “Turn Up.” This vibe-y new song features today’s hottest R&B acts collaborating on this mid-tempo bop. And providing the beats is WayBettr producer NexxFriday. The resulting song oozes cool and sexy at the same time, as Just Hush provides the hook melodies and Lo Ki takes over the rap break. It’s the heavyweights of Pinoy R&B and rap jamming on a slow grind number and shouldn’t be missed.

The City of Olongapo houses some of the hottest rap groups today in Soulstice and HOOD 047. And these rap acts, who have their share of big hits, collaborate on a bumping new single titled “Shot Puno.” This booty shaking new bop is a collaboration between Soulstice’s MScript, Rowmee G, Seth, and HOOD 047’s J Emm Dahon, Kushin and KL. Olongapo represent, indeed!

Jom, one-fourth of viral rap group ALLMO$T and half of its hook melody vocalists, has a new solo track titled “Laging Nagmumurahan.” On this rock-edged number, Jom gets some assistance from music act KXLE. Interesting and catchy, this track mashes faux rock sonics and R&B-tinged singing yet somehow makes it work.

The sound of youth and vitality can be heard in the dulcet tones of singer-songwriter Marielle Belleza on her first original release titled “Baka Naman.” Marielle Belleza writes and sings on this catchy and minimalist acoustic tune. Produced by Awit-awarded producer Jean-Paul Verona, “Baka Naman” also features guitars from former Rivermaya and studio session ace Kakoy Legazpi with Josh Angan.

Bittersweet and poignant is what can describe the music of William Elvin on his original song “Madaling Araw.” I guess Elvin’s song is the closest to sound like a traditional alt-rock imbued ballad, but he still sticks out as a not-your-ordinary guitar-toting rocker. As this rising rock-ballad proves. (Real name) William Elvin Laguesma Manzano sings and plays all of the instruments in this rising pop-rock tune with Kean Cipriano of OC Records co-producing the track.

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