Q+A

Q+A With Benedict

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

Thank you so much for having me! Well it is early but so far I have meditated and then had my morning coffee. Done a few emails and excited for the day!

Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?  

I started writing music, singing and playing instruments from the ripe old age of 5 years old. My mother was and still is a huge influence in starting me out in music and nurturing my gifts. 

I have been performing for 20 plus years.

Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

There are so many, but the ones that come to mind are Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson, Queen, Elton John, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman and the list goes on. I love these artists because they were and are unapologetic in everything. They fought for their dreams and human rights. They gave their hearts and souls to nations who adored them and were advocates for so many different missions. And their music is undeniably some of the best in the world.

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process. 

I have many different processes. Sometimes words pour into my head. Sometimes I come up with a melody first. There are times I am so affected or overwhelmed by a story or something happening in the world I just sit and write the music and lyrics at the same time. I can’t control the music! The music controls me!

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

I have performed before where I am so emotional about the story of the song it chokes me. It is a very raw and exposing thing to be on stage. Even to share your music with the world. As artists, we are constantly at the mercy of critiques and it can be a deeply challenging journey.

Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?

When I was in lockdown last year I was watching the news and hearing and seeing so much suffering around the world. I felt a deep need to speak out on these issues. From BLM movement, Covid 19, LGBTQIA plus attacks and deaths, wars, government issues, USA riots and Women Rights. What breaks my heart is the constant division. We are all human! So wake up! I was talking to my friend Chrissi Deralas on zoom and discussing my drive to write a new song. After a long chat I had the words pour out and the music come to me. The song was born in 10minutes with the assistance of Chrissi’s magical co-writing skills.

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

Do not allow the music industry or world to ever tell you your art is not good enough. Your art is yours and yours alone! There will be dark times. Agonising times. Times when you just want to give up! DO NOT EVER GIVE UP! Trust the process, connect to a community of artists that support you. Believe in yourself. AND remember ‘ WHAT IS FOR YOU WON’T GO PAST YOU’.

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

Two types of meditation. One being an incredibly deep meditation I learnt off a top Australian martial artist. Another is one that I learnt after doing Vipassana. A 10 day silent retreat. It is so important to find balance in this crazy world.

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