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How American singer Sahara fell in love with OPM

How American singer Sahara fell in love with OPM
Sahara, ‘The American OPM singer,’ offers fans a new single titled Agos. It is like a throwback to ‘80s rock music and about a romantic relationship, and its heart- wrenching destiny. Sahara would love to meet her Filipino fans and perform before them soon. She is very happy with the way her recording career is going (STAR / File) 

MANILA, Philippines —  We love Original Pilipino Music (OPM), and so do foreigners. One of them is Sahara, an American who adores OPM. That explains her moniker, “The American OPM singer.”

She has done covers like Dahil Ba Sa Kanya and Buwan, Christmas songs Tanging Hiling and Pasko’y Ipagdiwang, and singles We Can Be (As One), Kabiyak, and Pakyut.

Sahara will release the single titled Agos, featuring Paul Sapiera, vocalist of the ‘90s Pinoy band Rock Star, on April 20 in the US.

“My current song is called Agos, and I just actually love the theatrics of it,” said the classically-trained Las Vegas-based artist in a recent virtual one-on-one with The STAR. “It was written by Paul Sapiera from Rock Star. He’s actually living in Las Vegas, and I met him about a year or two ago, and I was like, ‘I wanna work with you, I wanna work with you.’”

Sahara with Pinoy band Rock Star’s Paul Sapiera, who wrote Agos. 

Finally, the opportunity for the two to collaborate came, and Agos is a testament to it. Sahara described Paul as someone who is “so incredibly talented, so creative,” and helpful with her Tagalog. After recording the song, they also worked on the concept of its music video. Sahara had an amazing work journey with the talented, multi-instrumentalist artist.

As compared to her previous releases, Agos is rock and “like a throwback to ‘80s kind of rock music,” said Sahara.

Asked how long she learned and memorized the song’s lyrics, Sahara answered, “I would say a couple of months, and I would say my Tagalog… is getting better.”

Part of the process, too, was understanding the meaning of every line and the song’s narrative. The latter is about someone who has been in a romantic relationship, but unfortunately, the person’s partner becomes unfaithful. “That is so heartbreaking, that is so heart-wrenching to imagine, you know, the scenario,” said Sahara.

During the interview, Sahara also looked back on how her fascination with and passion for OPM began.

“It started when I was very young. I love all different kinds of music,” shared she. “I always love world music, and I discovered OPM when I was in junior high. I had a lot of Filipino-American friends.” They introduced Sahara to such Pinoy singers as Jaya and Regine Velasquez.

“I love the agility of the singing of singers, especially the female singers. (They are) just incredible,” said she. “I wanted to learn from them.”

The first OPM song Sahara learned to sing was Jaya’s Dahil Ba Sa Kanya, of which she did a cover. She would connect with the emotions, being told in OPM tunes, because, “I’m a very emotional person,” said she, who is only attuned to her feelings, as one may put it.

As a singer, Sahara looks at herself as “like a vessel (or a) projection of like art, of music, of color, of ideas, of just feelings.” She is there to narrate tales that listeners can relate to and considers social media as a powerful platform that has the capacity to make any content reach many people across the world.

Sahara felt that “possibilities are endless,” for artists, in such a platform, and it is a way to connect with and engage fans, who “motivate me to keep going, to keep creating, to keep showing, to keep sharing, you know, my life, sharing my art, and sharing my voice out there,” said she.

Does she have plans to come to the Philippines and meet Pinoy followers?

“I definitely have… I hope and pray to God, you know, that there’s a chance, like, that I can go there and I can tour. I can go to the malls for concerts and tour around the Philippines, and that would be amazing,” replied she.

At the rate her recording career is going, Sahara is simply glad.

She concluded, “I am happy, I am super happy. I’m really happy where everything is because that’s what God intended. This is what the plan is, and I’m here for the ride, and I’m enjoying every moment of it.”

(For details on Sahara’s song, Agos, visit and follow her Facebook, Instagram, X, and YouTube accounts.)

— Jerry Donato

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Credit belongs to: www.philstar.com

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