True Faith Vocalist Medwin Marfil: We Can Learn From Koreans

22 June 2012

While other homegrown artists gripe about the crippling effects of online piracy to the music industry, True Faith front man Medwin Marfil asserts that the biggest stumbling blocks are still lack of support from government and consumers.

"Hindi naman kasi talaga downloading ang problema eh for the Filipinos," he pointed out in an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment held at the Boiler Room, Marikina recently.

He lamented, "For OPM ang pinakaproblema is 'yung kulang ang suporta. It's a sad fact na lahat ng government from way back hanggang ngayon ay kulang ang suporta for the arts."

Marfil believes that music downloading is already a "juggernaut" that the industry must face squarely and shrewdly.

"Everyone's into downloading and all that stuff, ang kailangan nalang gawin ng record company is to find a way to carry on with a new business model para do'n sa bagong situation," he explained.

He likewise puts the blame on some Pinoys who, according to him, are, "mas inuuna ang foreign acts." He adds, though, that local musicians have their faults as well.

"Sasabihin naman ng iba, 'Eh kasi iilan lang rin naman talaga 'yung may quality talaga.' So nandoon na rin 'yun. I guess konektado rin 'yun sa fact na ang mga artists din kasi they are not coming up with new stuff, puro pagre-revive," Marfil observed.

Marfil thinks that as far as musicianship goes, not much has changed.

"'Yung tunog noong mga artists ngayon 'yun din ang tunog nung early '90s."

Turning Korean

Despite the OPM industry's dilemma, Marfil is positive that progress lies ahead. He suggested taking a few tips and tricks from South Korea and Korean Pop (K-Pop) music.

"The Koreans and the Japanese, they love their music first. But kaya rin naman nag-improve ang kanilang craft is because their economy is growing," said he.

Believing that music and economy are "directly proportional" to one another, Marfil added that the world witnessed the rise of K-Pop acts when Korea's economy boomed.

"Their economy went up kaya 'yung quality ng music rin nila mas umangat nang umangat. And then they could look great. Their videos look fantastic. I'm not a big fan but I think we could learn a lot from K-pop," Marfil enthused.

A whopping economy combined with burning love for their music, according to Marfil, is the secret formula that makes them a force to reckon with.

To this, he enthused, "Kailangan sumunod rin ang Philippines. We need to improve ourselves para 'yung economy rin natin maging okay and then that will help the arts and then 'yung art appreciation rin ng tao ay aangat rin. And then kung aangat rin 'yung art appreciation ng tao and then gaganda 'yung craft ng mga Pinoy artists and musicians, 'yung mga Filipinos will come to love them."