Premiere singer and composer Joey Ayala opened the second day of the recently-concluded 2015 Elements Singer and Songwriter camp with a talk on the Contemporary Philippine Music History.
During his talk, he stressed to the budding musicians that they should cull from history or trace their personal roots to be able to enrich what he calls the "baul" where one draws his "baon" whenever he's creating a song.
According to him, this homogeneity actually paved the way for the popular misconception that "OPM is dead."
"They're using the same rules, the same structures, the same sentiments, the same intonations. And if you really read them [the history books], pagpasok mo sa mall iisa lang 'yung music... So ang input pare-pareho so siyempre ang output, pare-pareho," he said.
This, he said, is unfortunately best seen at the performance sessions of the camp itself.
"Kasi six years na ang camp pero without fail the performers use a different voice when they are speaking as oppose when they are singing. Pag nagsasalita iba ang personality, iba ang tunog. 'Pag umaawit 'yung model nila ang combination. Di ko kilala ang model pero kilala ng ears nila," shared Joey.
While he admits that he too has foreign influence and nothing is totally original these days, he offered good advice on how to create a unique piece.
"You have to find your voice, literally... Lahat naman ng tao may halo tsaka may influence eh," he began.
The singer then added, "Pero [ako] I try to erase it. If I take something I erase the original kumbaga. Parang hindi mo na ma-trace ang original. Get rid of the evidence, kumbaga. Make it yours."
One good method that writers can employ in order to find their identity is for them to "talk to their ancestors."
"For me, ang isang non-external approach is meditation. Talk to your ancestors in your imagination. and you'll be surprised baka sagutin ka," he ended.