Filipino folk-pop outfit Ben&Ben marks a definitive new era in music with the release of their new single, “Di Ka Sayang,” now out via Sony Music.
Now more confident than ever with their newfound direction, the nine-piece collective drops an empowering anthem that respects individuality without prejudice.
Empowerment in the face of adversity
According to guitarist and vocalist Paolo Benjamin, “Di Ka Sayang” was inspired by a conversation with his brother Miguel Benjamin in a hotel room last year during one of their out of town shows. “Migs and I were having a conversation on our career choices and how hard it was to fight for who we really are and what we want to do in life, amidst societal and family expectations,” Paolo explains. “A year later, we decided to release it, at a time where we feel it is most timely, with everything tough going on, and with many of our dreams being crushed by the pandemic and other circumstances.”
Inspiring confidence and fearlessness in the face of adversity, the MTV Europe Music Awards-nominated band confronts everyday challenges of life with light and motivation. But instead of perpetuating the erasure of our collective struggles, their song “Di Ka Sayang” encourages listeners to get out of the rut and be in charge of their own decision matters, no matter the costs.
A massive statement
Written by Paolo and Miguel Benjamin and produced by Jean Paul Verona along with lead guitarist Poch Barretto, percussionist Toni Muñoz, keyboardist Patricia Lasaten, and violinist Keifer Cabugao, the anthemic rocker arrives with a massive statement: tribal beats and esoteric details that evolve into a soaring, pop-rock production, but whose unrelenting energy and sonic ambition feel like a natural progression from their past releases.
Pat Lasaten recalls how the arrangement and production of “Di Ka Sayang” challenged the team to have fun and explore an entire new world of possibilities in terms of lyrics and musicality. “Our goal from the start is to create a vibe and sound like no other song of ours before: one that would immerse the listener into the message of the song, and into a mood that we wanted the message to be experienced in.”
This creative mindset allows Ben&Ben to hone their trademark sound without rethreading into past themes and venture into ideas outside of their comfort zones, especially now that the band has all the time to make new music under one roof.
Vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin shares in a statement, “We’ve also been exploring new soundscapes and writing about themes other than love and heartbreak, and we’ve been having a lot of fun in the process. Liwanag, and everyone who listens to us can expect more of these things to be shared to anyone who is willing to listen.”
Kintsugi-inspired music video
It also continues to spread its winsome streak as it dropped the official music video on Youtube. Helmed by Jorel Lising, the band’s frequent collaborator and the director behind their hits “Pagtingin” and “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin,” the visual accompaniment of the song follows the band performing in random intimate spaces with ‘Kintsugi’ artform as the backdrop.
According to vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin, the inspiration behind the pottery repair method as the binding theme came from their production designer, Ms. Dianne Khu. “During the planning of the video, things came together in a very organic kind of way and we thought it fit the concept perfectly,” Paolo said in a statement. “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of piecing together broken parts of pottery with gold glue. By doing this, brokenness is made whole in a way that is much better than it previously was. Our percussionist Andrew even has a tattoo of ‘wabi-sabi,’ which is the Japanese philosophy of accepting and finding meaning in the imperfections in life and nature. We really saw Kintsugi as a powerful way to represent self-acceptance.”
Honoring the importance of embracing one’s flaws and accepting brokenness as something that you need to display with pride and not hide, the song sends a vital message to listeners who are going through difficult challenges in life, especially with the pandemic crisis taking a toll on everyone’s mental health. Vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin points out, “This year has been the toughest year for many people from our generation, and a lot of us are in this state wherein a lot of plans, dreams, hopes, and goals were compromised, cancelled or rather ‘sayang.’ Even for us personally as a band, we had a hard time dealing with these same struggles. What we wanted to share however, is that we are never alone in our hardships, and that there is still hope in a better tomorrow.”
Ben&Ben’s “Di Ka Sayang” is now available on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.
Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in recent press releases.