WATCH: Ben&Ben, Indonesia's Pamungkas team up for 'Stand By You'

Rick Olivares

Posted at Aug 12 2022 06:00 PM

Members of Ben&Ben pose with Indonesia’s Pamungkas
Members of Ben&Ben pose with Indonesia’s Pamungkas

The way the rain was lashing down on that Friday, August 5; it was as if the wrath of God was headed for Metro Manila. Inside SoundCheck Studios in Pasig City, Ben&Ben and Indonesian music artist Pamungkas were oblivious to the torrent outside.

Both Ben&Ben and Pamungkas were engaged in a jam session in preparation for a unique collaboration. One where they would record an English translation of Ben&Ben’s 2022 hit “Paninindigan Kita” that was re-titled “Stand By You” for a music video. 

“It is a very chill collaboration, actually,” summed up Miguel Guico of Ben&Ben. “Collaboration is a new term for friendship. It is not going to work if you do not hang out and connect as people. And when we hung out, we realized we had more in common with them and Pamungkas is really laid back and cool as a person.”

Added Miguel Guico, “The simple creative brief was to shoot something. It started out with the idea that we’d record songs from each other’s repertoire, but it changed as we discussed the collaboration. When we sent the English translation of ‘Paninindigan Kita’, he came back to us with a re-written version by adding new lyrics.”

“First time kami naka-experience nito and it stuck with us. When we got the re-worked lyrics, we edited it, and it became a true collaboration. And when we perform together, enjoy kami.”

“Para akong tumutugtog sa ibang banda,” gushed keyboardist Patricia Lasaten. “Now it is a mega-band.”

Aside from Ben&Ben (that was without guitarist Poch Barretto, drummer Jam Villanueva, and percussionist Andrew de Pano who were all indisposed), Pamungkas brought over his entire band that totaled six members.

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“It was refreshing to play others where we communicated not by words, but through music,” added Ben&Ben bassist Agnes Reoma.

“This is a great experience for me because aside from the collaboration, I get to learn from the Philippines’ best,” said Pamungkas, whose full name is Rizki Rahmahadian Pamungkas. “Rain or shine, too.”

The 29-year old Indonesian is one of the most popular pop artists in his country, with numerous awards under his belt. 

His hit single “To The Bone” was a huge regional success, topping Spotify Indonesia Top 50 charts for several weeks and peaking at No. 5 on Spotify Philippines Top 50 charts last year. The song also performed well commercially in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Pamungkas is currently headlining his own Southeast Asian tour to promote his fourth studio album, Birdy.

The music video was also taped on the same day and one day before their sold-out show at 123 Block in Mandaluyong City. 

“Stand By You” is the first of the two-part collaboration between the prolific and award-winning Asian artists. They’re also set to release the performance video of “I Got To Get You” soon.

According to Miguel Guico, they have still yet to decide whether the song will be officially released as a single. But for now, it is a music video collaboration.

Ben&Ben is set to conquer the international stage with their first North American tour, performing in iconic and key venues across nine cities in the US and Canada.

They’re also gearing up with the release of their new international single this month—ahead of their send-off concert on September 3 at the CCP Open Grounds. That concert is the first-ever collaboration between Ben&Ben and Ovation Productions.