AmiananPop 2021: A songwriting fest celebrating music from the north

October 20, 2021 - 1:43 PM
AmiananPop Festival
Title card of AmiananPop Songwriting Festival 2021. (Released)

First, there was the VisPop. Then there was the MinPop. Now, there’s the AmiananPop.

Filipinos from the North are ready to showcase their talents and secure their spot in the country’s contemporary music canon through a songwriting festival.

Amianan Pop Music Inc. launched the maiden edition of its songwriting festival that will happen on December 4 of this year spearheaded by former “Pinoy Dream Academy” scholar Davey Langit and singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel.

National artist for music Ryan Cayabyab and singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon are among those sitting on the foundation’s board.

The AmiananPop movement spotlights the new breed of composers, interpreters, musicians, and producers from the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan, as well as some non-Tagalog speaking areas in Central Luzon.

They will be able to showcase their talent in the AmiananPop Songwriting Festival 2021 in which artists from the North are encouraged to write, record and produce songs in their own language.

This is to present individuality and debunk misconceptions about non-Manileño Filipino cultures.

“Every language and/or dialect is unique, and so are the stories and nuances that come with it, and that is why this is the ultimate goal of the movement, to create a community of storytellers that will represent the NOW generation of Northern singer/songwriters,” Langit, AmiananPop co-founder and chairperson, said in the virtual festival launch.

“All the finalists have excellently-written and arranged songs, and the melodies are great. How do we bridge the gap? We make sure that the songs are well-produced, so that when people not familiar with the language hear them, they will be encouraged to look for the translation of all songs,” Dancel, AmiananPop co-founder and president, added.

Cabangon explained that the basis of AmiananPop’s vision comes from the desire to show Filipinos that the North has an “evolving culture,” particularly in music.

“The songs that we know are already traditional songs. What about the stories and song of the new generation? That’s how important cultural evolution is. Dapat kasabay ng pag-evolve ng panahon ang kultura,” he said.

Those who won in the preliminary rounds are the following:

The grand finals of the songwriting festival will be held on December 4.

Cayabyab said that the AmiananPop is part of a bigger umbrella pushing for Filipino music, such as the VisPop or the Visayan Pop Music Festival and MinPop or the Mindanao Popular Music Festival.

VisPop was first held in 2013 at the Artists Hall of Benedicto College in Mandaue, Cebu.

Organizers said that it was not just a songwriting competition but a campaign aiming to alleviate the state of Cebuano music on the radio by introducing a more professional and competitive playlist of Cebuano songs.

Reports said that the festival’s winning entries have become hits in regional FM stations, even in localities that are non-Cebuano speaking.

It has since spawned four editions after its launch in 2012.

Another variation, the MinPop or the Mindanao Popular Music Festival, was established in 2019.

Similar to the visions of VisPop, it aims to promote Mindanao pop music by providing Mindanaoan songwriters a wider audience and for them to become constant contributors in the Original Pilipino Music (OPM).