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10 minutes with IV of Spades



Although they are all millennials, members of local funk group IV of Spades go for the vibe of the ’70s to the ’90s. Their retro sound and look have put them on top of the Spotify charts as of this writing.

IV of Spades (Photo by Daniel Joseph Aguilar) /mb.com.ph

IV of Spades (Photo by Daniel Joseph Aguilar)

They are 18-year-old lead guitarist Blaster Silonga, 17-year-old lead vocalist and guitarist Unique Salonga, 23-year-old drummer Badjao De Castro, and 20-year-old bassist and vocalist Zild Benitez.

In a recent interview, they said their four-year stint on the independent music scene has not been an easy ride. If they allowed it, some people would’ve altered each of their individuality.

“Ang eksena kasi ngayon, kailangan maging sellout ka in order to be recognized. Kailangan gawin mo ‘to, gawin mo ‘yan, na parang full of directions. Ang daming nagdidikta,” they said. “Pero ‘pag tiningnan mo naman ‘yung mga musical icons, they didn’t do anything to compromise.”

Fortunately, the band stood their ground seeing as “matigas ulo namin eh.”

IV of Spades knows half of their listeners are males. The band likes to think all their followers admire them for keeping it real, particularly “‘yung pagiging honest namin ‘yung nagdi-drive ng attention sa tao because we’re not trying to portray something na hindi kami ‘yun.”

Musical icon

The boys are thankful their respective family supports them. In fact, their parents heavily influenced their music being musicians themselves.

Blaster’s father is Allan Silonga, a member of Daddy’s Home of “X Factor Philippines” while Zild’s dad is Franklin Benitez, former drummer of ’90s group Hungry Young Poets. Unique and Badjao’s daddies are band guitarists in ’90s.

Although their parents are not active anymore, they’ve remained friends. One could say IV of Spades is continuing the legacy of their fathers.

Well, in terms of music, they do a mix of disco, classic rock, and hip-hop. But what is their favored genre, we asked. According to them, it’s hard to say as their music keeps evolving through the years. People hear that in their singles: 2016’s “Ilaw Sa Daan,” 2017’s “Where Have You Been, My Disco?,” and “Hey Barbara!,” and 2018’s “Mundo” offer different flavors from one another.

However, they started their music with “kinda dark” style. Their musical influences include American singer-songwriter Prince, King of Pop Michael Jackson and the iconic rock bands such as The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, and Two Door Cinema Club.

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