Ben Kelly; Washington, DC
Q.) What is your name/stage name?
A.) “My name is Ben Kelly. People have always said that my full name is memorable, so I decided to go with that for my stage name. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?“
Q.) Where are you from?
A.) “I’m from Connecticut originally but live in DC now. I’m definitely an east coast dude.“
Q.) What do you do?
A.) “I’m a singer, always have been. I have some interest in learning to produce but that’s definitely a down-the-road thing. Right now, I’m playing to my strength, which has always been singing.”
Q.) How long have you been making music?
A.) “I’ve been actively recording and releasing music since the beginning of the year, so about 3 weeks now. I’ve been making music my whole life, though – whether singing in choirs or a cappella groups in college, or in a band I was in in high school. For the last couple years I got away from making music, but this year I decided to dive back in head first. It’s been so great to reconnect with that side of myself.“
Q.) Who’s your biggest inspiration?
A.) “My biggest inspiration has to be Frank Ocean. His voice is just too good and his mysterious vibe is so cool. I love Tyler, The Creator’s production – that’s definitely my biggest influence from a production standpoint. So I guess that makes me an Odd Future guy. I also love Anderson .Paak and all the soulful jams he puts out.”
Q.) What genre of music do you create?
A.) “I’m primarily an r&b artist, though I’m not too tied to any one genre. My main influences are r&b and hip hop, with a bit of pop in there as well. I’m just trying to make music that resonates with me and that I vibe with, and I hope other people vibe with it as well. Music is all about being authentic, and when I write songs I try to pull from my most authentic self, musically. I don’t ever want to put out a song that I don’t vibe with just because I think it’ll be popular or get a bunch of streams.“
Q.) What are some features you want to get?
A.) “I’d love to feature on some rap songs – though I don’t rap personally, I’m a huge hip hop fan. I’d love to do a hook for an up and coming rapper. I’d also love to have someone throw a verse into one of my songs, to add some variety. Obviously I’d love to work with some A-listers eventually but for now I’m good with whoever has talent and fits the song.”
Q.) Who’s one person, dead or alive, that you’d want to work with?
A.) “I’d love to work with Tyler The Creator – specifically, I’d love to sing over something he produces. I just love his production style and vibe.”
Q.) Are you signed to a label?
A.) “As of right now, no.“
Q.) Do you want a record deal, a distribution deal, or none?
A.) “I think so – there’s just so many aspects of the music business that I’d need to learn to make a go of things fully independently. I’d love to have a (preferably major) label backing me up and helping me make connections.”
Q.) Who are your biggest supporters?
A.) “My friends, for sure. I’ve always bonded with people over music and discussing our favorite artists. It’s cool to see what they think of the music I’ve created.“
Q.) What are you currently working on?
A.) “I’m currently working on releasing a single each week and building upon each one to gain traction. It can definitely be a challenge to write enough songs to do that, but I want to make sure I’m holding myself to staying creative and continuing to work on my craft. I also feel like in the streaming world you need to constantly release music to build a following, so I’m putting that to the test. I’ve really enjoyed crafting a narrative around each release from art to promotional materials. It definitely keeps things fresh.“
Q.) What is your latest release?
A.) “My latest release dropped January 24th, called “Change” (The Link Provided Below For Convenience Sake). This one is more upbeat and is about a significant other who believes she needs to change for me even though I like her just the way she is. Hopefully this one resonates with people too. It’s probably my favorite song I’ve released so far.”
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