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Thursday, February 29, 2024

7 Filipino acts to look out for this 2024

4 min read2024 holds a big promise for Filipino artists, with some of them just one gig or one TikTok trend away from attaining the long-awaited recognition they deserve.
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Published about 1 month ago on January 16, 2024

by Kurt Alec Mira

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OPM, which stands for Original Pilipino Music, has consistently thrived and expanded over the past decades. With the rise of P-Pop, the influx of indie artists, and the emergence of up-and-coming hip-hop acts, OPM is now stronger than ever.

In the past year, several artists made notable contributions to OPM. SB19's Gento marked the band's first appearance on two of Billboard's record charts, specifically the World Digital Song Sales — a milestone unprecedented among P-Pop groups. When it comes to soloists, R&B singer Maki swiftly rose to fame in 2023 with his breakthrough hit, Saan?.

2024 holds a big promise for Filipino artists, with some of them just one gig or one TikTok trend away from attaining the long-awaited recognition they deserve. Here are seven Pinoy acts that every music fan should anticipate this year.

1. AJAA

Photo from AJAA/Facebook

Photo from AJAA/Facebook

AJAA is a four-member group under Cornerstone Entertainment. The group's name, AJAA (also known as Triple A+J), is crafted by merging the initial letters of each member's first name: Ash, JC, Axl, and Alex.

Being the new boys in town, the quartet made their debut in September 2023 with the youthful and care-free 4 Ü EP. Listening to their debut release feels like taking a carefree walk down memory lane, capturing the essence of adolescence, the whimsical charm of puppy love, and what it’s like to be kids.

Without a doubt, the members of AJAA are confident about making a lasting impact in the future of P-pop.

2. YARA

Photo from YARA/Facebook

Photo from YARA/Facebook

Another notable addition to the growing roster of P-pop groups is YARA. In fact, it was a long time coming for the girl group who were co-trainees with SB19 under ShowBT Entertainment a few years back.

Last 2021, the group captured the spotlight on the national stage by clinching the title of the first Grand P-Pop Girl Group on TV5's reality-survival show, PoPinoy. Their journey as idols culminated in 2023 when they finally made their debut.

In a plethora of fierce hip-hop tracks delivered by several girl groups, some possibly influenced by the style of Blackpink, YARA's debut single ADDA unfortunately didn't bring anything groundbreaking enough to the table. However, as a saving grace, their captivating rendition of the iconic Bakit Papa by Sexbomb Girls brought attention to their name on the social media platform X.

Bakit Papa definitely served as a game changer, revealing YARA's potential to become internet icons, igniting their readiness to unveil another banger track this year.

3. Jason Dhakal

Photo from Billboard Philippines

Photo from Billboard Philippines

R&B has become an integral part of the musical preferences of every Filipino. Undeniably, irrespective of age, there is a strong sentimental connection to this genre in the country.

That’s why it became an instant hit when Jason Dhakal performed a soulful cover of Sitti’s Para Sa Akin for Warner Music Philippines' 30th Anniversary.

Dhakal fell in love with music at a very early age. Fast forward to 2017, the Oman-raised singer-songwriter set foot in his motherland to pursue his passion for music. This passion for music is evident in all of his previous albums, from Night In to BEING, and that’s because his voice felt like a warm embrace lingering on the coldest nights.

Certainly, there's a promising outlook for the year ahead. It's worth remembering that he kicked off Daniel Caesar's "SUPERPOWERS" tour in the country and embarked on his inaugural tour across Manila and Thailand, which all happened last year.

4. DEMI

Photo from Demi Chelsy/Facebook

Photo from Demi Chelsy/Facebook

Drawing inspiration from R&B contemporaries like Kehlani and Jhene Aiko, Demi Chelsy showcases her smooth vocals and skilled songwriting in creating her music, establishing herself as someone truly worth keeping a close eye on.

Demi's fame skyrocketed after teaming up with Madman Stan for her hit record homebody, gaining over 68 million plays and counting on Spotify. Her recent collaboration with Hev Abi has followed this on the latest single "Pakundangan."

What makes Demi popular on Gen-Z playlists is her dynamic blend of emotion and soulfulness, which makes her music particularly well-suited for laid-back and chill late nights.

5. Over October

Photo from Over October/Facebook

Photo from Over October/Facebook

Fun fact: Over October performed in the 2017 Paskuhan Concert.

Formed in 2014 when they were in college, Over October is an alternative/pop rock band influenced by prominent Western artists like John Mayer and Jason Mraz. The band conveyed their desire for their music to become a part of people's lives, whether in moments of joy or through challenging times.

Their countless gigs around the metro are a testament that their songs can accompany and resonate with their listeners on a profound and meaningful level. For the last nine years, the band has successfully launched several hits in the indie world throughout their career, including tracks like Wait, Arbitrary, and Ating Dalawa. As they approach their tenth anniversary this year, who knows what this band has to offer?

6. Sassa Gurl

Screenshot from Sassa Gurl/Youtube

Screenshot from Sassa Gurl/Youtube

Sassa Gurl caught the internet off guard when she unleashed her hip-hop banger Maria Hiwaga, probably not something everyone had predicted on their 2023 bingo cards. After all, the popular content creator portrays a totally different version of herself, showcasing her versatile capabilities.

Following the smooth hip-hop vibes of Maria Hiwaga, which ​​entered the Top 50 chart of Spotify Philippines, the next banger on Sassa Gurl's discography is Panaginip. This track maintains the hypnotic rhythm of Sassa's style and introduces an unexpected collaboration with internet personality Toni Fowler.

Through her tracks, it seems that Sassa endeavors to normalize the idea that members of the LGBTQ+ community can thrive in the hip-hop scene, an industry traditionally dominated by males.

Crafting her music has enabled her to accept her own masculinity more fully, recognizing that embodying masculine qualities is not a negative, even for a transgender woman. Well, she just loves making art, that’s all.

7. Cesca

Photo from the Manila Bulletin

Photo from the Manila Bulletin

If Iceland has Laufey, the Philippines has Cesca.

Francesca Mahusay, a multi-talented indie artist with captivating vocals flawlessly uses both Tagalog and English lyrics in her songwriting. In 2022, Cesca marked her entry into the music scene by releasing her debut single Lovesick (Pagmahalasakit). The indie pop track swiftly resonated with listeners, gaining more than 4 million plays on Spotify and affirming her position as a promising and impactful artist.

Last year, Cesca also unveiled her latest album, Balse ng Gabi. Featuring a collection of eight folk-pop tracks, all written by herself, the album narrates the encompassing themes of young love, playful rumors, and anything the young experiences. For Cesca, this musical journey is crafted particularly for those who appreciate lore and intricate storytelling.

Cesca's gentle and emotionally nuanced tunes will automatically transport you into a dreamy world, captivating you with the allure of her voice.

Frankly speaking, OPM, even dating back to the era of Manila sound, has demonstrated its capability to produce a commendable array of artists, such as Rey Valera and Regine Velasquez, with both local and international appeal. Today's talents have global recognition potential, provided they receive unwavering local support.

Filipino Artists

Indie

OPM

P-POP

Profile picture of Kurt Alec Mira

Kurt Alec Mira

Blogs Writer

Kurt Alec Mira is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing much about Kurt—except that he’s a D’Cream enthusiast and lover of all things matcha. For someone whose personality depends on the latest film or series he watched, he enjoys voicing out his fact-based opinions through social commentaries and pop culture reviews—ultimately writing for the organization. Kurt listens to many kinds of music, as evident in his library of playlists on Spotify. But among all genres, P-pop will always have a special place in his heart. If given the chance, he would love to interview Philomena Cunk and talk about her mate Paul. And one thing you should know about him? He listens to Skusta Clee in secret.

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