Twins Paulo Guico and Miguel Guico of acoustic sensations Ben&Ben, arranger Marlon Barnuevo and previous PhilPop winners Davey Langit, Yumi Lacsamana and Thyro Alfaro mentored 26 promising singer-songwriters at the latest staging of the PhilPop Bootcamp 2019 at Purok Marcela and Oldwood beach resorts in Lingayen, Pangasinan from September 24-27, 2019. They worked with Original Pinoy Music (OPM) legends Ryan Cayabyab, Jim Paredes, Noel Cabangon, Trina Belamide, Gary Granada and Jungee Marcelo.
The Guico brothers talked about their approaches to songwriting with Barnuevo, Langit, Lacsamana and Alfaro. They all shared their wealth of experience and tried-and-tested techniques to the mesmerized fellows.
Journalist Tina Arceo-Dumlao of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and author of the book “Himig at Titik: A Tribute to Songwriters” also enlightened the fellows with some valuable history lessons as she talked about The Story of OPM. Other topics covered during the bootcamp were digital music streaming and music video production.
Belamide said one of the key activities in the PhilPop Bootcamp is the song critiquing. It allows coaches to give their inputs on the fellows’ individual compositions, she said.
“The bootcamp is very output-oriented,” the “Tell the World of His Love” songwriter shared. “We get to critique songs written by the Fellows that they could submit to PhilPop next year. Having us coaches critique their songs will give them the advantage of further improving and enhancing their work.”
According to Langit, there are many factors that come into consideration when writing a song that can be considered as competition-worthy in the context of PhilPop. He explained, “More than just a marriage of melody and lyrics, there is also the arrangement, the story the composers are trying to tell and the message and emotions they wants to convey.”
The youngest fellow was Stephanie Lavoie, who is only 16 years old. Among her fellow songwriters in the bootcamp were Pauline Lauron and Christian “Ian” Dumaplin.
“I expected the Bootcamp to teach me a lot but it actually taught me more than I expected it would,” Lavoie said. “It went beyond the basics and helped me arrange my thoughts so it became clearer to me to understand why I’m doing this.”
Lauron worked as a junior artist and repertoire producer for a record label and an alumna of the groundbreaking Elements Music Camp that inspired the PhilPop Bootcamp. Currently working as a freelance back-up singer, she said she joined the camp to get a “refresher course” as she stopped writing songs for a while.
“I will definitely write more songs after this bootcamp,” Lauron said. “It’s very heartening to see the willingness and the excitement to learn on the part of my fellow campers and their openness to absorb anything that’s discussed here.”
While Dumaplin has been a professional musician since 2003, he admitted that he still learned a lot from the PhilPop Bootcamp. He shared, “More than anything, I also found it very inspiring to be in the company of my fellow songwriters and at the same time be encouraged by my accomplished coaches.”
Alfaro told the fellows that music is mathematical. Here is an interview with him: