We got the chance to go one-on-one with the up-and-coming Australian artist, Benji Lewis! We asked him a few questions about his music, inspiration & process, and about his upcoming performances. We hope you enjoy this interview and follow and take a listen to Benji!
Unheard Gems: Just to get to know your background story, can you tell us a bit about yourself and when and how you first knew you wanted to pursue music?
Benji: Ok, well since I was a kid I was always singing and humming. Also having two parents who were singers as well meant having all kinds of music being played around me, and any singing and dancing was plenty of fun and always encouraged. I always enjoyed music and was drawn to singing, it was my dream to do it since I was young. Along the way I had scholarships offered, vocal coaches scouting me and doors and opportunities open as I went forward, getting more serious over the last few years, in creating my own material, expanding my team and really making things happen. So really it was always my dream, but I became more focused and determined in making it a reality, a career of it.
Unheard Gems: Can you give us a bit of insight to you now as an artist? How would you describe your music and style?
Benji: For me, I love music that moves you, takes you away to somewhere else. And I think what does that, especially for me, are acoustic instruments like a beautiful piano. Then bringing vocals filled with truth and emotion to that. So with my music I like to bring that beauty and emotion into today’s pop and electronic music.
Unheard Gems: Your music is absolutely beautiful, what inspires you to write and what is your process like?
Benji: When I write I don’t like to think about it too much. The music needs to make me feel something. I need to connect with it to even want to write to it. As soon as ideas start to come, melodies and lyrics naturally from me, that’s when I know we are onto something. I just let whatever flows come out, I record ideas, write down words and then go from there. So all my material tends to be right from the heart and also I guess gathered thoughts from my conscious and subconscious mind. I do usually end up writing a lot about love and relationships and everything before, after and between.
I was challenged recently by a friend/writer in LA to write differently, where he didn’t want the song to be about love or something of that kind coming to an end. He was after something more abstract, I’ve gotta say it wasn’t easy, I had to push myself and my mind to move away from that place. And the end product was still so beautiful, but different. Looking forward to that ones possible release and exploring with plenty more writing sessions this year.
Unheard Gems: Have you had a favourite song to work on? Why? (the song does not have to be a traditional favourite, it can just be a song that has meant the most to you or was the most powerful to write etc.)
Benji: I would say the one that comes to mind is a new one that is on the new EP coming out later this year. It is the closing track, won’t give away the title just yet. But it is definitely a very real song for me right now. In moving forward. There are 3 or 4 different melody parts in there, I am so proud of the bridge, all the emotion and the space. This was all done with Golden Vessel.
Unheard Gems: You recently collaborated with another artist , Golden Vessel, on your new song “Deep Blue”, what was that process like and can you tell us a bit about that song and story?
Benji: Working with Max aka Golden Vessel comes very natural now. As this is the second EP I’ve done with him, and for a reason. We work really well together, and songs come really quickly, we bounce ideas off each other and are really honest about what we like and don’t like as we create.
With Deep Blue it was the third song we were working on, the first day of writing for this EP. It came about very similar to a song I did with Max as well, Drift. He was playing around with some beats and instrumental ideas when all these vocal melodies and lyrics started flowing, so I had my iPhone recording the ideas and from there, in about an hour or two it was written.
Deep Blue is about finding yourself in a familiar space, where you need to let loose again, and feel free. It’s about wanting real love, with someone who is honest, trustworthy and worth your time.
Unheard Gems: What about new music? Anything we should keep and ear and an eye out for?
Benji: Yes, well having just dropped my new single Deep Blue. That is the focus right now, and I am super excited about getting this one out. It has all the usual vibes of my music in there, with a nice amount of different as well, I like it. But definitely have more coming. This is the first single off my next EP Together Apart, which will be coming out later this year. And before the full EP release, I think we’ll drop another single. Definitely keep any eye out on my socials.
Unheard Gems: Also you have several performances coming up! Congrats! Are you excited or nervous about performing live and what do you think is going to be the most fun or exciting about it?
Benji: I am actually really excited and ready to be out there performing live more. I mean I do get in my head a little usually leading up to a show day. But once I am playing and singing, connecting with an audience. It is something so special, and I feel so lucky to be able to do it and give something of myself like that, that people can connect with and relate to.
Unheard Gems: Because Unheard Gems is all about finding and sharing smaller or “Unheard” artists, do you have any “Unheard” recommendations that we should listen to?
Benji: Yea ok, I definitely come across artists all the time. I’ll give a few names and songs I’m hooked to right now. I would say FINNEAS with his most recent single ‘Break My Heart Again,’ Freya Ridings ‘Lost Without You’ and Kimberly Anne ‘More Alive – Piano Version.’ All of these ones are just beautiful vocal and piano tracks, they speak to me so much right now.
Unheard Gems : Thank you so much for your time and finally, where can people find you and your music?
Benji: Thanks for having me. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if you just search Benji Lewis. For music, head to Spotify or Apple Music, find my artist profiles there. Hit follow to keep up to date on my whereabouts, shows and releases.
Written and Edited by: Hannah Schneider