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Students by Day, Musicians by Night

Photo by: Mico Go; Edit by: Gaby Silao

It’s finally February and you know what that means- UP Fair! UP Fair Week is probably one of the most exciting times of the year for the University; thousands of fans flock to the Sunken Garden to watch their favorite OPM bands play the most anthemic songs live. High-energy events like this show just how much the local music scene has made an impact on Filipino music fans.

OPM music has recently been revitalized by young, emerging artists who have taken advantage of social media and music streaming platforms to get their music out there. In UP JMA, some of its members are part of this talented group. They’ve made hits, won contests, performed in theatre and produced for other artists among other things. Let’s learn some of their insights on what it’s like to be a young OPM artist.


Pio Dumayas

Lead singer of Lola Amour

How did you start out?

My high school, De La Salle Zobel, has always been buzzing scene for music. It just so happened that the members of my high school barkada all played instruments so we made a band from there.

Which artist had the greatest influence on your work?

John Mayer. His lyrics and the way he structured them is really what stuck to me the most, even more than his instrumentation.

What is your favorite part about making music? On the other hand, what are the challenges you face?

I can never write a song that I don’t feel strongly about. Even if our song Pwede Ba was inspired by something so whimsical, I had strong feelings about inevitable separation when I fleshed out the lyrics. What I love about making music is how I get to immortalize my feelings through the song. For me, it’s like taking a photo of how I feel at the moment.

I do face some challenges though. As our schedules get busier and busier, I find myself having less time to write and stay in touch with my creative side, which ultimately is the paradox of a budding artist.