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Scout Friday Picks: Manila Magic

Scout Friday Picks: Manila Magic

For our May-June issue, we got to profile independent electronic pop duo Manila Magic, who consists of members Tim Marquez and Zild Benitez. During the interview, we learned quite a bunch of interesting trivia regarding their origins and music–like how their debut single “In the Night” was written while attempting to finish a bible study project, how both of them learned how to play various instruments from their families, and how both are also scholars studying music at the De La Salle College of St. Benilde.

Before Tim and Zild have even reached their early twenties, they’ve already become finalists for Wanderband and opened for international act BADBADNOTGOOD–proof of their talent. Famous for their distinct and fun, danceable sound, Manila Magic is practically bound to become your next favorite local artist, and it really doesn’t matter how young they are.

What songs have these guys been loving recently? Check out Manila Magic’s current favorite tracks:


Earth, Wind, and Fire – “September”

For me, this tune is the perfect example of a flawless song. Each melody was placed perfectly from vocals to guitars to the brass, bass lines, and drums. Everything about it is perfect. I can say it’s my favorite song in the entire world filled with amazing songs.

George Duke – “Reach Out”

This tune is the one that inspired me to really dive into the synth world. Though it’s not really a synth-driven track, George’s solo on the 12′ version really opened my eyes to the infinite possibilities of the synth. Also, it’s just really an amazing track.

Toto – “I’ll Be Over You”

The lyrical concept of this tune is perfect for people who are trying to move on…so it’s perfect for me. I don’t know, I always go back to this track whenever I feel the “feels.” I really love Jeff Porcaro’s groove in this one. It’s one of my favorites. It’s so simple but it’s so effective. This song will forever be in my heart.

no rome – “Seventeen”

I remember the first time I heard this track. I was blown away. I was addicted to this for like a week. Also, I really love the production on this tune. His voice, synth patches, and melodies really fit well. It’s so nostalgic, it makes me wish I was 17 even though I just turned 18. I’m so proud of this guy and his accomplishments. Can’t wait for more of his tunes.

Relient K – “Candlelight”

I know summer is ending but every time I listen to this I feel like the sun is shining its brightest and I’m on my way to Tagaytay or just road tripping. Been listening to this band for as long as I could remember and it took me forever to pick a favorite track from them. But this track truly reminds of someone, I guess. Someone that outshines anyone that might care to bask in the same candlelight (listen to the song you’ll know what I’m talking about.)


Prince – “Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

This is a song with very simple yet romantic lyrical content. If you notice that most of the songs that I’ve written has a falsetto chorus on it, it is because I am a fan of artists who use the falsetto technique in their big choruses. It just gives some soft magical feeling to a song that takes you elsewhere.

Bee Gees – “Night Fever”

I’m a fan of ‘70s music and as I have said, I love songs with big choruses. This song just makes me dance and I think I don’t have to explain it further.

Bon Iver – “8”

The first line of this song (“Philosophize your figure…”) has made my eyes sweaty once when I was on my way home in the expressway while looking at the vast horizon as I perceive my own contemplation. I had this struggle of pursuing the peak of eccentricity that in some point, it made me forget my own figure. I am a fan of his album For Emma and Bon Iver, Bon Iver. This song would be probably my favorite from his latest album.

Half Moon Run – “Full Circle”

I have this deep affection for songs with a bunch of symbolisms and metaphors. For me, the melody, lyrics, production, and voice are perfect for the motif of the song. This song has really inspired me to do songwriting and treat creating music as if I’m creating another life.

Clara Benin – “Tila” (originally by Side A)

Clara has the perfect soul for this song. The lyrics have beautiful metaphors using our own Filipino language and for me, every word just sounds more romantic if the metaphors were used in Filipino. I would describe this as a song filled with nature and love. (Go local music!)


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Photos by JL Javier



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