BINI on Ambition, Teamwork, and the Stories Behind Their Music
P-pop stars BINI open up about the past and future of the group, favorite lyrics, and much more!
For those who have not yet heard your music, how would you describe it to them? How would you finish the sentence "BINI is ___” or "BINI's music is ____”?
AIAH: “BINI is life. BINI’s music is growing and evolving.” BINI is life for us because this [has] taught us a lot, not limited to developing our skills, but also our values and ethics. In terms of our music, we are constantly aiming for growth and improvement.
What special skills or traits does each member add to BINI?
COLET: I am strong-willed and very passionate about my [and] our career. I value hard work and always try to seek perfection. This trait has served me well. I really want our group to do great, so I always try to communicate with the members about our weaknesses as individuals and as a group. I do not only want to be the best, I want others to be the best too. We are a team, and no one should be left behind.
Please share some information about each of these songs:
MALOI: “Lagi” is a Tagalog song that represents the feeling of being in love, when you’re on Cloud Nine and you’re feeling butterflies in your stomach. It is a song that many people can relate to, especially the youth. “Lagi” is part of our sophomore album, Feel Good. It was written by Sir Louie Martin Canaria and produced by Sir Jonathan Manalo under Star Music. We really had fun recording this song, because it is like the “sibling” of “Na Na Na,” our song from our first album that has gone viral on TikTok. Both songs portray the feeling of being in love. When we shot the music video, it was our first time going to the Dessert Museum, a themed venue where the decorations were all our favorite desserts. We were all excited! It was also our first time [having] a “leading man” in a music video. When it was not our turn to shoot, we just had fun playing around the museum. It was really fun [and] did not feel like work at all.
“Born To Win”
MALOI: “Born To Win” is our debut single. It is our first original song, written by Eva Louhivouri, Maynine, RYVNG, and Sophiya and produced by Star Music. We spent a lot of time learning this song. We made a lot of memories with this song, as we performed it so many times. We made it different every time by adding some ad-libs or dance breaks. This song brings a nostalgic feeling every time we listen to it. When we were learning [the dance routine], we had to perform it ten consecutive times for muscle memory and to remember every detail. In our voice class, we [ran] it part by part, again and again, so we [could] sing it perfectly and naturally.
It was a two-day music video shoot with both indoor and outdoor locations. It [was] also our first time meeting YouMeUs, the team behind [the video]. The setup was really amazing. You [could] really tell that they put a lot of effort [into] building that set. For our outdoor shoot, we had to go to a quarry in Rizal, a province east of Manila. It was so beautiful! It was our first time going to that kind of place, and the concept of “Born To Win” really [suited it]. [The video] made a [big] impact and [got] reactions from both Filipino and international [viewers]. It got good reviews and introduced us to a lot of viewers. We will forever be joyful performing this song, as it is where we started.
GWEN: “Strings” is our comeback song [from when] where we were able to show the fierce side of BINI. I was really excited when I heard the final mix of this song, because it was actually so different from what we heard [in] the early listening sessions. I had fun shooting our music video, because our adopted stray cat, Lingling, was with us.
There was a part of the music video where we had to wear a harness, and that challenged me the most, because I have a fear of heights. “Strings” in general is a really challenging piece for us, because of its powerful choreography and vocals.
“I Feel Good”
GWEN: “I Feel Good” is inspired by our previous songs “Na Na Na” and “Lagi.” That’s why we call them sibling songs. They give the same vibe, which is very light and charming. During the music video shoot, we were playing and really just enjoying ourselves.
Do you have a personal favorite lyric from a BINI song? Mine is "love yourself first, before this all hurts”!
STACEY: My favorite lyrics from BINI is “Yeah I feel good, wag na wag nang mahihiwalay, ‘di ko maintindihan feels like a rainbow in the sky” (“I feel good, let’s not part. I can’t explain, but it feels like a rainbow in the sky”). Whenever I remember how blessed we are as a group, it makes me happy!
MALOI: My favorite lines are ones from “8” that COLET wrote: “Laging pinanghahawakan, lahat ng dinaanan, at ang pangakong walo hanggang dulo” (“Despite the many trials along the way, we will hold on to our promise of remaining as eight”). It is very close to our hearts, because COLET wrote it about our group, what we went through when we started working hard for our dreams, and staying together no matter what.
AIAH: My favorite line is “Baby, you were born to win!” It is such a powerful line that says despite our imperfections, we should embrace them and seek to become the perfect versions of ourselves.
Do you feel pressure to represent P-pop to the world in a certain way? If so, how do you deal with that pressure?
MIKHA: We definitely do feel the pressure, because we are considered one of the first P-pop girl groups locally and, hopefully soon, even internationally. But as we always say, we choose to take that pressure and use it as motivation for us to be even better. Our goal is to surpass our own standards and really just show the different sides and talents of the P-pop industry.
Since you've been involved in "Happy Hallyu Day" events, does K-pop influence your own music? Do you see similarities between the appeal of K-pop and P-pop?
JHOANNA: I see similarities between the appeal of K-pop and P-pop in how we perform, the training process, the hard work, and the passion. What sets us apart from them is how we make our own music. We make sure that we highlight the uniqueness and talent of the Filipinos or Filipino values. I think there is nothing wrong with getting inspiration, as long as it helps to motivate us and make us better performers.
What were your experiences like in Star Hunt Academy? What were the biggest lessons or skills you took from that training period?
SHEENA: Our whole Star Hunt Academy experience was memorable and special for us. Everything was a first: first time away from our parents, first time living alone with different kinds of people... The biggest [lesson was] how to adapt to different personalities and [use] teamwork in everything. Aside from gaining skills in performing, we really truly gained a family in our members, staff, and coaches.
What are the biggest pros and cons of being in a group with so many members?
JHOANNA: The biggest pro is that you have seven sisters you can count on whenever you need a shoulder to cry on. There will always be an ear that will be willing to listen to you and empathize with you.
SHEENA: The greatest con is sharing one bathroom! You have to be systematic about it for sure!
Do you have New Year’s resolutions for 2023, personally or professionally?
COLET: For BINI, we hope to continue making great music that will transcend generations and cultures. We hope to be more resilient and patient when things don't always go our way.
AIAH: Since I am in college already, I hope to maintain a good work/life balance and have enough time for my studies. I hope to better balance work with my school schedules and have time for the extracurricular activities that I enjoy doing, like crafting!
What are your long-term goals for BINI?
MIKHA: We hope that several years from now, we will have traveled the whole world and are able to perform in sold-out stadiums!
JHOANNA: I hope we will still be together as a group but will also have opportunities to pursue our individual interests.
Do you have a message for your fans or anything else you want to say about your music?
STACEY: We are always grateful to have our BLOOMS, some of whom have been with us since our trainee days. We say it often and we mean it when we say that we are thankful for their support, because without them, BINI would not be here. Their support means the world to us!
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity. Photo credit: Instagram.