Top row: Jehramae Trangia, Lyca Gairanod, Jona Soquite, Claudia Barretto and Deny. Bottom row: Cean Jr., Because, Alamat, Litz and Magnus Haven

For many music artists, the pandemic spelled shelved plans and missed chances. It was especially true for newer acts whose careers were just getting started.

But as producers get the hang of creating concerts for the digital space, the more opportunities there are for artists to showcase their talents.

And while there’s no replacing the live-music experience, online shows, nonetheless, are welcome avenues for artists to get back to the groove.

In 2019, the band Magnus Haven scored a breakthrough hit in the pop-rock ballad “Imahe,” which has more than 300 million streams on Spotify and YouTube. The song’s success opened a lot of doors—many of which, unfortunately, the band was unable to enter because of the pandemic.

“Nanghinayang kami at first, because ‘Imahe’ led to a lot of opportunities … Unluckily, we had to postpone or cancel some plans. We tried not to let it affect us—we just continued writing music,” lead vocalist Rajih Mendoza said in a video conference for the digital show “The Arrival: The Next Chapter of OPM.”

New platforms

Directed by Paolo Valenciano and mounted by Viva Live, the concert will premiere on KTX tomorrow and on Vivamax on Nov. 29. Joining Magnus Haven are nine other acts: Alamat, Because, Litz, Lyca Gairanod, Claudia Barretto, Deny, Jehramae Trangia, JonaSoquite and Cean Jr.

“We feel good to be back,” Magnus Haven’s Louise Vaflor added. “Despite the pandemic, we held on. And I can say with confidence that we did well in the concert.”

Prior to the pandemic, Claudia Barretto performed at festivals and variety shows. She couldn’t wait to get back onstage. “It has been a while since I performed live and it’s awesome that we have come to this point,” the pop-R&B singer-songwriter said. “It shows that we were able to adapt and still show our artistry through new platforms.”

The lineup of performers represents a wide range of genres, including, R&B, electropop, lo-fi, dance and pop. “It’s always good to see different types of artists. Concerts like this allow us to highlight our original songs, which can be rare in typical variety shows,” Claudia said.

“You can see the uniqueness of each artist in the group productions,” Alamat said. “We can learn from each other.”

The show was taped at SoundCheck studio with no live viewers. It was quite a challenge, said Lyca, winner of “The Voice Kids” Season 1. “I’m used to performing in front of many people. But now, we have to do better, because we wouldn’t know how the audience is until the show airs. It’s hard, but we’re thankful,” she said.


How does it feel being considered as some of the local industry’s most promising talents? “It’s definitely overwhelming. But it’s also exciting because we’re able to showcase our concepts and music while representing the country … while incorporating local influences in everything we do,” Alamat said. “Our concert is called ‘The Arrival,’ not necessarily because it’s our first time performing, but because it allows us to finally show the songs we had been working on and the skills we had been honing with the time we had,” Claudia added.

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