Ever in the mood for pop, R&B, hip-hop, and musical theatre all at once? No, I’m not talking about Hamilton. I’m talking about “Ashes” by Ben T Kadar, which squeezes a surprising amount of genres into one 3-minute and 6-second long song; also known as the solution to the next time you’re fiddling through your playlists not knowing what to play next.
As an absolute earworm of a tune, the catchy, poppy melody sings over a bed of string instruments, giving it a light and flowy feel. That’s juxtaposed with a hip-hop 808-style beat, modernizing its sound and leaning more into indie pop territory. Kadar’s background, which includes both classical theatre training and documented success in the Budapest club scene, all comes together here, melding two opposite sides of the music spectrum into one totally satisfying, off-kilter pop song.
The honest truth is that this song is an uplifting experience from start to finish. It feels like the adrenaline rush of hearing good news after being in a slump for a while, like the warmest day of the year after a cold winter. It’s a fresh take on indie pop, or really any genre for that matter. Ignited by the times we’re living in, it’s not a direct product of said times; it’s trendy without being uninspired, and it’s refreshing without being entirely out of left feel. Kadar is not reinventing the wheel here, but is instead dipping the wheel in solid gold.
Whether you’re driving with your friends and need a song to scream-sing along to, dancing in your kitchen, or just need a pick-me-up, this ray of sunshine song is going to make a home out of your “happy songs” playlist.
Ben T Kadar is a 25-year-old Hungarian singer/songwriter who started his pop music career in 2012 when he won the Voice of Danube Bend competition. Since then, he studied musical theatre at the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre, and began singing in an improvisational band called Seven Seconds in the Future. Continuing his career as a singer, he joined Boney M and Brad Vee Johnson’s vocal group, B&B Gospel Singers and in 2019 he was Childish Gambino’s vocal dub in Hungary’s version of Disney’s The Lion King.
Written by Jess Ward