ARTIST NAME: Benji Owen
SONG TITLE: Sail Away
ALBUM TITLE: Seed to Flower
RELEASE DATE: 03/05/2019
Benji is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Born in the UK and raised on the road…His debut E.P ‘Seed to Flower’ takes on the soul and simplicity of classic songwriters, such as Tim Buckley and Cat Stevens. Then combined with his epic production team, has produced a truly epic sound and heart-warming journey.
Discuss your singing ability.
During my youth, I developed my voice singing in church each Sunday! Trying out harmonies and falsetto, keeping hidden in the congregation… Later, as I began to write and become obsessed with music, singer-songwriters such as John Martyn and Ray LaMontagne, tore my voice in different directions to develop a more raspy and powerful style…
Tell us the reason you want to sing.
For me, to write and to sing, to express life – I am flying when I practice and when I perform.
Tell us your most memorable live performance.
One of my first big gigs back in 2012 in Birmingham O2 Arena, supporting a local ‘pop star’ – I walked on barefoot, in front of a crowd of young girls screaming and holding up iPads with comments such as ‘I love you’ and ‘I want to see you naked’ scribbled all over!.. It seemed, they wanted more than just the feet on the show! Although I played it coy at the time, I did enjoy the attention deep down!
Discuss how you build your songs.
It often begins with urging and desire to express something… Often in the morning after a coffee, I’ll go into a quiet space and jam on the guitar for a while. When truly inspired, chords appear within a short time and I trust in the feeling as much as possible…
Keeping myself in that space of no-mind and curiosity; I try to get the bulk of the song down in one session, then I will return to the new tune every day afterward and encourage the flow and purity of the song as best possible…
Tell us how you impress your fans with your music.
I have always dabbled with open-tunings and alternative techniques… Such as laying the guitar on my lap and using it as a drum while creating a melody simultaneously. This always seems to get people interested! I use this technique for ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Sun Shine Down’ on the new E.P.
More recently, I have been learning the didgeridoo, saxophone, and charango (a 10 string Ukulele). With these all combined on a loop station, I am creating some unique sounds to bring to the streets of Europe, as we head off busking this summer!
Discuss the relevance of promotion to the music business.
The music industry is an ever-changing beast! Currently, social media is the most powerful tool… as independent artists, we have to get our creations under the ears of new listeners. With the ever-increasing ease of producing high-quality music, the market saturates more and more. To be heard, it seems one needs to use promotion effectively, to get out there in all and each the way possible. I’m definitely still learning!
Tell us what you will do apart from music.
For the last seven years, I have been living and working in many different countries. Working random jobs such as in a traveling circus, a whitewater guide, an English teacher, in a peanut butter factory… I love new experiences and an adrenaline adventure or two!
My ideal day begins with half an hour on the didgeridoo to warm up, perhaps with some yoga practice! Then an hour or two of songwriting… Some surfing or a bike ride. With an hour of saxophone and some jamming with the missus later on!
List the names of the instruments you can play.
Currently, I am playing guitar, charango, percussion, saxophone, didgeridoo, and flute. I learned piano, bass, and trombone as a kid – Jack of all trades…hoping to master a few! 🙂
Tell us if you have any music background.
Nothing serious really! Piano lessons for four years… I learned from many hours spent jamming alone and with pals!
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist on entering the music chart.
Go for it… For me, I wish to keep my feet on the ground and keep focused on creating beautiful art!
Elaborate on melody and rhythm.
For me, Paul McCartney is the melody master. I love his sweet, smooth melodies that make me feel like a child, falling asleep to my mother’s lullaby again…
I let the rhythms flow through without much thought. A diverse music library keeps me inspires.
State your future goals.
To create beautiful art and develop my craft continuously. To live free, wild, and passionately. To love and be loved in return. (Yes, that’s from the Moulin Rouge).
Share your music experience with us.
‘The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.’
Inspiration is the call and consistent practice is the key.
Tell us the most difficult part of the recording.
Unlike my previous recording experiences, while recording this E.P. I had very little time pressure. I like to explore different alternatives, get creative and weird in the studio!
For me, I don’t perform great under stress, so don’t kill my vibe! Please.
Discuss the greatest mistake you have ever made in your music career.
I prefer to keep looking forward and see all mistakes as opportunities for growth. But, I will never drink too much Jägerbomb before a show again.
Tell us how you build up your composition.
Get friends to jam their ideas with me. Or when recording, I jam on top with any/all instruments within reach…
Discuss the relevance of relatability of the lyrics to the listeners.
Music is a connection, right? To the melody, the music, the lyrics. I love it when I can feel the passion and authenticity in the musician’s voice and lyrics. It means everything.
Elaborate on the song.
‘Sail Away,’ expresses that peculiar sensation of leaving and coming ‘home’ simultaneously. Desiring to pack up and leave on an impulse… That’s pretty much been my life over these last seven years… I love to vagabond and see what’s around the corner!
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
Well, my artist’s name is a pretty obvious one. Yes, it is my actual name. Well, okay, it’s Benjamin Joel Owen actually. But you can just call me Benji 😉
‘Seed to Flower’ sprung to mind, once I saw the artwork of my talented Chilean friend, Acacia. The seed, my parents and I planted with each piano class, note sung and a poem written. Through my life inspirations and consistent care, the seed has formed into a flower. The music, the songs, this E.P.