ALEC BENJAMIN INTERVIEW
Arizona native Alec Benjamin is extremely humble. Talking to the 24-year-old over the phone, he’s so kind and humble you would never guess that the singer-songwriter is behind a viral Youtube video and millions of Spotify streams; he’s just Alec and he’s stoked to have a chat.
“I don't know what I was doing before music. I'm so passionate about music now, that I can't even remember what it was like when I didn't have music,” he begins.
“It's kind of become everything to me. It's kind of weird. It's a good thing and a bad thing, because everything that I am is wrapped up in music. So, sometimes when things aren't going so well, that becomes hard, too. Yeah, I can't see myself doing anything else. I think before music I didn't even know what I wanted to do.”
The singer has been releasing a steady stream of singles since 2013, cultivating a catalog of original music. Despite being a star on the rise, Benjamin is determined to stay grounded.
“I had been signed once before and I think, at that time I was like, "Yeah, this is it. I'm gonna be a star" and then I got dropped, and at that moment, I was kind of like, "Whoa. I can't take anything for granted, and I have to just keep moving."
“I can’t have a negative attitude, then that doesn't get me anywhere. There's a lot of things that I don't necessarily feel positive about sometimes, but I always just try to."
“You can put a positive spin on anything, and the fact of the matter is I am where I am, and I can't change that. So, I've just got to find the good in everything, if I can. Makes life easier."
Moving forward for Benjamin means talking a firm DIY approach with the artist making his own opportunities within the industry, even going as far as setting up shop outside Shawn Mendes gigs.
“I always wanted to open up for another artist, because I love performing. And then, I never really got any of those opening gigs, so I was like, you know what, forget that. I'll just go print out a million cards at Staples, and go on the street and sing for their crowd outside the venue, because it's the same kids outside that it is inside."
“So it wasn't so hard, once I figured that out. Well yeah, it was hard. It was hard. It's always hard to get people's attention. There's a lot of music coming out all the time, so it's been tough, and I'm still working on it.”
And working on it, he is, with such a huge variety of music already living in the world, what will an Alec Benjamin album look like?
“Ultimately, I would like to have a full album or project or whatever that all these songs that I've written during this period can live together on,” he says.
“It will definitely have a lot of fresh stuff, but it might be a few of the songs that I've been putting out like "Let Me Down Slowly" and then a couple of these, like "The Boy in the Bubble" will be on there too.”
As an artist who has had to fight every step of the way to get his foot through the door, Benjamin has some simple advice for kids that might want to follow in his footsteps.
I would give two pieces of advice. I would say my first piece of advice is, "Take my advice with a grain of salt, 'cause I'm still figuring stuff out," Benjamin laughs.
“But I would say, just write a lot of songs. Songs are the most important thing. That's the currency, is music, so just keep making music."