We caught up with the X Factor Alumni at Parachute Music Festival 2014. The â€˜Make You Mineâ€™ singer told us about his new music plans, what inspires his songwriting and the X Factor experience.
Check out his new single â€˜Make You Mineâ€™ below which is out on iTunes now.
WEâ€™RE LOVING YOUR TRACK MAKE YOU MINE. WHAT INSPIRES YOUR MUSIC?
I would say just being happy, music makes me happy. I suppose its kind of like a element that you get into when you write or record a song, that youâ€™re so happy â€“ itâ€™s like a drug. That makes me happy and inspires music, also just life, people, good situations, bad situations, the world, girls, guys, everything inspires me â€“ it all comes from that.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SONG ON YOUR UPCOMING EP?
Thereâ€™s a song called â€˜Toulouseâ€™, itâ€™s quite a dark song and the chorus is â€˜what have you got to loseâ€™ but we named it after the place Toulouse in France and thatâ€™s what itâ€™s called. Itâ€™s actually got nothing to do with Toulouse so hopefully the French donâ€™t come over to New Zealand and start a war! That oneâ€™s my favourite and Iâ€™ve written a few new ones as well â€“ well every new song is your favourite. Look out for it!
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR MUSIC?
When I was in high school, I was in a drama class and one of my friends Drew, we listened to The Beatles, my grandma died and I was listening to rap music non-stop and â€œLet It Beâ€ was my favourite song, it was my sad song and I learnt how to play that on piano, taught myself piano first and then my friends said you canâ€™t be a pianist in a band cause itâ€™s too heavy to carry around so I learnt guitar and from that it all started, and I didnâ€™t start till I was 17. The songwriting skills built when Drew and me started writing for our band and it has been growing since then.
WHAT MADE YOU AUDITION FOR THE X FACTOR?
I didnâ€™t really want to do it. It was my mum and a friend of mine who told me that â€˜youâ€™ve got nothing to lose, you may as well go for itâ€™ and I was in the carpark about to go into the pre-auditions and there were all these people around singing with guitars and I was like â€˜man, I canâ€™t sing like these people, they have voices of angels, and Iâ€™m just a songwriterâ€™ so I guess it was a bit of curiosity to see what it was like and to see how far I could get, I had no idea that I would end up coming third or going to the last episode but it was such a good platform, it was the best thing I could have done for myself musically, personally it dragged me down but it was good.
HIGHLIGHT AND LOWLIGHT OF 2013â€¦
Highlight would be getting my own music to people and getting on the radio, that was a cool thing and having my fan base and people who listen to me increase. Hopefully Iâ€™ve inspired somebody to pick up a guitar, I think somewhere along the line if thatâ€™s happened then it would be a highlight.
Lowlight was sometimes on X Factor, just being away from family and friends and not having a normal life as itâ€™s such a bubble and you can really only talk to the people that are involved in it and when it gets to that point where youâ€™re sick of people and thatâ€™s the reason why you have problems, so I guess there was a point in X Factor that was a lowlight because you just live a life and life’s not always good and sometimes itâ€™s bad.
WHATâ€™S COMING UP NEXT FOR YOU?
Release the EP late February and go on tour with that, release another single which will be exciting. Iâ€™ve got Homegrown (February 15th, Wellington) after this [Parachute] and yeah just keep writing.
Catch up with Benny on Facebook Â and his new â€˜Make You Mineâ€™ video below.