October Music Review: Zack Tabudlo, Ben&Ben and other newsmakers in the local music scene

Pinoy music makers continue to shine this month through their new releases and collaborations.

Zack Tabudlo delivers romantic earnestness on new song “Ba’t Ganto Ang Pag-ibig”

It’s interesting to think how infatuation can bloom into something divinely romantic, yet difficult to articulate. But in Zack Tabudlo’s universe, expressing one’s affection is better delivered in stripped-down, guitar-pop music—as if he knows that a way to someone’s heart is a sweet, melodic chorus and a soaring instrumentation. 

Released ahead of his highly anticipated debut album, Episode, Zack Tabudlo’s new single “Ba’t Ganto Ang Pag-ibig” proves that he’s a troubadour of unrequited love songs. It captures the conflicting emotions that people of all ages could relate to. But most importantly, it’s a song that bursts with earnest sentimentality.

According to Zack himself, “Ba’t Ganto Ang Pag-ibig” is about someone you like, but is admired by a lot of people. “You don’t know if you stand a chance to everyone else, but you genuinely just want the person to be happy,” the young hitmakers shares in a statement. “You will always be the one call away for that person no matter what.”

With acoustic guitars and subtle, meditative arrangements shaping the tune into a laid-back and bittersweet affair, Zack knows how to work his charm with a deceptively simple tune. He questions his love for the other person, yet at the end of it all, he’s just trying to muster the courage to confess and open up his feelings no matter the consequences.

“I want the audience to feel that they’re not alone with what they feel for someone they admire,” Zack explains. “It’s hard to confess feelings, and with this song, they can lean towards it and maybe help with their confidence or help with what they feel.”

Like his other material, “Ba’t Ganto Ang Pag-ibig” is written, composed, produced, mixed, and mastered by Zack Tabudlo. Zack points out, “it has a very laid-back feel to it lyrics wise or production wise. It’s something that a lot of people would just vibe to.”

Zack Tabudlo’s “Ba’t Ganto Ang Pag-ibig” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.

Ben&Ben team up with Taiwanese Mandopop star WeiBird on dreamlike track “Cheap Love”

2021 has been a massive year for Filipino folk-pop collective Ben&Ben in terms of commercial and critical success. Their sophomore album, Pebble House, Vol. 1: Kuwaderno has earned glowing praises from reputable music critics and publications in the Philippines and Asia, with Rick Olivares of ABS-CBN News calling it a “brilliant masterpiece” and Paul John Caña of Esquire Philippines pointing out its vital role in establishing the band as the “pre-eminent artist of their generation.” In less than two months, Ben&Ben’s recently released album has surpassed more than 30 million streams on Spotify alone—a groundbreaking feat that attests to the group’s universal appeal and enduring impact for nearly an entire decade.

After achieving records in both streaming and digital sales and sending their songs to the top of the music charts, Ben&Ben are determined to put their work on the global music map with the release of “Cheap Love,” a new collaborative single with acclaimed and best-selling Taiwanese singer-songwriter WeiBird.

Epitomizing the moment when dawn shows its first light, “Cheap Love” is the sonic equivalent of wandering between a dreamlike state and an awakened mind throughout the night. It’s about the journey of finding a long, lasting love after having experienced so much pain in the past. According to William Wei, known professionally as WeiBird, the title of the song is a play on words, and nothing more than just faint bliss and ecstasy. “It’s a temporary band-aid for a big gushing wound, but it never fills the hole inside. Moreover, it increases the feeling of emptiness. What I’m trying to say is, you can’t bargain your way into love. Love is truly hard to find.”

Ben&Ben interprets the material in the same manner as WeiBird does, aware of the reality that comes with seeking genuine love in the direst of situations. “With the chorus repeating over and over how difficult it is to find a ‘rhyme better than you and I,’ it shows how drawn and enamored we are by the idea of love but oftentimes find ourselves in a pit when trying to really make it something more.”

With its stripped-down instrumentation embracing listeners with a sense of comforting warmth, “Cheap Love” expresses the woes and triumphs of a generation caught up in romantic longing and desire. The listening experience is made more compelling by the vocal harmonies of Paolo Benjamin and Miguel Benjamin, and the earnest delivery of WeiBird, making the audience feel more hopeful than ever despite the uncertainty of the present conditions. 

“We’re grateful that by just being our authentic selves musically, we were able to add to the song both in production, vocals, and instrumentation something that WeiBird seemed to be happy with,” the nine-piece group shares in a statement. “We took an active role in building on the magic that the song already had, and we’re happy with how it turned out.”

The song was written and produced by WeiBird himself, with co-production and mixing duties by frequent collaborators Aven Tsai and Sean Sinclair. The Mandopop and folk-pop star explains that Ben&Ben also pitched in ideas for the arrangement and music side of things, resulting into a more polished, sonically impressive output that showcases the best of both worlds. 

WeiBird adds, “I wrote, played and produced the whole song on the album version. However, for this collab I haven’t had to do much because Ben&Ben was amazing. I remember listening to a demo of them playing along to my original track, and I could already imagine how it would come to be later. And the final results were not far from my imagination. It was awesome.”

“Cheap Love” is the first single off WeiBird’s first official English album. It follows the success of his fifth studio album, Sounds Of My Life, which peaked at No.1 on Taiwanese album charts in 2020, and received four nominations at the 32nd Golden Melody Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Mandarin Album. The track also serves as the second international collaboration of Ben&Ben after “Leaves,” featuring K-pop star Young K. 

“Cheap Love” is out now on all digital music platforms via Sony Music Taiwan.

BLASTER joins Island Records Philippines, releases Japanese version of new song “DISKO FOREVER”

Promising newcomer BLASTER has recently joined the esteemed roster of Island Records Philippines, a domestic label division under UMG Philippines, which is dedicated to helping the best musical talent from the Philippines to achieve local success, whilst reaching new audiences worldwide.

The lead guitarist and occasional vocalist of award-winning band, IV of Spades will be part of an internationally renowned label that includes some of the most exciting and future-forward artists in the country such as Zack Tabudlo, Juan Karlos, Over October, Fern., and dia mate.

A&R Manager and Label Head of Island Records Philippines Bel Certeza recently expressed interest in working with BLASTER on upcoming releases that will showcase the multi-hyphenate’s core strength as both an artist and an innovator. “Island Records Philippines is looking forward to help and guide BLASTER to where he wants to take his music and vision as an artist. Releasing a body of work is in the pipeline but it’s not yet final as we’d also like to learn with him and his audience as we go along.”

Certeza, who used to be the former Road Manager of IV of Spades, pitched the idea to BLASTER with the intention to understand where he is now as an artist and where he wants to go moving forward. After hearing what Blaster has in mind, she immediately presented how Island Records Philippines can help bring his vision to reality. “After a series of long Zoom calls with MCA Music Managing Director Enzo Valdez, we were able to come up with a deal that caters to BLASTER’s integrity as an artist but also something that would make sense to the label,” Bel shares. “And now here we are.”

On the heels of the official signing is the release of “DISKO FOREVER (Japanese version),” a retro-modern bop that blends Manila Sound with bedroom electronica and avant-pop influences. Sung completely in Japanese, the new iteration serves as a warm-up track to the Tagalog version, which the young Filipino artist will be releasing soon. 

With its groovy rhythms, art-rock guitars, and eclectic arrangements, the genre-averse jam takes you back to the dance floor in a time that doesn’t allow communal gathering. The delightfully bittersweet track also doubles as a tribute to the golden era of Pinoy pop music, and is reimagined for a new generation of listeners to enjoy.

BLASTER’s “DISKO FOREVER” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.

Nobody’s Home hits the road in the music video of Ely Buendia-produced “Cigarette Daydreams”

Filipino alternative rock trio Nobody’s Home has released the official music video of their new single “Cigarette Daydreams”—a cover of Cage The Elephant’s chart-topping hit in 2014.

Directed by Ysa Aranda of Swimming Pictures, the clip features the promising trio on a random road trip, performing in front of a warehouse and running away from reality “to find peace of mind,” as the lyrics suggest.

As for the concept behind the music video, Aranda shares that it’s derived from her own personal experience, particularly the feeling of comfort that driving brings. “I had to go for a drive and dream scenarios that would resonate to the song itself. Aside from the lyrics of the song, driving has helped me cope specially in these trying times, hence the driving scenes present in the MV.”

Aranda’s take on “Cigarette Daydreams” is inspired by the visual narrative of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s End Of Summer, a short film that serves as a document of a calm scenery in “one of the most crucial and endangered areas of our planet.”

Paying homage and making it their own

The song was produced by Nobody’s Home and Ely Buendia, and its overall treatment maintains the melodic charm of the original, while incorporating ‘90s-sounding guitar-rock affair, candied pop hooks, and pulsating synths to the mix.

“Generally, we wanted to pay respects and keep the original vibe of the song,” Frontman and principal songwriter Eon Buendia explains. “We stuck to that nostalgic acoustic feeling for the verses while making it simpler in terms of instrumentals. But when it came to the choruses, that’s where we changed the vibe from the original’s lighter feeling to a darker and synth-y tone that is more akin to the sound of the band.”

Nobody’s Home strikes a balance between paying homage to the song and making it their own—a task that they supremely aced with conviction and confidence. “The main idea we had was that the verses would be simple and we wouldn’t add much to it in order to keep the spirit of the original, and then the choruses would be where we came in and do our thing,” Eon shares in a statement. “And then we put elements that we usually use when producing our personal tracks such as vocal layering, synthesizers, and lead guitar lines.”

Production notes

The track’s producer, Ely Buendia, also commends the alt-rock outfit’s dedication in upping the ante of their version, while retaining the song’s feel-good catharsis in the process. “I just trusted the boys’ musical instincts, knowing that their own personal preferences would make sure that this will not be a note for note translation.” 

In terms of production, Ely points out, “we at least wanted the production to be gritty yet polished, if at all possible, to honor the vibe of the original.”
Nobody’s Home’s version of Cage The Elephant’s “Cigarette Daydreams” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

of Mercury navigates new phase in music journey with two-track release, CHANGIN’ vol. 1

of Mercury, formerly known as Nathan & Mercury, marks a new chapter in their music journey with the release of their two-track volume, CHANGIN’ Vol. 1—out today via Sony Music Philippines.

The dual release, which features the songs “I’M FINE” and “HEAVEN ON EARTH,” finds the band pushing their sound to an unexpected direction and displaying remarkable consistency in terms of musicality and songwriting. “Think of this release as a re-introduction to us,” of Mercury explains. “This release is a statement from us that we’re growing, we’re changing: a foretaste of what the album is going to be.”

Gleaming with funkier, hip-hop-leaning sounds and edgy production techniques, both tracks assert something that has been proven from the early stages of their career: they’re technically impressive as musicians, but they never let the stylistic explorations get in the way of their soulful, confessional storytelling. 

Focus track “I’M FINE” is a tangible proof of the band’s insistence to write songs that come from a place of earnestness. According to of Mercury, it’s a song about moving on and picking one’s self up from all the internal brokenness, even after being betrayed by someone who used to be important. “It was one of the biggest heartbreaks we’ve ever witnessed as a band,” the Fake Love act shares in a statement. “When we wrote this, we had this realization that we’re actually fine now and we don’t really care about the people that hurt us already.”

The song was written, arranged, and produced by of Mercury with no general idea of how it’s going to come out. While it sounds polished with the right balance of organized dissonance and pop sensibility, “I’M FINE” is one of the those tracks that didn’t really have a direction or a goal, but all the sonic elements blend together seamlessly to create something that is familiar yet uniquely of Mercury. 

“The writing was fine because we knew where to pull from, but when we got into the production, we couldn’t think of how we wanted this to sound sonically,” of Mercury admits. “We have to start from somewhere, so we randomly thought a bunch of elements onto the song, and continued throwing ideas with no pegs, no direction, whatsoever. This is the same reason why we’re starting off with this track, it was really an unknown space for us and we’re just really happy we were able to pull it off, and that everyone genuinely enjoyed this process.”

of Mercury’s new single “I’M FINE” also features Michael Flores a.k.a. Filipino rapper Hijo, who in turn, spat bars with incredible range and energy. “Hijo had a great sense of how to work with others and how to keep the vibe relaxed and fun,” says the alternative quartet. “Working with Hijo reflected how much we enjoy working with others, especially when we get the ball rolling. Everyone just bounces off each other’s ideas, expressions, opinions. It’s where we all do our best; it’s a great feeling to have with everyone.”

This particular project also marks a reunion with former bandmate Karlo Maglasang (knōwmaad) who used to play bass for the band. “To have him around after not working together for a while really brought a different view on what we were doing. We also felt like, it’s as if he never left at all. Everything felt natural and everyone was on the same wavelength.”

A music video for “I’M FINE” will be released soon.

“I’M FINE” and “HEAVEN ON EARTH” are part of the two-track volume, CHANGIN’ Vol. 1, which serves as a reintroduction of a ‘new’ old band who have found themselves reconnecting for the same goals, despite having difficulties in compromising from the beginning of their journey. By changing their moniker to of Mercury, the acclaimed quartet is ready to start a new milestone in music and get things together with a common set of values. 

In a statement posted across social networking platforms, the band cited their creative and personal disagreements as the two main reasons of the initial fallout, which caused the hiatus. At some point, the band decided to take a step back, work on their differences internally, and restart anew under a name that they feel would represent them better as artists. 

“The name (of Mercury) change brought a sense of unity within us, and we didn’t want to be exclusive about it,” of Mercury shares. “Yes, we’re part of this, but we want the people we get to work with and those who support this thing we’re doing to have a certain position to say that they are a part ‘of Mercury.’ It’s all about the bigger picture.”

of Mercury’s CHANGIN’ Vol. 1 is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines. 

UE Jam Sessions encourage the youth to rock the vote with inspiring new anthem “Pinto”

Promising newcomers COSINE, Shareena, and Autumn Tandog team up for a song that encourages the general public to vote for competent candidates who are willing to take a stand on important social issues and make a significant change.

On the rousing anthem “Pinto,” the artists from UE Jam Sessions call for effective leadership and urge their fellow countrymen, particularly the young ones, to exercise their right to vote. 

According to its main songwriter Shareena, who also lend her smooth and smoky vocals on the track, “Pinto” is penned from the perspective of someone convincing the youth to take complete ownership of their destiny and elect someone who cares about welfare of its people.

“By describing what the outside world looks like in a cruel reality, with the struggles of the people who are always overlooked, the character puts the kid in a dilemma of choosing between taking responsibility for making a change and having these people who have been knocking on his door forsaken and left behind,” the 17-year-old singer-songwriter shares the meaning behind their new track. “Hinihintay ka na nila,” which means ‘they are waiting for you,’ serves as a reminder that their fate, like yours, is now completely in your control. It is your job to decide and select the finest alternative in this regard. That’s how Pinto was made to be remembered: a song that knocks on everyone’s doors of perceptions, obliging them to make a move.”

With its gothic, bluesy nature and brassy confidence, “Pinto” delivers an unconventional sound by pop standards. Shareena and Autumn Tandog put their ethereal spin on the material, singing as if they’re witnessing history unfold. Paolo Barrado and Marvin Cayosa’s intricate arrangements, on the other hand, turn the retro-inspired, musical motif into a modern torch tune inspired by the likes of Bita and the Botflies and Lana del Rey. 

COSINE’s Marvin Cayosa shares that despite limitations that took place during the pandemic, the producers were able to improvise, and the artists were able to record separately from their respective homes. “Given that we are in a pandemic, it’s been challenging for us to record because we are far apart. When I received the demo that Shareena gave to us, I started working on it right away. With the lack of equipment and hours of trial and error in recording my part, we still managed to pull it off.”

“Pinto” is one of the new music projects spearheaded by UE Jam Sessions, with 12 Stone Records’ Tommy Tanchanco and SSG President Nexie Joy Salvador serving as Executive Producers, and Choi Felipe mixing and mastering the entire track. The music video for the track is edited by Cher Manulit.

Pinto” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide such as Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.

Sony Music Philippines Launches New Christian label ‘WATERWALK RECORDS’

Sony Music Philippines today announced the launch of WATERWALK RECORDS, a music label focused on bringing fresh Christian music to a new, streaming generation. The label will feature faith-based entertainment artists from across the length and breadth of the country, who represent the best of Christian music combined with their own unique styles.

“In the Philippines, Christian music emerges from daily life and is a reflection of the country’s rich culture,” said Roslyn Pineda, General Manager, Sony Music Philippines. “Pop music inspired by Christian melodies has arguably created some of the most interesting music in recent years. It’s a diverse genre full of talented artists who use faith as a regular way of connecting with people. WATERWALK RECORDS has huge opportunities to grow as we work with talented artists such as Morissette, Gloryfall and Hazel Faith and others to bring their music to fans all across Asia”.

“The Philippines is a musically rich country, well known for showcasing the best of Christian music in Southeast Asia,” said Ariel Fung, EVP, Sony Music Southeast Asia. “With WATERWALK RECORDS, our vision is to create a hub for Christian music in Asia that serves artists and writers who are creating ground-breaking music and impacting the lives of millions. Our stellar line up of artists we’re working with is just the start of helping us achieve that vision, representing the very best of local and regional talent.”

The artist, Morissette, popularly referred to as “Asia’s Phoenix”, will release the label’s first single, Waterwalk” on 28 October. “Mapayapa” — a collaboration between Christian worship band Gloryfall and singer/songwriter Hazel Faith– will be released on 30 October.

“I am thrilled to be taking part in Sony Music‘s new Christian label and get to share, and sing, of the word of God and all His great works,“ added Morissette. “ It’s only been a couple of years since I’ve made the decision to really follow Jesus and one thing I can really attest to is that we just need to trust Him in everything. I’ve been through some very challenging times too especially during this season, but it’s His grace that saves me and keeps me going, His love that comforts and protects me, and His promise that I will always keep in my heart. The track “Waterwalk” portrays all of that, and a reminder that what He has done for His people then, He will also do for His people now, we need only to anchor on to Him.”

Rapper/actor Jericho Arceo and Stell of SB19, will also release a joint singleArceo is well known for creating viral videos on social media and being a member of the cast for the show The World Between Us, while Stell who is a part of SB19, one of the most popular P-pop groups in the Philippines, is embarking on his first solo venture through this collaboration.

In another first, Nathan Huang from the band ‘of Mercury’ (formerly known as Nathan & Mercury) will also have his first solo venture through the label and will collaborate with Darla Baltazar, who was recently featured as one of the 16 Artists to Watch on the international website The Gospel Coalition.

Janine Danielle, a worship leader from Favor Church, will be singing a track penned and produced by one of Spotify’s most followed Filipino artists Moira Dela Torre, and Moira’s frequent collaborator and husband, Jason Hernandez. The lineup also includes singles from beloved worship leaders from various churches in the Philippines: Lee Simon Brown (from Victory Worship), Cola Cabalcar, Kent Charcos, Cherise Katriel, and Sam&Steff.

To showcase the richness of the region, WATERWALK RECORDS will also release a single from Ariel Tsai, a popular Taiwanese singer/songwriter, pianist, and YouTuber signed under Sony Music Taiwan.

The 12 tracks from WATERWALK RECORDS are expected to be released within this year.

syd hartha reflects complicated attitude towards love and relationships on folk-pop single “kung nag-aatubili”

Filipino singer-songwriter syd hartha returns to her roots on the stripped-down single “kung nag-aatubili.” 

The folk-pop tune will be part of her upcoming 5-track EP to be released in the first quarter of 2022, and serves as her first original material for 2021 after contributing vocals for Tokimeki Records’ city pop-inspired “Carnival” and participating in Coke Studio Season 4.

According to the 19-year-old artist, “kung nag-aatubili” reflects her complicated attitude towards romantic relationships and intimacy, which stemmed from the traumatic experiences that she endured during her younger years.

“I wrote this song a long time ago when I realized that I was starting to like someone, and I was already starting to let that person in my world, little by little,” syd admits. “Back then it just didn’t feel right, and I feared the idea of getting to know me deeply and everything I’ve become. Looking at it in the present, I figured that these feelings are a by-product of the inner wounds, and my inability to move forward from the things that happened in the past. This also serves as an important lesson to me, that when I decide to commit to love someone, I should love them for who they are now, and accept them for what they’ve been through.”

Dialing back her sound to its bare essentials without sacrificing her newfound maturity in songwriting, syd hartha has penned another understatedly beautiful track that feels more introspective than her usual confessional entries. 

Marked by warm, laid-back guitar arrangements and soothing vocals, “kung nag-aatubili” starts restrained but assured of its exquisiteness, and builds into a musical wanderlust towards the end. In terms of production, her goal is to make it as raw and intimate as possible, arriving with the promise of a home—strong, unapologetic, but comfortable in her own shedding.

The song will be accompanied by a music video slated to be released in the coming weeks. The visual treatment is conceptualized by syd herself, who in turn, wants to make the storytelling mirror her personal truths. “For this music video, Swimming Pictures helped me execute my own ideas and it was amazing working with them,” says the folk-pop act.kung nag-aatubili” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines

Details provided by recording companies through press releases.

Header photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

Ben&Ben music video of KathNiel-starrer “Sa Susunod na Habang Buhay”

“What if every time one dies, they go back to their first date with one of them carrying memories from their previous run?”

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla stars as a romantic couple stuck in a time loop in the new music video for Ben&Ben’s “Sa Susunod na Habang Buhay.”
Helmed by the band’s resident director Jorel Lising and written by Gaya Sa Pelikula creator Juan Miguel Severo, the song’s visual narrative explores the complicated relationship dynamics of two lovers who have lost and found each other in a fated cycle of events.

Complicated love in a time loop

Severo reveals that “Sa Susunod na Habang Buhay,” a song that deals with the “possibility of another life to succeed in love,” complements the KathNiel starrer that he has in mind. Having written Hintayan ng Langit, an evocative piece that examines eternal romance in the afterlife, Severo decided to do away with another reincarnation story for his interpretation of the material.

“Then it hit me, what about a couple stuck in a time loop?”, the prolific writer points out. “What if every time one dies, they go back to their first date with one of them carrying memories from their previous run? It took the band, Direk, and I a couple of zoom calls, brainstorming ideas to compound on that concept and get everything laid out before I presented it to KathNiel.”

Severo’s writing lends to a beautifully understated film that allows KathNiel to tackle their role with nuanced sensitivity and depth. To make it more impactful on screen, music video director Jorel Lising makes use of non-liner, fragmented storytelling as a way to capture the couple’s memories in its undiluted form. Lising adds, “It all comes from the content of the song – it’s a strong piece that speaks about love lost and an intense sense of longing, so the process of developing the treatment and Severo’s script came from that. The challenge for us was to maximize the emotion based on that kind of narrative.”

Working with KathNiel

According to the band’s co-vocalist and acoustic guitarist Miguel Benjamin, the journey behind the music video was both a dream and a serendipitous sequence of events. “About two months ago, an interesting exchange came up while our keyboardist Patricia Lasaten was working on the music of Juan Miguel Severo’s Gaya Sa Pelikula,” says Miguel. “As a way of showing appreciation when we offered our song ‘Ride Home’ to the series, Juan Miguel graciously offered us in return to write a script for the ‘Sa Susunod Na Habang Buhay’ MV, and pitch it to KathNiel, as they are good friends. We pushed through, and to our surprise, they loved both the idea of working with all of us and the script. This was a big thing for us because we never expected that these great artists would be open to doing a music video with us, given their stature and busy schedules.”

Despite the time constraints, Lising didn’t experience difficulty working with one of the biggest love teams in recent memory. The nine-piece collective’s frequent collaborator recounts that he only has few adjustments for every take, thanks to KathNiel’s astounding professionalism and craft. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time with them, but they definitely possess star power quality on camera. Every frame we took of them has a strong presence that comes with lots of experience, especially since they’ve been acting for so long now.”

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Maximillian, and more to headline BYE2020

Philippine record labels and musicians of all stripes are standing up for solidarity with the biggest concert event of 2020.

With the utmost goal of bringing together the Filipino people through music and inspiring them to help cope better in the face of adversity, BYE2020 is a powerful statement that not only recognizes the small but impactful triumphs of the music community despite a very challenging year, but also honors the collective efforts of everyone in holding each other up during the pandemic.

28 artists are set to join the movement with virtual performances designed to make the experience as immersive and enjoyable as possible.

The lineup includes some of the biggest acts here and abroad, including Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Matthaios, The Itchyworms, Leanne & Naara, Maximillian (DK), Peach Tree Rascals (US), Tate Mcrae (CA), Glaiza de Castro, Kean Cipriano, Lala Vizon, Zack Tabudlo, Keiko Necessario, Fern., Elha Nympha, Autotelic, Sud, Miguel Odron, VVS Collective, Ace Banzuelo, Paolo Sandejas, Earl Generao, FANA, TALA, J-Nine and Dia Mate.

In a statement by the team behind the virtual show, BYE2020 is committed to mounting the first-of-its-kind year-ender party to usher in a brighter, better new year and turn this unprecedented moment in history into a collective call to seek a way out of darkness through unity, hope, and music.

“What BYE2020 delivers is a way for every Filipino to look back at all of the challenges we have faced, and enter 2021 a bit more hopeful,” the organizers explained. “Fortunately for us technology has allowed us to re-imagine what we can do for music entertainment and live events. And we are bringing to bear every learning, every talent, and every skill we have gained this 2020 and applying it to our event BYE2020.”

Aside from top-notch entertainment and much-awaited surprises, BYE2020 is set to recognize some of the most notable feats in the online space in order to shine a light on the more positive side of 2020. Through the Best of the Year Awards, digital platforms such as Facebook, Spotify and TikTok, and other notable partners will be part of a special segment dedicated to awarding the finest local creators for their record-breaking achievements in digital content and entertainment.

The six-hour continuous virtual event will be streamed live on multiple platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and more on December 31, 2020, from 7pm onwards. It will also air on Sky Cable (Ch 955 HD and 155 SD).

For exclusive concert privileges such as access to zoom pits, backstage content with the artists, and limited-edition merch, visit ticket2me.net to get tickets.

BYE2020 is brought to you by Pepsi, Tinder, and Its More Fun in the Philippines, and is presented by MCA Music, Sony Music Philippines, Warner Music Philippines, O/C Records, Star Music, Universal Records, and Midas Records.

The virtual showcase is also co-presented by Official Beer Partner, Heineken; Official Streaming Partners, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok; Official Music Partner, Spotify; Official Cable Partner, Sky Cable; in partnership with Viber; and Media Partners, CNN Philippines, InqPop, Manila Concert Scene, We The Pvblic, UDoU PH, Wonder, Rank Magazine, Adobo Magazine, Starmometer, and Rakista.

Ben&Ben hopes to empower listeners with massive new anthem “Di Ka Sayang”

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.

Celebrate #GenTikTokPH with Ben&Ben, Inigo Pascual and Rico Blanco on Oct 18

To celebrate TikTok’s diverse and growing community, the Philippines’ top artists Ben&Ben, Iñigo Pascual and Rico Blanco will perform LIVE on TikTok Philippines this Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 5PM for the platform’s biggest virtual event of 2020, #GenTikTokPH.

Music is universal and powerful. It is what unites us with the community. #GenTikTokPH will be a celebration of everything we created out of love through music. Invite your Mahiwaga and let us have a wonderful time,” said Miguel Benjamin Guico, Ben&Ben

The 2-hour online LIVE show will feature various performances from top local artists, dancers, and content creators including JMKO, Kuya Ching, Madelaine Red, Mikey Bustos, Ralphe Austria, and many more. Auntie Julie, aka Macoy Dubs will be hosting the online event.

#GenTikTokPH is a recreation of the great moments on TikTok from entertainment to education and top trends. This is for the Generation TikTok and who made things happen.

Expect nothing but a happy feeling all throughout! I’ll see you on Sunday,” said Rico Blanco. The OPM icon was TikTok’s ambassador for the #TikTokOPMPlaylist campaign which promoted independent Filipino musicians and local talents to the app’s growing audience back in October 2019. Since then, he continued to make OPM an ever-present content on the platform.

TikTok was built to inspire and enrich people’s lives through experiences that are genuine, joyful, and positive. TikTok has gone beyond being just a  content platform. TikTok is the content, the community and the culture that it created.

Every click of the record button starts canvas for human creativity and every phone screen becomes a window to our world. Whether one’s making, remaking, reacting, or simply watching, we’re changing the world one TikTok video at a time. We’re happy and grateful to share this milestone to our community,” said User Content and Operations Manager John Castro

With its growing community of creators and users in the Philippines, TikTok is now ready to take the platform on a whole new level with a big announcement! After the event, TikTok will no longer be the same as they’ll take further all the creative possibilities.

Join the #GenTikTokPH hashtag challenge in-app and share why you’re officially part of Generation TikTok! You can get a chance to win TikTok-branded goodies! Invite your friends, stay safe and healthy at home. Download the TikTok app via iOS or Google Play.

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. www.tiktok.com.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben to hold online benefit concert for ‘Balik Eskwela’ project

Ben&Ben continues to support vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 through Balik Eskwela: PuhonPart 2. The nine-piece collective is slated to perform their massive hits for a one-hour live show on October 4, 2020, Sunday at 5pm onwards via simultaneous streams on their official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

Following the unprecedented success of Puhon: A Ben&Ben FB Live Event for the COVID-19 Efforts and YouTube Live “Doors” Single Launch + Fundraiser, BalikEskwela: Puhon Part 2 aims to support students and teachers who are “left with limited to no ability to adapt to the changes” implemented in the Philippine education system during the pandemic.

“Ever since the end of the first Puhon, we’ve been aching to help out even more in our own little way,” Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin said. ”And so, when we were figuring out where to help with the myriad of problems in today’s landscape, we eventually zeroed in on helping out a sector that is very close to our hearts: education.”

While the first Puhon gig focuses on COVID-19 response relief efforts, Puhon part 2 prioritizes assistance to the education sector. As Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin puts it, “We have concluded upon analysis that this is one of the areas wherein most help is needed in these times. School in the time of the pandemic is something that none of us expected, and so we will do our best to help out in this major challenge.”

As part of the growing community of artists with a platform of hope and love, Ben&Ben is committed to holding a free online concert to rally support for their fellow countrymen and come up with response efforts specifically for those who are in need.

According to Miguel, this is the first time that Ben&Ben will self-produce a full-length online show during the pandemic, live from the BBTV house. “Expect a very intimate, premium live concert experience straight from our home to yours,” the singer-songwriter said.

The Balik Eskwela: Puhon Part 2 project is the second fundraising initiative of Ben&Ben through their community-driven website, www.puhon.ph, which aims to inspire, uplift and boost the collective morale of all the key stakeholders of the COVID-19 response through uplifting stories, music, art, and more.

The goal of the Balik Eswela Project is to gather funds for:• E-learning and physical supplies that will be distributed to public schools.• Care packages (PPEs and vitamins) for teachers and personnel assigned for distribution of said supplies.• Distribution efforts with localized transport systems that will be coordinated with LGUs.

To know more on how you can be part of Ben&Ben’sfundraising campaign, visit www.puhon.ph or check out the band’s official social media pages.

This event is brought to you by Ben&Ben, Sony Music Philippines, Y4WU Philippines, Planet Drugstore, Limitless Lab, The Spark Project and Brand On Demand.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben launches official fandom “Liwanag”

Fresh off the success of their BBTV episodes, Ben&Ben have launched their official fan club “Liwanag” as an initiative to help spread the band’s message of faith, hope and love. The initiative also celebrates the community’s unwavering bayanihan spirit and optimism to advocate for meaningful change and unity through music, despite the challenges that the nation is currently facing.

Presented with the opportunity to instill a deeper purpose in building a community that inspires people and connecting with fans on a more meaningful and intimate level, and after considering the suggestions of their music fans and conducting a careful deliberation process with their management team, the award-winning band decided to rename their fan base “Liwanag.”

“”Liwanag” is the new, official fandom name of Ben&Ben! We have heard your suggestions. We want to honor our Filipino heritage, at higit sa lahat, kayo ang Liwanag namin. #BenAndBenLiwanagFandom,” says Ben&Ben in an official statement.

Ben&Ben recently broke the Internet with their second batch of K-Pop covers featuring songs by BTS, GOT7, EXO and more.

#BBTVkpoptwo trended on Twitter Philippines at #1 again, similar to the previous BBTV episodes.

Join the Ben&Ben House here.

Details and image provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben launches BBTV in celebration of 1M subscribers on YouTube

After reaching more than a million subscribers on YouTube, multi-awarded nine-piece collective Ben&Ben have heeded the call of fans for more exclusive content in the coming days.

The acclaimed band has recently announced the launch of their upcoming weekly series, BBTV to celebrate this important milestone in their career. 

“We’ve been making vlogs that showed our life behind the scenes, but eventually the band and its team came up with the idea,” vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin shares. “Its primary goal is to simply find more ways to connect to people through more varied content.”

Extensive range of content

Aside from themed music performances and collaborations, expect an intimate look at the band’s more personal and entertaining side as they share their journey of living together under one roof.  “We decided to live together to eliminate or at least greatly lessen the risks involved with working outside,” says Miguel. “We always had the idea of living together in the future to create content and write music, but with the situation now we realized that now was the best time to actually give it a shot.”

Ben&Ben also revealed about their plans to drop a “head bang” version of their smash single “Pagtingin,” as well as cover select K-Pop songs in the future. 

The online series, which airs every Wednesday, will also feature a more extensive range of content for people to connect to, including but not limited to games, competitions, challenges and other forms of entertainment. 

Sophomore Album 

Ben&Ben are currently working on the follow-up to their platinum-selling debut album, Limasawa Street, which produced generation-defining songs such as “Pagtingin,” “Fall,” “Araw-Araw,” “War,” and more. 

Paolo confirms in a statement that one of the reasons for moving in was to start writing for their second album to be released under Sony Music. “We wanted the process to be as organic and as involved as possible, and we’re so excited to see what we can come up with where distance and time isn’t a hindrance.”

New episodes of BBTV will drop every Wednesday of the week on the Ben&Ben YouTube Channel, starting August 5, 2020.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben portrays family drama on “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” music video

Award-winning Filipino band Ben&Ben explores the complicated dynamics of a fictional family in the music video of “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin.” 

Revolving around a realistic depiction of a family on the verge of dysfunction, the narrative hits home with each member learning how to listen to each other, and speak their minds.

It also examines the flawed but beautiful relationships that we nurture within the family, and the decisions we make in extraordinary circumstances.

Helmed by “Pagtingin” music video director Jorel Lising, the intimate piece features ensemble acting performances by Agot Isidro, Bart Guingona, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Kelvin Miranda.

Lising’s compelling take on Ben&Ben’s massive hit has earned praises from various publications in the country. Renuel Fallore of MYX shares that the “cinematic music video couldn’t have come at a better time,” and reflects on its importance in today’s socio-political landscape. Bandwagon Asia, in its coverage of the song’s official tease a few months ago, took notice of the song’s evocative lyrics, which remind “people that COVID-19 remains to be the common enemy in this difficult time,” and therefore needs critical attention and vigilance.

As of July 14, Tuesday, the “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” music video is currently trending on YouTube with more than 300,000 views in four days. 

On Spotify alone, Ben&Ben’s latest single has reached more than a million streams in its second week, making it one of the biggest releases of the month so far.  

“Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” is now out on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

Image and details provided by Sony Music in a recent press release.

Benjamin Kheng and Ben&Ben grill each other on Instagram live show, B.B.Q.

After their much buzzed TikTok collaboration which attracted an audience of more than 3 million, Singapore-based alt pop artist Benjamin Kheng and award-winning Filipino band Ben&Ben will be blessing the regional social media feeds once again with their follow-up collaboration on Instagram Live on June 23 at 10 pm.

The nine-piece collective behind hits such as “Lifetime,” “Pagtingin” and “Doors” will be joining Benjamin Kheng’s IG Live show, B.B.Q.—short for Ben’s Burning Questions.
Known for its hilarious banters and challenges, B.B.Q. encourages celebrity guests to pass 10 challenges with varying levels of difficulty.

If the participants surmount the test, they will be given a chance to “grill” Benjamin through a burning question or a flaming dare. The online show airs live on Benjamin Kheng’s Instagram every week.

Benjamin Kheng releases solo debut EP

Following his previous singles “Wicked,” “Find Me,” and “Lovers Forever,” the Singaporean multimedia star has just released his highly anticipated EP, A Sea That Never Stops.

The 6-track EP features three new tracks ‘Shiny’, ‘Already Home’, and ‘Make Do’ in addition to his previous singles.

A Sea That Never Stops focuses on fresh music – with each song embracing nuanced stories paired with novel production, yet heavily drawing upon Benjamin’s musical influences of gospel, rock, and musical theater. It fully encompasses Benjamin’s creative range and lends promise to his future musical endeavors.

Reflecting wholeheartedly on the significance of the EP title, Benjamin says, “Time has a way of teaching us how to say goodbye to things and people we’re not ready to – it just happens. Things simply end, people simply die, and we’re dragged on with time. We’re saying hello to new chapters before we’ve closed old ones. I guess I started writing these songs at the biting point of saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new, and I slowly began accepting the fact that I was part of a sea of waves that would eventually crash, disappear and go back into the ocean.”

Ben&Ben’s “Lifetime” amasses more than 5 million hits in a week

The critically acclaimed group is breaking records once again with the release of their new single, “Lifetime.” The folk-pop ballad has amassed more than 5 million streams on Spotify and YouTube combined, giving listeners a taste of their introspective songwriting in a time that needs comforting words and hope.

Ben&Ben premiered the hit song on TikTok Live! last June 13. It’s their first live performance together in one place after the lockdown period.

Benjamin Kheng’s solo debut EP, A Sea That Never Stops!and Ben&Ben’s latest single, “Lifetime” are both available on all digital and streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

Image and details provided by Sony Music in a recent press release.

Pop-jazz sensation Ardhito Pramono invites Ben&Ben as special guests for digital concert

As part of the initiative to forge regional ties with like-minded artists in Asia, Indonesia’s very own Ardhito Pramono will be joining forces with acclaimed Filipino band, Ben&Ben and Singaporean alt-pop artist, Benjamin Kheng for a star-studded virtual show.

Aptly titled From His Backyard, Online #HappyConcert with Ardhito Pramono and Friends, the first online concert in Indonesia to feature local and international artists, will happen on June 8, 2020 (Monday) at 9 PM (Philippine time) via Loket. Tickets are available here.

The digital show will highlight special collaborative performances and live sessions from his latest EP, Craziest Thing Happened In My Backyard. Released this year, Ardhito’s fourth mini-album pertains to the “backyard” as a metaphorical place to keep good and bad memories, secrets, opinions and ramblings; hence, coming up with songs that “talk about darkness with a twist of cheerful music.” His new single “Here We Go Again / Fanboi” was released on YouTube last June 3, 2020 via a lyric video that sees the Indonesian star performing amidst beige curtains.

 

Prior to the upcoming digital show which will be streamed live next week, Ardhito Pramono and Ben&Ben have recently collaborated on video-sharing platform, TikTok. Their paper towel challenge, which featured a snippet of Ardhito’s new song, “Here We Go Again,” broke records as one of the most viewed team-ups that featured Asian artists on the app, amassing 47.8 million views in less than 2 months.

About Ardhito Pramono

Born on May 22nd 1995, Ardhito Pramono garnered instant success with the release of his self-titled debut album. In 2019, he won Best Vocal Jazz Artist on Anugerah Music Indonesia, and bagged endorsement deals with big brands such as Biore, Teh Javana, Bintang Marina. This year, the “wonder boy” crooner starred in the box office hit, Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini. He also dropped his critically acclaimed EP, Craziest Thing Happened In My Backyard last February 2020 via Sony Music.

Ben&Ben to launch international single “Doors” via YouTube Live event

Award-winning, nine-piece collective Ben&Ben is set to release their stunning new single “Doors” on Thursday, April 16 through Sony Music.

To celebrate the release, the dynamic young act will host a special YouTube Live event on Saturday, April 18 on the band’s YouTube channel to raise funds for the COVID-19 response in the Philippines.

Fans across the world can tune in from 7:00pm GMT + 8 (9:00pm AEST/7:00am EST/12:00pm BST) to see the acclaimed nine-piece perform “Doors” alongside other tracks from their certified Platinum and best-selling 2019 debut album, LIMASAWA STREET, including recently released “Fall”.

Each member of the band will connect from their respective homes to stream the performance in their unique signature 3 x 3 format. After the event, the live stream will continue to be available on YouTube as a video on demand.

Ben&Ben explains:

“Doors” is one of the most personal songs that we’ve written. It’s about passive-aggressiveness, how it can ruin relationships, and how anyone can be on either the sending or receiving end of it. So much of the hurt in the world now, much of which we all experience daily as well, is caused by people not speaking what is really on their minds… We drew on our emotions on these topics to craft the melodies, riffs, beats, and textures of the song. It was done so quickly; one day we were jamming the song, and a few days after we already had the track on record. Everyone just performed their most raw and pure feelings to make the arrangement.”

“YouTube is proud to collaborate with Sony to enable Ben&Ben’s live streaming event which aims to create a donation drive for COVID-19 response efforts. It is uplifting to see the power of music and Filipinos’ spirit of bayanihan coming together to lend a helping hand during this increasingly challenging time. We hope that Ben&Ben’s event does not just help raise funds but inspire Filipinos to get through difficult moments through music,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director, Google Philippines.

“Doors” is mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Miles Walker (Beyonce, Usher, Coldplay, Rihanna) and mastered by Leon Zervos (P!nk, Maroon 5, Beastie Boys, Willy Nelson).

About the band

Ben&Ben is currently one of the most-streamed Filipino artists with dedicated fan bases across the world. To date, the fast-rising act has amassed more than 500 million streams on Spotify, over 3 million monthly listeners, and charted on the platform’s Top 50 with 9 songs simultaneously. They entered the Billboard Social 50 Chart, a popularity chart ranking the most active musical artists on the world’s leading social networking services, just two weeks ago and have already climbed to #29, ahead of Cardi B (#31) and Doja Cat (#32).

Ben&Ben consists of brothers Paolo Benjamin and Miguel Benjamin on acoustic guitars and vocals, Poch Barretto on electric guitar, Jam Villanueva on drums, Agnes Reoma on bass, Patricia Lasaten on keyboards, Toni Munoz and Andrew de Pano on percussions, and Keifer Cabugao on violin. Combining folk and indie music with pop sensibilities, they have redefined the mainstream music lane with a sound that bridges the musical traditions of the past with a contemporary touch. And this is what sets them apart from their peers: Ben&Ben creates a blueprint that makes intimacy feel big and expansive.

Last month, Ben&Ben joined 14 artists across Asia in the remake of Taiwanese superstar Eric Chou’s original track “Forever Beautiful,” as part of their efforts to express solidarity and support for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 27, they held a Facebook Live event for their COVID-19 donation site (www.puhon.ph), which garnered 2.2M views in the first 24 hours, surpassing the Facebook Live statistics of Latin Superstars Alejandro Sanz and Juanes. The donation site was created by Ben&Ben, Sony Music Philippines and other partners, with inspiring stories and messages of encouragement to frontliners. Puhon is a beautiful Visayan (Philippine dialect) word that means “hopefully” and is a famous lyric of Ben&Ben.

Ben&Ben was invited to perform at Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival 2019 and Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival 2020, and has graced Singapore’s Music Matters and Manila’s Wanderland Music & Arts Festival 2018 – where they co-headlined with international acts such as Lauv, Jhené Aiko, Kodaline and Daniel Caesar. In previous years, the prolific ensemble has performed in arenas and large-scale venues, most notably the Philippine Arena with a maximum capacity of 55,000, and other prominent events held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the MOA arena – both with more than 15,000 attendees.

With diverse musical influences that include The Carpenters, Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Bee Gees, Radwimps, Laura Marling, Bon Iver, Tom Misch, and Dave Matthews Band, to name a few, their songs paint an indelible portrait of a generation that knows their worth despite the brokenness inside, creating a connection between the personal and the universal.

Ben&Ben will continue to release music throughout 2020 and plan to tour their incredible live set again when possible.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

All Eyes on Ben&Ben’s upcoming new single and 2 music videos this month!

Ben&Ben is showing no signs of slowing down. In terms of consistency, the nine-piece outfit continues to break streaming records and dominate cultural conversation with releases that resonate with people from various walks of life.

Last January 2020 alone, the acclaimed folk-pop band won Wish FM’s Group of the Year and Urban Performance of the Year for their chart-topper “Pagtingin.” On top of this milestone, the band is currently at number one on Spotify Philippines Top 50, with their cover of “Make It With You.”

With overwhelming support from music fans and industry peers, there is no doubt that Ben&Ben is simply defining the times that we live in: the band pours their energy in uplifting our fellow countrymen with their brand of accessible but well-crafted music. “It really boils down to the heart behind the song,” Miguel Benjamin, vocalist and guitarist points out. “When a song is written as a vessel to carry a message that is beyond ego or prideful intent, and simply mirrors the feelings, experiences and lessons that come from a higher place, then somehow it may find its way from the artist’s soul to at least one other person’s heart, and that is always enough. We fully know that it isn’t up to us to produce these works out of our own will, but we are simply vessels for some greater message to fulfill itself through us.” Striking a balance between relatability and raw honesty, the band has managed to push things forward with songs that not only capture an emotional spectrum, but also throb at the core moment of one’s personal experience.

To give back to the community responsible for contributing to the group’s unrelenting success, the award-winning ensemble is releasing two new music videos from the best-selling full-length album, Limasawa Street and a brand new single this month, under Sony Music Philippines. “We just really wanted to put out new material that reflects the blissful and bittersweet experiences we’ve been through over the past few months, both visually and sonically,” Miguel Benjamin stresses. “All these we want to do for our fans, in the hopes that they get through whatever rough patch they are in. It was a spur of the moment decision, really. We felt that we owe it to them, cos they have been pouring out so much love for us in the past few months.”

In the next few weeks, Ben&Ben is set to debut the music videos of their hit songs “Fall” and “Masyado Pang Maaga”—directed by filmmakers Raymond Dacones and Jorel Lising, respectively. According to Miguel, the treatment for “Fall” represents them “as a band and the themes and moods” their art stands for, while “Masyado Pang Maaga,” depicts “a real story that most of us have found ourselves in at one point of our lives.” The talented musician-performer adds, “Both of them aim to paint a visual universe that is uniquely Ben&Ben, with whatever sabaw ideas we’ve come up with so far.”

As finale for the string of releases this month, Ben&Ben will be dropping the new single “Sa Susunod Na Habangbuhay” very soon. The Sindikato-managed outfit debuted a performance of the highly anticipated tune at the Samsung Awesome Concert last February 5, 2020, which trended on Twitter Philippines for several hours. “We don’t want to say much about it yet, but it’s our most personal, painful song so far,” says Paolo, the other half of the Benjamin brothers. “Miguel wrote and sung it, and we’re playing it in our live shows. We’ve heard that lots of videos of the live version are going around, and we find that super cool.”

Expect more surprises from Ben&Ben after February’s wave of releases. As Paolo puts it, “everything is outward at this point, and whatever outpour of energy we give out is not because we want the love to be given back, but because ours overflows.”

Band details and image provided in a recent press release.