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“Himig Handog” diaries: What makes a great song?

Want to write a hit? Don’t think about it turning into one, advices Star Music exec Jonathan Manalo.

Star Cinema Admin
Star Cinema Admin

9/26/2014 in News
“Himig Handog” diaries: What makes a great song?

With thousands, if not, millions of songs produced over centuries, not every piece became a hit. What made all the difference?
Star Music executive and veteran songwriter Jonathan Manalo says that though appreciating a song is subjective, there is an essential ingredient that would make a composition stand out: Authenticity.
Dapat you’re writing from the heart… Kasi ‘yun ‘yung pinakamagagandang kanta, ‘yung totoo ‘yung pinanggagalingan,” he tells us. “It’s writing a piece of yourself, extension ‘yan ng soul mo.”
An authentic song, Jonathan adds, is more likely to be relatable to more people.
May mga kanta na ‘pag narinig mo, hindi naman ikaw ang sumulat, pero since sobrang totoo niya, nakaka-relate ka,” he says. “Magkadikit yan eh: with authenticity comes relatability. Kung authentic ka, madi-discern ‘yun ng mga tagapakinig, magwo-word of mouth ‘yan, magiging hit.”
With being true to yourself, you’ll never go wrong, according to Jonathan.
Ang advice ko lang for young musicians, wag niyong isipin kung relatable siya o hindi. Just be your authentic self,” he relates. “Kung mag-iisip ka na agad kung maghi-hit ba ‘to, you’re starting at the wrong foot. Dapat iisipin mo, ‘Ito ba ako?’”
Jonathan surely knows what works and what doesn’t, having won the top prize at the 2001 “Himig Handog sa Makabagong Kabataan.” Now, he’s among those who look for the next batch of music storytellers via “Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs.”

“Himig Handog” has spawned the now-timeless tunes such as Soc Villanueva’s “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana” (interpreted by Bituin Escalante), Michael Angelo Villegas and Allan Feliciano’s “This Guy’s in Love With You, Pare” (Chito Miranda), Joven Tan’s “Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa?” (Aiza Seguerra), and Jungee Marcelo’s “Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat” (Daniel Padilla).
Which song will win this year? Catch the “Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2014” finals night on Sept. 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. For ticket inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-55-55 or log on to ticketnet.com.ph.
The “Himig Handog” compilation album is available in physical format at P299. Digital copies are available at Star Music and iTunes.
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