Written by: Helen Mary Labao / Photos by: Harvey Tobias
Ben&Ben would want us to sigh and feel things. Their songs are meant to accompany us in our personal journey. They also do not want their music to be pigeonholed into a single genre.
“It’s everything but it’s different… Personal siya sayo and personal din siya sa buhay nung nakikinig,” says Miguel, one of the Guico twins, during the #LimasawaStreetPressCon last May 10 at the Ayala Museum Glass Museum. They derived inspiration from an eclectic combination of sources – from good old Fleetwod Mac to Johnoy Danao to jazz classics.
Limasawa Street is the street of residence of Paolo’s girlfriend, Bea Lorenzo. But it also comes from the root word “masawa” which means “light,” the very specific thing the band wanted to share through their music.
“We are vessels of a message. What we do in Ben&Ben is for spreading messages… bring them somewhere na mas maliwanag, to help bring light to the lives of people,” Miguel explains further to members of the press during the launch.
The musical genius behind memorable lyrics such as “Iibig lang kapag handa, hindi na lang kung trip-trip lang,” was Paolo Benjamin. He deftly crafted this line on the carrier single Pagtingin. The song was created for 20 minutes during a convenience store trip. But beyond this carrier track,each song is crafted and deeply drawn from actual experiences. One track, Araw-araw, is about the beauty and hardship of really loving someone everyday. Another fascinating track is their collaboration with Ebe Dancel entitled Baka Sakali.
The album’s pre-order sold like pancakes, and apart from the local buzz, the band has gotten nods from international singers like John Mayer (who got first dibs on their album from their Hongkong rendezvous) and The Boyz KPOP group (who publicly acknowledged liking their song Maybe the Night).
When each band member was asked about their personal favorites from their album Limasawa Street, here are their answers:
- Agnes: Pagtingin
- Pat: Tala-arawan
- Keifer: Sampaguita
- Andrew: Araw-araw
- Toni: Sampaguita
- Paolo: Araw-araw
- Miguel: Pagtingin
- Potch: Araw-araw
- Jam: Limasawa Street
The music of Ben&Ben is not just a dormant track on a playlist. Even the album itself goes the extra mile to making the music lover more involved with their songs. They deliver a whole tactile experience with Limasawa Street. There is the boxed set that doubles as nightlamp, the iconic postcards that represent each song in the album, and the lyric sheet. They also decided to store the songs in a special flash drive that lights up in a lovely shade of blue when plugged so that their fans can enjoy it anywhere.
More albums will be coming soon as the band also signed up with Sony Music Philippines exclusively on the same day of the launch. Events virtuoso Gabi Na Naman Productions helped make the #LimasawaStreetPresscon happen at Ayala Museum. The album will also be available in Shopee starting May 31.
The Ayala Museum listening gallery setup is not the last live performance for this album promotion. It’s an experience that you can catch live on the following dates and venues: May 17 at Marquee Mall, May 19 at Harbor Point, June 9 at Centrio Mall, June 15 at Ayala Malls Capitol Central, June 22 at Ayala Malls Legazpi, June 23 at The District Imus, June 29 at Ayala Center Cebu, July 13 at Alabang Town Center, June 20 at Ayala Malls Circuit, June 27 at Ayala Malls Solenad, August 9 at TriNoma and August 17 at Abreeza. Albums will also be available at booths near the concierge from May 10 to 12 at the following Ayala Malls: Abreeza, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Malls Legaspi, MarQuee Mall, Solenad, and Trinoma.