Yellow Cab So Worth It Spotlight:
Ben&Ben reveal the ingredients to creating musical magic
Ben&Ben’s indie-folk-pop sound has definitely struck a chord in the hearts of many people. You can be literally anywhere in the country and hear one of the band’s many well-loved tunes. Their song “Kathang Isip” received much critical acclaim, while songs such as “Leaves”, “Maybe the Night” and “Ride Home” are hits on both radio and Spotify for local audiences. They even created the song “Susi” for the soundtrack of the smash hit, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral last year. And this year the band played at the kick-off event of the So Worth It: The Yellow Cab Pizza Tour. While relatively young in the music scene, Ben&Ben has undeniably made their mark in the industry.
Ben&Ben is a close-knit group of friends who strove hard to reach their goals and dreams. Countless hours of songwriting, band practice, and mastering their musical instruments of choice has helped prepared the band for what they do today. When the band is not busy playing on stage or practicing, they take a break from their musical hustle and bustle to bond over a shared meal at Yellow Cab. “Sobrang favorite namin yun kumakain together because you get to share a lot of stories,” Paolo Guico explained. Speaking of stories, Ben&Ben’s isn’t one of overnight success. Their musical journey is made up of a lot of hustling, dedication, and late nights.
Hungry for the music
Before Ben&Ben, it was just The Benjamins in 2014—brothers Paolo Benjamin and Miguel Benjamin Guico—creating music. In 2016, The Benjamins wrote “Tinatangi”, which won Best Music Video and 2nd prize at the PhilPop Music Festival. Winning an award gave them the much needed boost, but the team refused to rest on their laurels. To even better themselves as musicians, the Guico brothers duo continued to make music, experiment, and collaborate.
They worked hard while making friends and meeting new band members along the way. A few months later, they gathered a group of musician-friends and released their first EP. Paolo, Miguel, and their friends did what was originally just a one night performance during the EP launch. But they had such a great time playing together that they just kept at it.
When they first started out, their kind of music wasn’t as popular in the country, so they played a lot of gigs to get their music out there. There weren’t many who were interested in their sound. And while this could be enough to dishearten any aspiring musician, the band persisted. Paolo said, “it wasn’t easy, especially during those first few months. It was just friendship, passion and hunger that drove us. Literal hunger. We would play all these gigs and there were nine of us, tapos minsan ang kita naming P500 lang—divided by nine!” Clearly, they weren’t for it for the monetary rewards.
They often played at bars until 3 am in the morning. The band members then had to wake up as early as 6 am the next day to go to school or work. It was a tough balancing act. Their schedule was extremely tiring and made them question their choices, but looking back, they realized that the support they got from each other, and their growing number of fans, was worth all the late nights and early mornings.
“We just had a feeling na kailangan namin siyang ituloy even if logic told us otherwise. You really do things for the love and the passion. We enjoyed the feeling of playing with each other and for our audience,” Paolo added. Today, Ben&Ben are so far from where they started.
Starting with just two members, the nine-man band is now composed of the two Guico brothers (the eponymous Ben&Ben), Poch Barretto, Keifer Cabugao, Patricia Lasaten, Toni Muñoz, Andrew de Pano, Agnes Reoma, and Jam Villanueva. Their love and hunger for music got them through the times when no one was listening. They continued to make good music with love and passion.
And just like good music, good food can fill you up and keep you going. Ben&Ben’s music show that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, in the same way that a Yellow Cab Pizza is more than just its individual ingredients. Just the right combination adds a different feel and flavor, improving the quality of art—and food.
Yellow Cab Pizza’s So Worth It Squad series is a celebration of dreamers, artists, hustlers, and believers. To read more stories of grit and hustle that are so worth it, visit: https://www.yellowcabpizza.com/soworthitsquad/