Jim Paredes shares advice on how to make OPM become bigger worldwide.
With the booming music industry in countries like U.S. and Korea, Jim Paredes said Filipinos still have a lot to learn from these countries. "I’ve always said, for us to become international we have to come in as Filipinos. That’s how the Koreans and the Brazilians have done it and everybody else even the Chinese. The more we write Filipino songs for Filipinos, the more we will hit the international market. Nobody paid attention to K-Pop until they were selling 500,000 albums in Korea. When that began in Korean people started saying, ‘Ano ba yan?’ and then they got into. So I really think we really have to do OPM for Filipinos at doon tayo mapapansin sa mundo. We cannot come in sounding like LA or anything like that. We have to come in as we are. World music is a come-as-you-are party. There’s no dress code,” he shared during Avida's album launch of Tunog Natin! Songs from Home Volume 2 held last October 13 at the Avida Showroom at Glorietta 4, Makati city.
The talented singer said he thinks Pinoys should be producing more original songs unique to our culture rather than copying trends abroad. "OPM is constantly evolving. The more people realize the success formula that other countries have adopted—which is to be yourself—the more we’ll succeed. There’s two elements involved in music, one is hardware which is the singer, the voice, the recording and all of that and the other is software which is the content. Kung gusto natin mapansin sa mundo, dapat content provider tayo. Right now hardware provider tayo. Magagaling ang mga singers natin, sila Lea Salonga and everything. But they don’t sing OPM to the world. You see what I mean ‘di ba?” he explained.
The Tunog Natin! Songs from Home singer said Pinoys have the talent to be heard but don’t focus on performing the songs that will bring more recognition to the country. "We have the hardware and that hardware if it sings OPM to the world, the world will listen. Now look at all the choir competitions, dun nag-sa-succeed ang OPM. You hear a Czechoslovakian choir singing Bituing Walang Ningning and a Korean choir singing Bayan Ko. How did they learn that? Because Filipino choirs competed with them and won. So ganun ang nangyari dun. We come in as ourselves. We still have to give total support as Filipinos to OPM the way the other countries do it. We really have to start thinking as Filipinos and be proud of who we are. So that’s the task really of everybody. It’s got to be the whole country actually if we want to be heard in the world and taken seriously,” he explained.
With his own album set to be launched at the end of the year, Jim shareD his goals as a musician. "I’d like to do alums until the day I die. I’m doing my third solo album now. It’s going to be out hopefully by December. I worked with Gloc-9, Aiza Seguerra, Noel Cabangon, and Buboy Garovillo. So that’s going to be interesting. I write songs without looking at what’s playing. I don’t like to know what sales reports are because I believe in the ‘70s formula where the first thing you want to do as an artist is to find your message and the second is to make it palatable. I never asked what does the market want. I never asked that. As an artist I’m still old-fashioned. I believe music should stand on its own without a video. And I think my music does that,” he said.
As one of the more outspoken personalities on social media, Jim does not hesitate to share who his chosen candidates are in the upcoming presidential elections. "I’m supporting Leni Robredo and Mar Roxas. I’ve already decided on my president. It’s going to be Mar Roxas. It’s definitely not (Jejomar) Binay. Wala ng question yun. Si Grace Poe too raw. The renouncing kind of bothers me. Mar Roxas is humble, doesn’t know how to promote himself. I’m sure he will not steal from me. That I’m very, very sure of you know. And any other president who puts up a big infrastructure pero alam kong magnanakaw, every time I see the infrastructure I’m going to say, ‘Ninakawan ako niyan!’ (laughs) I know that’s not going to happen with Mar and Leni so I’m going to vote for them,” he revealed. With the current number of citizens filing for certificate of candidacy for president, Jim said it’s no big surprise. "Ganun naman since before pa di ba? We always get something like  presidential candidates. To each his own ambition (laughs),” he added.
The well-respected performer also gave advice to voters on how to choose their candidate for the highest position in the land. "One of the things that I’d like to advise is this, the next president will choose ten members of the Supreme Court who will outlive the president ha. They will stay there (in their position) for the longest time. So if you get a corrupt person or a person na masyadong ma-chika chika lang and everything, you’re not going to get good quality Supreme Court people. So I want a serious person to be president to be able to do that. Second, I firmly believe na tuwid na daan had really great gains and I would really like to support tuwid na daan. Grace Poe supports tuwid na daan di ba? So does Mar. Sa akin, I would much rather give it to the people who actually built it. I won’t bet on someone who will have to learn everything again. Learning curve is what, three years and then there’s (going to be) three years of waiting. Eto go na eh,” he said.
In line with Avida's 25th anniversary efforts to promote local talents, all the songs from the Tunog Natin! Volume 2 album will be made available for listening and free download in local and international music portals like Spotify and iTunes.