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Noel Cabangon (fifth from right) leads members of the bands Franco and Urbandub, Jensen Gomez, Curtismith, Reese Lansangan and other artists in singing the Philippine National Anthem in the "Coke Studio PH" truck during the launch of Coke Studio PH at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on July 29, 2017.

Pinoy music artists team up for new tunes in ‘Coke Studio PH’

Story and photos by Gia Catimbang / Special to The Market Monitor

Coca-Cola opened a new chapter for Original Pilipino Music (OPM) creators by partnering with the TV5 network to launch Coke Studio PH, a television series that initiates collaborations between renowned and rookie Filipino musicians, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on July 29, 2017.

The show’s launch featured different musicians from different genres. It also showcased performances by OPM icons and up-and-coming acts, such as Noel Cabangon, Curtismith, Jensen & the Flips, Sandwich, BP Valenzuela, Moonstar88, Reese Lansangan, Gracenote, Franco, Autotelic, Abra, The Ransom Collective, and Urbandub.

“Coke has always been about encouraging personal expression among…teens, and what better way to unite them but through a universal language, which is music. This is what Coke Studio is all about,” said Stephan Czypionka, Coca-Cola Philippines’ vice president for marketing. “We are making music our tool of choice to connect with teens.”

Noel Cabangon (left) and Curtismith sing “Payong Kaibigan” during the Coke Studio PH launch.
Noel Cabangon (left) and Curtismith sing “Payong Kaibigan” during the Coke Studio PH launch.

During the launch, the pilot episode of Coke Studio PH was screened, which featured folk singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon and new rap artist Curtismith. They later performed their Coke Studio-exclusive song “Payong Kaibigan” live.

Also introduced was the Coke Studio PH truck that will travel to universities nationwide, as well as the free-for-all Coke Studio Roadshow, which gives novice bands a chance to perform and even interact with Coke Studio PH artists. Urbandub performed its song “First of Summer” and other tunes live from inside the truck.

Rapper and Respeto star Abra featuring Apekz, as well as Ebe Dancel, also performed at the event.

Since emerging in Pakistan in 2008, Coke Studio has featured live studio-recorded sessions by various artists. It has branched off to different countries with the aim of solidifying and propagating both music and culture by gathering various artists to collaborate in producing unique sounds.

Launch hosts Justin Quirino (far left) and Saab Magalona (far right) interview Coke Studio PH hosts Buddy Zabala (second from left) and Raymund Marasigan during the event.
Launch hosts Justin Quirino (far left) and Saab Magalona (far right) interview Coke Studio PH hosts Buddy Zabala (second from left) and Raymund Marasigan during the event.

Raymund Marasigan and Buddy Zabala of the rock band Eraserheads host the Philippine version of the show.

“As soon as they started playing their instruments, they just forgot about everything else,” Marasigan said of his experience of the performances in Coke Studio PH. “And a great artist will really come out with something, will produce something!”

“Some artists may have come unprepared, but once they were in there, they just brought it out,” he added.

Coke Studio PH airs every Saturday at 7 p.m. on TV5.

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