ENCORE FEATURE: Jegs Benedict
January 30, 2019 Feather Casilan
Another rising band is in town! Get to know more about the band called Jegs Benedict through our exclusive interview with them right here.
Jegs Benedict is a folk-pop band who’s starting to make a name for themselves in the OPM scene. You could hear them giving quality music through energetic upbeat anthems to melodramatic ballads. The band treads between folk eccentricities and pop melodies. And with the ukulele, there’s always a hint of Hawaii beach vibes. Thus coining their music as “tropical folk”. Or as band member Danae says, “cutie pop” because of their cuteness!
They released their single ‘Desperately’ on November 2018. Check out its official lyric video right here!
What a great love song, right? I wish someone would sing this to me on Valentine’s Day… Kidding (or maybe not). It’s a song about the start of a relationship and you’re desperately in love that you can’t seem to last a day without seeing the person!
Getting to know the band!
It’s my favorite thing, you know. Getting to know the band and its members. That’s why having the exclusive interview with Jegs Benedict is such a great experience that I want to share with you all!
Jegs Benedict’s vocalist is Jegs Ocbina. He’s also the ukulelist and he writes most of the amazing songs for the band. Their bassist and backup vocalist is AJ Soliman, while Gerome Reyes is the band’s “cutie” drummer (he said so!). While the only girl in the band is Danae Atendido, keyboardist and backup vocalist.
The name “Jegs Benedict”
“Jegs” came from the name of their vocalist, and he explained to us why its “Jegs Benedict”!
So nagiisip ako that time ng something funny na pwede ko idagdag sa “Jegs…”. Since “eggs” rhymed with my name, I thought “Jegs Benedict” sounds interesting. And who doesn’t love breakfast, di ba? It was supposed to be my stage name kasi since I started Jegs Benedict as a solo project. Pero in the beginning pa lang, I also thought of it as a band name. And we stuck with it when we formed the band. -Jegs
The band’s journey!
Members of Jegs Benedict shared with us how they met and eventually formed their band. Read on and learn their story from the members themselves!
Jegs: I started Jegs Benedict as a solo project back in 2016. I used to go to a lot of open mics back then. Tapos, eventually, I became a part of an open mic community called “World Extravaganza”, organizing and hosting weekly open mics.
I heard that Jegs is promoting his band on Tinder lmao! Or is it Gerome? Hmmm…
AJ: Na-meet ko si Jegs around late 2016 sa Frank & Dean. He was co-hosting WorldEx that time and I signed up to perform. Hanggang sa isinama ko na din sa open mics yung band ko na Out of Order where I sing and play the bass. Tapos, I remember Jegs asking me if I’m interested to play bass for his songs.
Jegs: Ang galing kasi ni AJ. He’s the best bassist na kilala ko. Also, congratulations sa Out of Order for making it to Wanderband 2019 semifinals.
Gerome: Ako naman, I met Jegs and AJ sa Circuit Makati, for a Battle of the Bands na event, November 2017 yun. Jegs Benedict was a guest act and I was with a competing band.
AJ: Actually, kaming dalawa lang nun ni Jegs. After namin magperform, nilapitan kami ni Gerome.
Jegs: Yeah. Our percussionist back then had an emergency.
Gerome: Since they were looking for a drummer, I guess it was meant to happen that I play with them.
Jegs: Tapos, a few months later, we began looking for a keyboardist. Friends na kami noon ni Danae sa Facebook since parati siyang uma-attend ng events ng WorldEx. I usually do a background check kapag may nag-add sa Facebook. I saw some of her videos playing classical music on piano.
Danae: Nagulat na lang ako noon na bigla ako nilapitan ni Jegs, sa SaGuijo. Hindi kasi talaga ako tumutugtog ng pop music noon. Kaya pinag-isipan ko talagang mabuti.
Jegs: Um-oo din siya eventually.
Gerome: Si Danae yung naging icing on top, kumbaga.
Jegs: Yeah, and we played our first gig as a quartet sa Philippine Ukulele Festival, April last year. So I think that’s our official debut as a band. And the rest was history.
AJ: We’re also playing again this year’s Philippine Ukulele Festival on March 30 at Eton Centris.
Their great songs
This band doesn’t only have great talents and such quality music. But their songs are also meaningful. Talking about the faces of love, feminism, gender equality, mental health awareness, and more.
Jegs: Our songs are about a lot of things. It can be about love, infatuation and heartbreak. Like our songs ‘Desperately’ and ‘Sakali’.
Danae: Tapos may song din kami, yung ‘My Tsunami’, which is about strong independent women.
Jegs: Yeah. Most of our songs are inspired by personal experiences. Tapos siyempre, Feminism. Gender equality.
AJ: Favorite ko yung tungkol sa refugees, yung ‘The Point of No Return’.
Jegs: I wrote that one being inspired about war victims from Syria finding refuge and seeking for a new start in a different country.
Gerome: We also have ‘Curtains’ which is about overcoming mental illness.
Jegs: I’d like to think that songs can change the world and move mountains. Kahit paunti-unti lang, we’re raising awareness through music.
A lot of people listens and loves music. That’s why it can serve as a great tool to expressing important matters and raising awareness. Great job, Jegs Benedict for making sure that your music can serve an important purpose as well!
When asked how their music is different from other rising bands in the Philippine music scene, this is what the members shared.
Jegs: You don’t usually hear the ukulele as a primary instrument sa scene. And although there are also bands that do feature the instrument, they’re either too pop and forward or too obscure.
Danae: We try to stay in between.
Gerome: Also, we don’t just play happy and upbeat songs. We play ballads too.
Jegs: As we all know, the ukulele gets a bad rep as an instrument for quirky, whispery singers. Also, it’s notoriously associated with feel good music. We’re on a quest to prove that our sound is more than the stereotype. We can make people cry too kahit ukulele-driven yung sound namin.
Wow, this one is very insightful. I myself have no musical talents and I just love to listen. That’s why this input of the members really gave me more knowledge. Interviews can really pave way to learning new things!
Watch their performance of ‘The Point of Return’ right here!
Advice for aspiring artists
As promised, I would always ask solo artists or bands for any advice that they could give aspiring musicians out there. And here’s what Jegs Benedict’s inspiring words for you guys.
Danae: Manood kayo ng gigs. Support local music. You’ll never know kung sino ang mami-meet niyo sa gigs.
Gerome: Right! You have to show up and get yourself out there. Also, huwag kuha lang ng kuha ng gigs basta-basta. Pick gigs that will bring you forward.
Jegs: Yeah, I agree. It’s not about the number of gigs you play. Tapos, sa’ken, stay true to yourself and keep on writing songs. For every 10 bad songs, there might be 1 or 2 good songs there. Sulat lang ng sulat.
AJ: Hardwork pays off. Keep practicing.
Jegs Benedict gonna make waves!
Seems like this band should be watched out for! Because this 2019, Jegs Benedict will be releasing more amazing music. Hopefully, we’re gonna all get to listen to two new singles and even music videos! That’s why if I were you, I would like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and Instagram to be updated.
You should check out their Youtube channel and follow them on Spotify!
Are you on the lookout for Jegs Benedict? I know I am! Don’t forget to follow them on their social media platforms and listen to their music. Tell us what you think of this rising band in the comment section below. You can also send us a message on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh. We’d love to hear from you!