The unrivaled voice behind the devastatingly soothing and heart-wrenching ballads ‘Let Me Down Slowly’, ‘If We Have Each Other’, along with his new single ‘Death of a Hero’, rising sensation Alec Benjamin sat down with us here at FIB in the midst of his Australian promotional tour.
An emerging force in indie-pop that has been tied to the conquering likes of Shawn Mendes and Troye Sivan, Alec Benjamin has been dubbed a lot of things since the start of his career six years ago. A narrator, a DIY artist, an underdog. Whilst all the labels attached to the 24-year-old, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, are all flattering testaments to his rooted artistry and incomparable song-writing capabilities, Benjamin is now cementing his status as a story-teller for a new generation of music lovers, hungry for refreshingly real stories; “I’m excited to get the songs out to anybody that wants to listen”, the LA-based singer stated.
Trackback six years ago – Alec was signed then dropped from his first label. What would have been a sign of definite defeat for many ignited a striking display of integrity and perseverance in Benjamin. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a repertoire of provoking melodies, Benjamin gradually cultivated attention for his D.I.Y ethos, as the young singer-songwriter performed pop-up parking show gigs outside Shawn Mendes shows.
From this, Benjamin organically obtained the underdog status. When asked about what it’s like to be deemed an underdog, Benjamin did admit to morphing into the archetype through his own journey in the music industry and the inevitable roadblocks it presents; “Right now I feel like an underdog because people aren’t really listening to singer-songwriters, especially in the US. It’s mostly hip-hop music, so if you’re making any other kind of music it’s difficult to be heard”, further adding; “ I feel like for a long time I’ve been trying to knock down peoples doors and be like can you listen to my music and hear what I have to say and I feel like people are finally starting to listen to me”.
If you do a quick search on YouTube and ease into one of Alec’s stirring tracks, you’ll find yourself sinking into a string of beautifully orchestrated lyrics that are both vividly descriptive with hints of darkness. But Alec doesn’t fear the darkness, but rather embraces it wholly. I had to ask if all the lyrics were purely non-fictional, as the stories he narrates are simply elated with unbelievable heart, he went on to explain; “All of it is based on my life but some of it you can embellish a little. But all of these things that I write about stem from like a place in my life that is true”. One would presume due to the entirely authentic nature of his songs that the lyrics would flow right into his phone notes, however, it isn’t that simple, as he then revealed; “I think it makes it harder, but I think it makes it more real when it connects with people.” And no doubt it has, with hundreds of comments on his YouTube videos, with millions of views, detailing the impact and resonance Alec has created with his tender melancholy songs.
Taking listeners through an immersive journey into real-world problems, relationships, and lessons- it’s a continuous endeavour into honesty and creative freedom for Benjamin. There isn’t one verse nor chorus void of utter vulnerability and sweet sincerity that provoke both emotions and thought. Unlike most of the over-saturated, bubble-gum pop pumped into our cultural sphere, Benjamin garners indisputable rawness in his mission to produce songs that are one thing: relateable, as he elaborated;
“The cool thing about stories is that you can talk about real things, and you don’t have to preach. You can just be like this Is what happened to me, take it any way you want It….I hope that people can listen to the stories that I’m telling and can relate it to their lives in some way”.
Both telling and touching, Alec Benjamin is a pure wordsmith constantly unraveling his sonic poetry to anyone wanting to listen. Listen to Alec’s new single about an idol who let him down, ‘Death of A Hero’ here, and watch the new music video for ‘If We Have Each Other here.
What are your thoughts on Alec Benjamin’s emotive songs? Tell us in the comments below.