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Here are the hits

How do songwriters create hits? Ogie Alcasid, an esteemed tunesmith in the recording industry, reveals his secrets

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Singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, who has had his fair share of hits, believes songwriting is “a gift from God.”

Ogie Alcasid (mb.com.ph)

Ogie Alcasid

“Lahat naman tayo marunong sumulat but that doesn’t mean na all of us can really write a hit,” said he, who wrote such hit songs as “Nandito Ako,” “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala,” and many more.

But can it be learned?

“Kaya siyang pag-aralan if talagang passionate ka about it…”

According to Ogie, aspiring songwriters would do well enrolling in a music school.

“You need the tools eh,” he said. “You should learn about the process.”

Ogie describes songwriting as an specialized form of art that requires “technique.”

At the end of the day, however, Ogie admitted a hit starts from inspiration.

So what inspires him, we asked.

He said, “Dati nu’ng bata bata pa ako, ’yung mga love songs ko talagang hugot ’yun sa buhay ko. Then siyempre ’yung pamilya ko din.”

But now at 49, Ogie related inspiration could come from everything.

“Basta ’pag tumama sa akin, ayun, sulat na,” he said, laughing.

All in all, Ogie said it is important that the lyrics, music, song arrangement all fit together.

“Of course, because it’s the only way that people’s ears would perk up – ’pag swak lahat,” he said. “At ’yun naman talaga ang pinaka-importante, ang maitawid mo kung ano ang gusto mong sabihin to your listeners.”

Among new songwriters Ogie admires is Yeng Constantino, citing the latter’s “Ikaw” among his current favorites.

“Parang hindi bata mag-isip si Yeng,” he said. “Ang galing niya. Alam kong malayo pa ang mararating niya.”

Longevity

Ogie debuted as singer at 20 years old in 1989 with his eponymous album eventually reaching gold record status.

Since then, Ogie has became a household name, releasing 18 albums and receiving a total of 12 gold, three platinum and three double platinum record awards.

He is also into acting and hosting, appearing in numerous films and on TV shows. He is currently seen on “It’s Showtime’s” reality singing competition “Tawag Ng Tanghalan.”

Ogie revealed he didn’t plan on anything in entering the business.

“I just tried everything,” he maintained. “Inalam ko ’yung strengths ko – songwriting and making people laugh – then I just enjoyed everything. Naging masaya lang ako sa lahat ng ginagawa ko.”

Being in the industry for decades now, Ogie believes good work attitude is key to his longevity.

“Sobrang grateful lang ako palagi,” he said. “Ako naman, basta minamahal ko ’yung mga tao behind my success, kasi at the end of the day, alam ko na wala ako sa posisyon ko ngayon kung hindi dahil sa suporta ng mga tao sa akin.”

“Basta maging thankful lang palagi at higit sa lahat ’wag maging mayabang,” he added.

Ogie told his daughter, Leila, who is now carving a career in the industry, the same thing.

“Siyempre disiplina din,” he noted. “Sabi ko sa kanya palagi siyang magdasal, maging grateful sa lahat ng opportunity na dumadating sa kanya. Thankful din ako, dahil kahit papano nakapag-adjust na siya sa buhay artista.”

Proud daddy

Ogie is so happy now that Leila is with him after not seeing her for so many years. He now serves as his daughter’s “manager and bodyguard.”

Ogie has also a five-year-old son, Nate, with Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez. If and when Nate, decides to enter showbiz in the future, the singer said he will support him no matter what.

“Pero now, mag-aral muna siya,” he noted.

“May mga commercial na siya ngayon, pero kung gusto niya pumasok sa showbiz ’pag laki niya, okay lang din naman sa akin pero ang mahalaga mag-aral, makatapos muna siya,” he said.

Is retirement already in the offing, we asked Ogie. He shot back: “I think I will never retire.”

“Pero siyempre at the end of the day, hindi naman natin alam ang mangyayari. Kung saan ako dalhin ng Diyos, du’n ako.”

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