Among many groups of singers trying to make it in the industry, Men of Manila introduces a fresh style to music lovers by singing old tunes in their modern renditions. This 12-member Filipino boy band doesn’t aim to have teenagers swooning for them, but instead to bring a sense of nostalgia to their listeners.
On July 26, Men of Manila officially debuted with their first public performance at the Face Body 2014 search at the Music Museum in San Juan City. Comprised of Jester Hernandez, Clark Merced, Imm Zaidi, Yano Gaspari, Arcel Delgado, Kurt Batacan, Nelson Valencia, Paolo Sta. Maria, Xen Monforte, Redjie Relucio, Lio Garci, and Gabriel Bayan, Men of Manila sang their unique takes on “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Every Breath You Take,” and “Anak.”
“Unlike other boy bands, our target audience is not teenagers but those who are in their mid-20s to late 30s kasi mas nakaka-relate sila sa music namin,” shared member Imm in an interview with The Manila Times after the concert.
He offered practicality in their choice of audience Imm added, “[In our opinion] teenagers don’t have the resource to buy tickets or merchandise, but the mid-20s to late 30s have all the time for watching shows like these.”
The members of Men of Manila come from different backgrounds and different part of the country. The youngest, Jester, just turned 17 years old, while the oldest is Lio, who is 24.
Some of these singers are fresh graduates, and the rest are still attending college.
Before their first concert, the boys trained together every weekend for six months. The sessions included personality development, and singing, and dancing instructions.
Spending so much time toge–ther, they now consider each other close friends who have a singular dream. To make it big as a group in the music industry.
They believe that their “unusual setup” of having too many members in their act does not lessen their chances for success.
“We look at it as an advantage. Marami kami, therefore maraming makaka-cover ng different ranges of voice,” Imm said.
Asked if they could compete with popular acts today, the group replied in the positive.
“Yes, with practice and the proper group attitude. We have the same dream and goal, kayang kaya naming makipagsabayan,” Arcel concluded.
Men of Manila has three music videos released to date for “Every Breath You Take,” “Something Stupid,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Their first original song is still in the works from an award-winning composer.