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The future of OPM shines bright with Maki on Spotify RADAR PH

by RepublicAsia

From Kyusi to UP, the alternative pop sensation Maki continues to carve his name in the OPM scene as he secures a spot in this year’s Spotify RADAR Philippines.

Photo courtesy: Spotify Philippines

Since 2020, Spotify RADAR has been the home for up-and-coming musicians, songwriters, and podcasters worldwide. It is a platform dedicated to spotlighting artists to showcase their craft and talent to a wider audience. 

As Spotify unveils the class of 2024, the future of OPM shines bright with Maki, along with other artists, in this year’s lineup. 


Maki has been climbing up the charts since the release of his hit song ‘Saan’ in 2023.

Despite his earlier struggles as an emerging artist, ‘Saan’ has garnered immense popularity, reaching over 60M streams on Spotify. 

Last January, Maki released his latest single ‘HBD’ which has now surpassed a million streams. With over two million monthly listeners on the streaming platform, it seems the only way for him to go is up. 

The singer-songwriter confessed that this success came unexpectedly, “‘Yung Saan, I didn’t expect it [to blow up]. Siguro nag-expect ako ng onting-onti, syempre may tiwala ako sa craft ko. But I didn’t expect it to be loved by so many people. Different regions in the Philippines know the song–even Palawan knows that song.”

He continued, “You know, it’s just so weird kasi na-manifest ko din lahat ng mga lugar sa song. Nakantahan ko na siya lahat. It’s very surreal and it’s something na lagi kong ni-re-remind sa sarili ko na, ‘I actually did that’.” 

Artistry and authenticity

Saan’s emotional depth and sincerity resonated with listeners across the country, earning recognition and accolades in the local music scene. Maki attributed the song’s success to his authenticity as a person and as a songwriter. 

Drawing inspiration from real-life experiences, he fearlessly explores heartbreak, acceptance, and self-discovery, as well as the questions others may be too afraid to ask about in his music. 

“Some people tend to be afraid of expressing themselves, like ‘yung thoughts and opinions nila about certain things. So, I think naging voice ako for [these] people, lalo na ‘yung mga heartbroken and ‘yung mga maraming questions in life,” Maki shared. 

As Maki waves into the industry, he remains grounded in his individuality and artistry. 

He admitted, “All my life I’ve always compared myself to other people, and now na nandito ako sa track ko and I’m in my element, I try hard not to compare myself to other artists. That way, mas nakikita ko kung sino ako and kung saan ako dadaan.”

Instead of comparing himself to others, he focuses on honing his unique sound and staying true to himself, “I know what I like now. I know what sound I should produce or like kung ano susulatin ko next.”

“As an artist, I really like to incorporate my own likes sa crafts ko. My craft is me. Kung ano nakikita niyo sa songs ko, ‘yon din ako. It took me a while to discover that sound or discover myself as a person and as an artist. Sometimes, may mga tao na nagsasabi ‘uy napaka-Maki coded naman ito’, so I’m really glad na ganun ‘yan ngayon,” he added. 

Heart and passion

For Maki, being chosen as one of the artists for Spotify’s RADAR is more than just an opportunity to increase visibility and access to a global audience—it’s also a testament to his love and passion for music. 

“Hindi ko talaga sure kung kailan siya [music] nagkaroon ng spark sa’kin. I just knew that may time na kumakanta ako sa stage and then I realized na I want to do this for a long time,” he said. 

Maki recalled writing his first EP ‘Tanong’, “I realized na whenever I record my demos, whenever I write something, lagi akong namumulikat, lagi namamanhid ‘pag tumatayo. Ibig sabihin, in my mind, I only wrote this or made a demo for like ten minutes but a whole day na pala ko siyang ginagawa.”

He further explained, “‘Pag mabilis ‘yung time, ibig sabihin gusto ko talaga ‘yung ginagawa. Like I’m really in my element. Doon ko na-realize na I feel like I’m not born to do this, but I am happy that I am born and that I am doing this.” 

RADAR alert

Photo courtesy: Spotify Philippines

It felt like a dream come true for Maki when he was told that he will be part of this year’s Spotify RADAR lineup.

“RADAR is something na hindi ko in-expect na mangyayari sa’kin. It’s such a dream for a Filipino artist like me, like bago-bago pa lang,” Maki shared in an interview with republicasia. 

Maki revealed that there are days he finds himself questioning, ‘Am I really fit for this?’ But with Spotify on his side, he finds assurance to continue on the path he is on, “Whenever I perform, whenever I write songs, I just know that someone has my back.”

“Making friends sa mga Spotify staff, nakaka-full ng heart kasi this industry is never easy and it will never be. Kinakaya kasi nandun ‘yung mga taong ‘yun.” 

This opportunity opens doors in Maki’s journey as an artist and having a platform like Spotify RADAR behind him fuels his determination to continue pursuing his passion with a full heart. 

“Seeing all of the artists na nag-ri-rise ngayon sa Philippines–and also ‘yung mga included sa Spotify RADAR–iniisip ko na kasama ako ‘doon, gives me the drive to be more credible, authentic, and inclusive,” he said. 

The future of OPM

Photo courtesy: Spotify Philippines

Maki expressed his excitement and gratitude to take on this new chapter, “Sobrang happy ng heart ko kasi this is the new generation of OPM. And I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Looking to the future, Maki envisions a bright and more inclusive landscape for Filipino music–one that will push boundaries and explore a variety of sounds, topics, and artistry. 

As an artist from Generation Z, Maki highlighted the importance of living in the moment, “I think ‘yon ‘yung masaya samin ng mga artists. Whenever we see each other at festivals, performances, super saya namin. We’re living in the moment and that’s what matters naman lagi.”

Of course, Maki has come prepared for what’s to come next.

With his producer Nhiko Sabiniano by his side, he teases fans with promises of exciting projects and collaborations in the pipeline, “Marami tayong i-lo-look forward and I think this year will be colorful for me.” 

Maki hinted at exploring new genres and styles, “I like to incorporate ‘yung mga sounds na kung paano ako lumaki, para mas ma-solidify ko na ‘ah this is Maki’. Siguro more fun tunes or experiment din sa mga bagong things that will reflect me as an artist.” 

Without giving any more clues, Maki encourages everyone to look forward to what he has in store. He urges his fans, collectively known as ‘Zushis,’ to stay tuned to Spotify RADAR PH to know the latest updates about him and the future of music in the Philippines.

With his inclusion in the Spotify program, Maki is set to reach new heights and solidify his presence in the world of OPM. 

Anything is possible

Maki hopes that his music will continue to resonate with listeners and provide them a sense of comfort, solace, belonging, and acceptance. 

To his fans and all aspiring musicians out there, Maki’s piece of advice is simple: “Anything is possible.” 

Despite the setbacks, rejections, and failures, he encourages people to pursue their dreams with confidence and determination, trusting in their abilities and staying true to their passions.

“Sometimes, your experiences are just stairs for you to climb up. Whether you’re gonna choose to give up or go on, try your best–even though the adversities in life can be somehow cruel,” the singer-songwriter shared. 

Reflecting on his humble beginnings, “I auditioned so many times and I’ve been rejected so many times. Kasama ‘yun. Part ‘yun of who I am now. I realized na even though ang dami kong rejections, ang dami kong failures as a musician, nakita ko na ito ‘yung gusto ko.” 

True to his mantra of ‘anything is possible,’ Maki is set to follow his dream no matter the consequences and he hopes his fans would also do the same.

“Follow your heart, be wise, and be extra careful kasi worst enemy mo ‘yung sarili mo–your mind. ‘Wag na masyadong ma-insecure. Kaya mo yan,” he said. 

Check out the RADAR PH playlist on Spotify to see other artists who are also part of the lineup. 

With reports from Millicent Lim



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