Foreign fan has Ben&Ben reflecting on band’s impact and where they need to go

MANILA — It looks like another fan has inspired pop collective Ben&Ben.

After a fan known as Anne Jou left heartfelt comments to the band’s video for “Pagtingin,” Ben&Ben was inspired to pen "Lifetime” to reflect the heartache of unrequited love.

Now, a male white fan who Ben&Ben co-vocalist and guitarist Miguel Guico believes to have been around Woodstock has given the band pause.

“We get comments also from international fans and we have to resort to Google translate to get a feel of what they are trying to say,” shared Guico during an interview last Saturday afternoon. “The fans say they discover our music through this channel and that. Now, there was this one particular comment from a fan that we didn’t expect.”

Continued Guico: “I think he is in his late-50s, maybe even more. A white guy who sounds like he was there when Woodstock (was the rage). The vibes I got from what he was saying — ‘your music speaks tell us what the earth is feeling or saying' — Woodstock na Woodstock! Malalim. He went on, ‘Thank you for music that speaks to me. When I discovered the music, it is something that moves to the earth.'”

“Nakaktuwa siya at nakataba ng puso,” summed up Guico for the rest of the band.

Whether this leads to a new song is anyone’s guess.

Ben&Ben has been at the forefront pushing Filipino music across international borders.

They got to work with acclaimed producer Steve Lilywhite for “Limasawa Street,” the title track of their debut album that came out two years ago.

When they topped South Korea’s most prominent music streaming site Melon in 2020, it led to the collaboration with Korean pop star Young K for a new version of Ben&Ben’s 2017 single, “Leaves.”

Now with the band ensconced in a home — for almost a year now — to record their second and yet unnamed album, Guico hinted that there are more collaborations to blow the minds of the most ardent of fans.

Whether there are more international acts is anyone’s guess. And yet, the band refused to rule it out.

“It is incredible that a band from this corner of the world is able to reach someone or audiences from Brazil, Korea, Taiwan, France, and elsewhere,” reflected Guico. “Hindi natin kalahi pero kalahi natin sila sa language ng music. It has been a dream to connect and messages like that from the mid-aged white man push us to be the best version of ourselves.”

Guico also said that the band will also look into releasing their music on vinyl for the first time.

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