Meet the pop-maker who's gone from playing in car parks to performing with John Mayer.
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“If I Killed Someone For You is about changing for someone you love”, explains pop up and comer Alec Benjamin in an interview with Billboard. “It’s a bit of a different and darker song for me.”
The new, menacing single is taken from Alec’s recently released mixtape Narrated For You, 12 tracks of beautifully crafted pop which has made the star one of the most hyped new artists of a generation. One of the most impressive things about the release is the storytelling contained within each track. Every song’s lyrics contain layers of narrative, designed to make fans put every line under the microscope.
It’s not been an easy rise to the top by any means for the star. Benjamin was signed to a major label at the age of 18, and then subsequently dropped the day after handing in his debut album.
Not to be defeated, the musician took matters into his own hands, building up a fanbase online as well as the old fashioned way. Alec hit the road, playing hundreds of shows with artists such as Jon Bellion, Matisyahu and Hoodie Allen.
In 2017, Alec scored a viral hit with his track I Built A Friend, which helped him find a new home with Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars).
Over the past twelve months, the musician’s career has skyrocketed with the huge streaming hit single Let Me Down Slowly. The track has been listened to over 300 million times on Spotify alone, and earlier this year the pop-maker released an updated version of the single featuring the immensely talented Alessia Cara.
Last month, the buzzy pop star sold out two shows at the prestigious 800-capacity El Rey Theatre in his hometown of Los Angeles. In his early days, the musician would perform outside in the venue’s car park after shows from the likes of Shawn Mendes and Trove Sivan. As fans spilt out of the venue, they’d find a young Benjamin busking, performing his songs, handing out business cards and trying to make a name for himself.
The musician was joined on stage at the El Rey by guitar maestro John Mayer, performing an emotive version of Death Of A Hero.
Proving his global appeal, last February Alec performed in London, selling out O2 Academy Islington after the demand for tickets meant a venue upgrade was necessary. The musician will return to the capital this November, for shows at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Electric Ballroom.
More essential tracks
Let Me Down Slowly feat. Alessia Cara
I Built A Friend
For any current and future Alec Benjamin live dates and tickets head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.
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Header photo by Alex Currie