‘Parang magtotropa’: Paolo Benjamin of Ben&Ben details ‘MAPA’ collaboration with SB19

June 29, 2021 - 12:53 PM
Ben&Ben, SB19
A group shot of two award-winning Filipino groups Ben&Ben and SB19 (Ben&Ben/Facebook)

Paolo Benjamin of Ben&Ben described working with acclaimed Pinoy band SB19 as “tropa-like” on social media following the successful release of the group’s version of “MAPA.”

Their collaboration track and music video of “MAPA” was released on Sunday, June 27.

Members of both groups felt “chemistry” during the shooting of their music video at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila, Benjamin recalled in a post on Monday.


He shared that while they were only able to hang out for a while, it seemed they had been friends or “tropa” for a long time.

“Tapos nung shoot ng MAPA sa Metropolitan Theater, parang magtotropa na kami. Saglit lang kami magkasama, pero parang ang tagal nang magkakakilala,” Benjamin said.

“Parang may chemistry ba. Ganun siguro pag soulmate. Jk (laughing emoji) Pero seryoso. Kahit magkakaiba kami ng tunog, personality at porma, iba yung samahan na hatid ng musika,” he added.

Benjamin further shared how comfortable and smooth sailing the collaboration Ben&Ben had with the five-member boy band went despite the differences in their personalities.

“Nung nakasama namin sila sa Ben&Ben House para sa collab, sobrang chill at kalog lang din talaga nila, kaya sobrang gaan agad nung vibe. Kwentuhan tungkol sa pamilya, mga pangarap, mga struggle, at mga kung anu-anong trip lang. Dun mo talaga makikilala yung puso nila, at malalaman mong mga totoo silang tao na may mga totoong pinagdaanan at pangarap na gustong patunguhan,” Benjamin said.

“Kahit sobrang magkaiba kami (introvert kami, tas siyempre ang astig nila), nasakyan agad namin trip ng isa’t isa,” he added.

Benjamin specified that the member he became close with was Pablo. He even shared a selfie with the SB19 member and posted it on Instagram.

Behind-the-scene photos and still images of the music video production were also shared on the folk band’s Facebook page.

The band version of “MAPA” topped the iTunes charts in three countries after 24 hours of its release, according to Sony Music Philippines.

These countries are the Philippines, Qatar and the United States.

As of writing, the music video of the band version earned more than 1 million views on YouTube.

Learned a lot from each other

Meanwhile, in his post, Benjamin shared that they learned a lot from each other during the collaboration. He also expressed how impressed he was with SB19 as great musicians and good people.

“Ang dami naming natutunan mula sa kanila, at nainspire kaming pagbutihin pa as artists, musicians, at as people. Napakalayo pa ng daang tatahakin namin bilang banda, at ang dami pang learnings at growth, pero kapag napapaligiran ka ng mga nakakainspire na grupo tulad ng SB19, patuloy lang talaga!” Benjamin said.

Roslyn Pineda, Sony Music’s general manager in the Philippines and vice president of the Business Development in Asia, previously disclosed that there was a public clamor for both groups to collaborate since last year.

“It was wonderful for us to see SB19 and Ben&Ben get along so well.  And when they performed together on one stage, I don’t think anyone could deny—it was pure magic!” Pineda said in a statement.

Pineda also took pride in shooting the video at a historical site.

“Apparently, it’s the only existing art deco building of its size and integrity in Asia. So to have SB19 and Ben&Ben be the first artists to grace this iconic venue after six years of restoration is nothing short of a groundbreaking cultural moment,” she said.

SB19 released the rousing ballad “MAPA” last month.

The title of the track is a Filipino term that translates to “map” in English, is a portmanteau of “mama” and “papa.” It was written to honor their parents, who directed their lives every time they feel lost and in need of a north star.

RELATED: SB19 dedicates new single ‘MAPA’ to parents