This week I have had the pleasure of speaking with Essex-based singer-songwriter Ben Selleck. The primary school teacher lives with his fiancé and his two young children, and sees himself as a facilitator in music, helping to kick start their passion from an early age.
Spending all his spare time as part of tribute bands to the likes of The Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Queen and Elton John, Ben has extensive experience in a wide area of genres. However, throughout the lockdown period, Ben used the time to develop his writing and re-discover his love for country music.
Ever since Ben was a teenager, he has always loved singing and playing keyboard. When he was 15, he joined a rock band, playing music which had a soulful sound. However, at 25, the band split and which really knocked his confidence. It made him realise that he wanted to earn money through music but was unsure as to what context that would be in. Back in 2009 Ben found the courage to try out for the X Factor, making it through to Boot Camp. This experience showed Ben he wasn’t after the ‘Star’ persona that came with the show, and that he is a self-confessed introvert until he is on the stage. Whilst talking, we discovered that we both have a love for songwriting and the intricacies that go into creating lyrics that can speak to people on different levels. This has been a major influence in Ben’s life, Ben is now fully focused on his solo career in country music industry.
Ben grew up surrounded by music and uncovered a lot of influences based on the bands his parents used to listen to. Wet Wet Wet were the ultimate (guilty pleasure) band for Ben, offering something different with their sound. His dad was a huge fan of country music and listened to the likes of The Eagles, Garth Brooks and Randy Travis to name a few. While developing his own musical tastes, Ben was drawn to Rascal Flatts and Chris Young. Ben says "Chris’ deep raspy voice is like chocolate" and I would have to agree. While at C2C Festival, Ben caught Brothers Osbourne playing and was blown away by their sound, the rocky guitar riffs and their songwriting. This is what Ben hopes to take forward in his own music.
Although a very broad question, when asked ‘What do you wish to achieve?’ Ben had a relatively simple answer - "To release as much music as possible!" Looking at the long term plan, Ben wants to take his music out on the road. He already has half a band ready to go and plans on taking other solo artists with him. He is very open to working with people, be it co-writing or sharing the stage and also has plans on updating his YouTube channel and starting his own Twitch stream (instead of just watching!).
As a brand new artist, Ben hasn’t had quite the same lockdown experience as other artists. As a teacher, he has been kept busy, looking after key workers children and setting class plans which he felt mage a huge difference to his usual day to day working life. Having a 4 year old to homeschool as well as a toddler to look after also came with it’s unique challenges. Regardless of this, Ben was able to re-discover his love for country music and focus on getting back to songwriting. He has recorded an albums worth of demo material and already has his next single lined up after ‘Different sides (of the same coin)’. This time has allowed him to get creative and experiment with his songwriting.
When asked about his songwriting process, Ben explained that he likes to keep it simple, going back through and changing it up to develop those intricacies, building on the foundations. He likes to write fun songs that people can relate too, but not necessarily about anything hard hitting. His debut single ‘Different sides (of the same coin)’ was inspired by redecorating his house whilst listening to a Podcast. His partner wanted him to do a few odd jobs around the house and he realised how different men and women can be (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus). He wrote the song about a fictional couple who are completely different people, but not really. On the surface they look like they have nothing in common but underneath it all, they have the same fundamentals, the same core beliefs and goals. The song talks about how they both want to listen to different types of music, which I think is something all us country fans can relate to! It's complemented by shades of humor and not taking itself too seriously, which I believe will become Ben’s signature style the more we get to know him.
We had already hit on what Ben wishes to achieve over the coming years but he has a plan already set up for the coming year. He plans on releasing a few singles before the album but honestly, I can't wait to hear what is next as his plans sound amazing!
Learn more about Ben:
Twitter - @BenSelleck
Instagram - @benselleckmusic
Facebook - @benselleckmusic