Six promising OPM acts battle it out in “Dreams Get Real” talent search finals


Getting a crack on being the next Original Pilipino Music (OPM) star are the Top 6 of “Dreams Get Real,” a music talent search organized by McJIM Classic Leather. Battling it out in the decisive grand finals slated on June 30 are Archetype, CK Arca, Dream of Pearl, Fifth Dynamics, JBK and Neo Domingo. 

In the run up for the grand finals, the Top 6 have recorded and released their debut singles in radio stations nationwide and be featured in MTV Pinoy for the month of June. A jury composed of music industry stalwarts led by project head and public relations executive Chris Cahilig and multi-awarded arranger Jonathan Ong of Sonic State Studio will take into consideration radio airplay, radio chart and Youtube views as well as overall potential in selecting the grand winner.

“McJim Classic Leather initiated the competition to give undiscovered Filipino talents a chance to be heard while expanding the library of OPM with fresh melodies and lyrics that resonate the national sentiment,” says Cahilig.

“We applied McJim’s principle of quality and originality in choosing the six singles recorded by the finalists. We are optimistic and confident that these songs will help advance our agenda of enlivening the local music industry,” he adds. 

In the Top 6 is Archetype from Tondo, Manila who recorded “Di Na Biro,” which is the group’s own composition. Composed of Alvin Traqueña (rhythm guitar), Ar John Patalay (lead guitar), Nikko Martin Francisco (bass guitar), Tricia May Casauay (vocals) and Zejemiah Gonzaga (drums), the band plays alternative and rock music and considers Hillsong, Paramore, Up Dharma Down and Kamikazee as their musical influences.

“At first I thought we join into this competition just for experience, because honestly, we lack outside exposure,” says bass guitarist Nikko Martin. “But as I think of it deeper, ‘Dreams Get Real’ is a venue for us to showcase our talent, to prove that we can do more.”

CK Arca, on the other hand, is Calvin Khaye from Caloocan City who interpreted “Certified Good Vibes,” an inspirational song composed by Raffy Calicdan, a PhilPop finalist and a member of The X-Factor finalist Take Off. 
CK usually sings and plays pop, R&B, classic rock and standard music and looks up to Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Steve Perry and Aerosmith as his musical idols. He joined the competition to “gain more experience as a singer and to work with one of the best management companies here in this industry.”

Another Top 6 entrant is Dream of Pearl, whose debut single “Panalo” is composed by Oli Agustin of Letter Day Story.
The amateur band, which hails from Caloocan City, is composed of Alfonso Abrenzosa (vocals), Mark Jayson Dizon (guitar), Von Christian Vizmanos (bass) and Evan Briones (drums). Playing alternative, rock and acoustic music, the band considers Eraserheads, Bamboo, Parokya ni Edgar and Silent Sanctuary as their musical influences. 

Being a part of Top 6 has been a big boost for the band’s confidence and considers the competition as a door opening to a myriad of opportunities. “We believe that ‘Dreams Get Real’ is a big break for us,” says vocalist Alfonso. “This is a chance to show our talent and our own music.”

Another group taking a shot for the grand prize is Fifth Dynamics, from Antipolo City, meanwhile recorded “Anyare” a self-composed piece written with the help of Cahilig, the discovered and manager of hitmaker boy band 1:43. Composed of Mark Cordovales (vocals), John Peterson Leyva (rhythm guitar), Eljon Nono (lead guitar), Daryl Jay Santos (bass guitar) and Aldrin Condat (drums), the group plays mainly pop rock and alternative rock and follows the musical lead of Rivermaya, Bamboo, Kris Allen and Boyce Avenue.

Dreaming one day of representing the Philippines in an international competition, Fifth Dynamics hopes to kickstart that goal by becoming a recording artist. The competition has proved to be an eye-opener in more ways than one. “So far our experience with ‘Dreams Get Real’ is beyond our expectations.”

Also part of the Top 6 is JBK who released the love song “Anong Meron Ka,” composed by Urie Tesorio who is behind the hits “Hayop sa Ganda” and “Ikaw at Ako” of 1:43. 

Hailing from Mandaluyong City, the trio is composed of Joshua Bulot, Bryan del Rosario and Kim Ordonio. They have a variety of influences that include The Wanted, One Direction, All4one, Boys2Men, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz and Emblem3, among others.

It was the competition that prompted the three friends to create a group and show their musical skills. “The tagline itself, ‘Dreams Get Real,’ prompted us to join the competition,” says Joshua. “We want that dream to get real. And knowing McJIM is there to back us up, we are very lucky be given an opportunity to represent an undeniably great brand.”

Last but not the least is Neo Domingo whose impressive vocals gave life to “Pagbigyan Mo Na,” also penned by Tesorio. Neo is Epifanio Domingo III from Quezon City who plays acoustic pop rock and R&B music and admires John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Gary Valenciano. The competition is a way for him to showcase his own composition and hopefully achieve success in the industry and “promote OPM” to a large audience.

The grand champion of the Dreams Get Real talent search will receive cash prize worth P50,000 from McJim Classic Leather, a recording and management contract, and a grant to record a single and release a music video. The second placer will win P25,000 in cash and a trophy, while the third place winner will receive P15,000 in cash and a trophy.

“McJim Classic Leather is pulling all the stops in creating a memorable show during the Finals Night,” says Cahilig. “Having gone through an extensive, rigorous search, the Top 6 are poised to have the biggest performance in their budding musical careers. Only one will emerge as winner but I’m confident that, with the right attitude and motivation, all of them will stake their claims in the music industry.”

So, would it be a band, a boy band, or a solo act? Well for me I'm voting for Neo Domingo! Watch out for the guy. He's good!

Like the Official McJIM Classic Leather Facebook page ( and find out how you can support the Top 6 of Dreams Get Real talent search.

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