Boyce Avenue Talks About Their Songwriting Process, Most Requested Music, and More!

The Youtube stars are back in the country!

This Valentine's season, music sensation Boyce Avenue makes a comeback here in the country to bring us their beloved ballad takes on international kilig and sawi music.

The band made up of literal brothers Alejandro, Fabian, and Daniel Manzano from Florida, became Youtube stars with their lineup of song covers from a diverse pool of international artists, from the likes of Bruno Mars' Just The Way You Are to Rihanna's Umbrella. As of this writing, they've posted over 300 videos on their Youtube channel which now has 13.5 million subscribers.

Photo: Boyce Avenue website

The last time that the trio performed here was in 2018, with our very own Moira dela Torre, who even joined them for a duet of A Thousand Years. This year, Boyce Avenue will be joined by local acts December Avenue and I Belong To The Zoo at the Araneta Coliseum stage on February 16.

A few days before the concert, the band met with the local press to answer some of our questions regarding their music and their upcoming live performance. Here are some of their responses:

From left to right: Daniel, Alejandro, and Fabian Manzano.

Are you still in contact with Moira? Are you planning to collaborate?


Daniel: We really enjoyed meeting her. She's such a sweet heart. Unfortunately our schedule's really busy with this tour, and if we're having any free time we're actually trying to get together with the guys (December Avenue & I Belong to The Zoo) that we're gonna be playing with. We'd like to do something very special for everybody onstage if we can.
 

It's Valentine's season and Filipinos are hopeless romantics. What is your advice to people who are still looking for the one?

Alejandro: I think be true to yourself, and you have to listen to your own heart. I know a lot of times maybe your friends and family will have opinions on who you're with or who you should be with, and I think it's always fine to find that person in your own time.

Fabian: Yeah, and listen to our band [laughs]. Play our music on date night.

Alejandro: If you like Boyce Avenue and they don't, probably not the best person.

As brothers and professional musicians, how do you argue with each other?

Fabian & Daniel: Loudly.

Alejandro: Yeah. Thankfully, always with words. [There were] little scuffles when we were really young like nine years old or eleven years old. We wrestle and stuff. Ever since we've been teens and adults it's always been with words, it's like debating and stuff. I think as the years have gone on we don't argue as much, we just kind of respect what the other person brings to the band or to the relationship in general as brothers. So yeah, we pretty much get along with the most part. It's very rare that we fight these days.

Fabian: Such a stupid answer [laughs].
 

Have you ever taken a break, with all those [concerts], just to recharge?

Alejandro: I think what the difference is, [with us compared to other artists], I feel like we have a good balance. We tour often, but we always have a balance of home life and relaxing at home, in the studio, and stuff like that. I think by nature what we do is we'll make videos, go on tour, and make videos and we kind of keep going back and forth.

So it's a really cool thing when once we've done a very long tour and we're missing home, it always feels like it's nice to recharge our battery at home, be with family, but then also make videos. And then once we've made a bunch of videos, then we [just go back] on tour. We do that, so I think [it's a healthier] balance.
 

You've played with different music artists in the past, what do you think sets the Filipino artists apart from these artists?

Alejandro: I think somebody had kind of covered this earlier, that you guys are hopeless romantics and I have to believe that's why I feel that we connect to this country so much and why it's connected with us and our music. I feel like we've always been raised that way, as hopeless romantics.

Even if it's a sad song about love, we love that just as much as a pure ballad romantic song [about] the happy side of love. We've always been drawn, even in movies, to [love stories]. Like in The Office, we love the Jim and Pam storyline; in Friends, we love Friends but it feels like there was that core of Ross and Rachel. Silly as these examples are, we do love that romance and I feel like the artists here must have been raised in a similar way that we were or there's that same tie.

I feel like there's a reason that you guys love acoustic music too so much, where it kind of puts the lyric in the vocal front center. So at least with Moira, we noticed that when she performed it was very similar. I have a feeling it would be the same with [December Avenue and I Belong to The Zoo].

How do the three of you work together when writing your original songs?

Daniel: For the most part we work individually. We've had a few times [when there are] some songs that we co-write, but even then it's usually somebody writes a piece of it and then they present it to somebody else and they say "what do you think, do you have any ideas?" and then they may take it on their own.

First, songwriting is kind of an intimate, personal process, so the ideas would usually start with a person by themselves, with a piano or a guitar, and then once the idea is in place, then we're all pretty good about helping each other after that.
 

What do you consider as your most requested song?

Daniel: I think we disagree about this, but I think for me, it seems to be that [one song that] if we didn't play it, people would be most disappointed. If they seem relieved, like it worked out for them [and say] "Yes, they did it!" it would probably be Fast Car. And fortunately for us, we really really like playing that song.

Fabian: I think at this point, we have uploaded more than 270 covers or something insane. So we constantly run into people who are like "Oh, I loved your show. I wish you would've played this song" or whatever, but it's impossible to make everybody happy because with that many videos and each of them having very similar sort of views, you know, it's [almost] impossible to create a set list.

So we found, over the years, that there's a handful that really resonate with people. To be honest, I consider those our classic cover songs, yet it's so hard to choose which ones you end up playing live.

Besides the Boyce Avenue Live in Manila happening this February 16 at the Araneta Coliseum, the group will also be performing at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu this February 14 and at the SMX Convention Center in Davao this February 15. For tickets, you can check out the Ticketnet website or contact 8911-5555.

This concert has been made possible by Wilbros Live. For more updates on the big concerts happening here in the country, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For Boyce Avenue updates, check back on their official website or follow their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and subscribe to their Youtube channel.

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