#BenchEveryday in the Life: Roberto Seña, Musician & Producer

Photography by Tarish Zamora
Styling and interview by Mags Ocampo
Intro by Neal P. Corpus

We go through our days in very different ways. Some of us wake up at the crack of dawn, while most of us would rather sleep in until noon. For the busy bees, breakfast is oftentimes optional, and coffee is not a requirement for all. People who work within industry — heck, even the same exact job — can completely have different days even with the same tasks at hand. It’s almost as unique as our fingerprints: our habits, personalities, and situations dictate how we go about our day. Sometimes its all the same day in, day out; sometimes every hour can be a surprise.

In this #BenchEveryday series, we get to know creative individuals from different walks of life, and capture what it’s like to live a day in their shoes. First up is Roberto Seña, frontman of band She’s Only Sixteen and a budding producer in his own right.

8:00 AM
Most days, Seña wakes up anywhere between 8 to 9 AM and consumes a handful of e-mails, text messages, and messenger notifications for breakfast. After attending to the needs of his clients and friends—or at least reading about those needs—he grabs some coffee, has a cigarette, takes a shower, and applies a good amount of Bench Argan Oil Age Defying Hair Treatment on his almost-bob. “It helps with my fly-aways,” he quips during our shoot.

10:00 AM
Working as an Associate Agency/Broadcast Producer under Just Add Water (JAW), Seña’s schedule varies on a daily basis depending on each project’s unique timetable. His main task is to oversee the production aspect of TVCs and RCs—from inception to airing—so the hours really can be grueling. “There are days where I don’t really have to go to Makati and answer emails from home, and there are times that I’m there for days on end from morning till night,” he explains. On most days he’s out of the house and on the road by 10AM.

When asked about his daily commute, he shares, “#ChooseYourAdventure is the motto. It varies on time and weather. Like everyone else living and working in Manila, it’s hell. I’ve been using Angkas especially when I am in a hurry. Of course, you have your standard Ubers, MRT, P2P buses, and jeeps, too.”

3:00 PM

When he isn’t in the studio, most of Seña’s day is spent walking. “Well, producers never really hang out at the office. You can find us at audio houses, prod houses, agencies and/or client’s offices. It’s a pretty mobile job. You can find me scrambling to answer emails in coffee shops around Makati as well,” he says.

Seña also shares that some of the best people he’s worked with are from Hit Productions—a studio he frequents in Makati—citing Tekken 7 tournaments in the studio’s pantry as a semi-regular bonding experience.

9:00 PM
As the frontman of a band, Seña’s days almost never end after he clocks out at JAW. There are still band practice sessions, gigs, and album preparations to be taken care of. “They groan at my schedule since it is almost unpredictable. We schedule practice late at night 9 or 10pm onwards and everyone comes in already tired from their respective days. But hey, we make it work.” A testament to the fact that She’s Only Sixteen’s set-up works? Their upcoming album, Whatever That Was, is coming out on September 30th.

It’s far from easy but a genuine love for music as a craft is what keeps Seña going — both at work and with his band. “I already loved it when I was younger. It’s pretty much my naked self when I write and I guess it’s catharsis. Primarily, that’s it. Now that I’m older, it’s also a nice form of escape. I appreciate it even more now because after a long week of work, i just feels great to play again. It’ll always be a release.” he tells us. “Plus, talent here is great. Other than creating or performing, I also like to work behind the scenes when it comes to getting artists together. Talent here is overflowing so it’s just so inspiring.”

On some days, Seña likes to unwind with a couple of drinks just like the rest of us. Although he’s been trying to avoid going out on weekdays, he shares, “[Where I go] depends on my mood though. If and when I do go out, you can find me at Mow’s watching stand-up comedy on Tuesdays or a bar like Bowery on Wednesdays. Though my go-to bar is this old bar in QC called Big Sky Mind or Big Sky for short. It’s open till around 6—a charming little back hole.”

Clothing credits:
Polo – Rafe x Bench
Embroidered Jacket & Heritage Tee – Bench
Bench Meets the Bench Design Awards 2017 Finalists