Benson Boone is the Voice to Binge in 2023

By Michael Menachem, Entertainment Editor

Seattle singer-songwriter Benson Boone spent a large chunk of this last year in California, recording and writing in Los Angeles and Costa Mesa with his songwriting/producing partners. He released his debut EP Walk Me Home… back in July with his hit songs “Ghost Town” and “In The Stars” making an impact. His first-ever mini tour lands at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana tonight following recent stops in Salt Lake City, Phoenix and his hometown on the heels of fall dates in Korea, Australia and New Zealand and summer dates across Europe, New York and LA. With a fanbase exploding globally and new music on the way next year, Boone is a rising talent with an impressive range riding high with a recent release “Before You”; a heartfelt ballad that completely sweeps the listener away. Boone has already appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Late Late Show with Corden and Late Night with Seth Meyers and fans have been taken by Boone’s raw vocal talent, emotive lyrics and overall carefree presence despite many of the songs being bittersweet.

Maybe the name sounds familiar…Benson Boone appeared in the early episodes of American Idol in 2021, impressing Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, with Katy Perry predicting she thought Boone could win the entire season. Boone had his heart set on his own path and quietly left the show prior to Hollywood Week to pursue his career on his own terms and it has paid off. Without the pressure of a big show, the young musician was able to find his way, make his own mistakes and have the freedom to explore his creativity in an ever-changing industry. He posted regularly on TikTok, capturing the attention of Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds, who subsequently signed him to his label Night Street, in partnership with Warner Records. Benson’s soulful, deeply evocative vocal style is certainly propelling him towards fame. There’s more to Benson than one would think. He embodies a wealth of personality and an active mind. He was a competitive diver in high school, he can execute a mean backflip on request and draws and sketches his own artwork. A fan of Adele and Lewis Capaldi, he’s one of the few artists to keep an eye on in 2023, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up on a tour with either of these powerhouses. Cali Mag caught up with multi-talented Benson Boone ahead of his Santa Ana show at the Constellation Room tonight.

Photo: Mark Owens

Cali Mag: Los Angeles is where you recorded “Ghost Town”. Have you written and recorded more in California since then?

Benson Boone: I’ve been coming to LA for just about over a year now. A lot of times it’s actually very lonely being in a hotel room by myself, not a lot of friends there. But as I have come to visit more, I have found my people and I have found the spots and studios I like to work with. Costa Mesa is sort of where I like to write the most, there are these two guys there (Jason Suwito of Sir Sly and Jack Lafrantz), it’s a little bit out of the city and there’s a beach vibe. Lovely people and so hilarious to work with. Being able to have fun while I write, we sit in the studio, we literally laugh our heads off for five hours and then somehow come up with a song after.

Cali Mag: There’s a lot of pain out there in the world and your songs probably feel like a security blanket for a lot of fans. What’s something that has stuck with you from a fan that validates your every day as an artist, singer and songwriter?

BB: Actually, I’m on my first-ever tour right now and it’s not a full tour, it’s a mini tour, six or seven shows. At these shows it’s been a very emotional experience for me to see fans in the crowd crying and singing my lyrics back to me. The emotion that I see in their eyes is extremely overwhelming and a touching experience for me, I have been writing songs that have helped me. Sometimes fans will DM my friends and this girl reached out and said “please let Benson know how many lives he’s saved”. It is so crazy to know that I’m doing something that I love and it’s impacting people’s lives. It’s amazing to experience that firsthand. Seeing a TikTok number is great but fans in person, seeing who is making those numbers, that means more than anything.

Cali Mag: You grew up in Monroe, Washington and just graduated in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The music thing seems like it was something that almost happened by chance, how did you really get started?

BB: The only musical thing I did was I played piano growing up, I played by ear. My four sisters all took lessons. My best friend Eric asked if I could play piano and play with his band in Battle of the Bands. Right before the performance, the singer quit and they were like what do we do? Eric plays guitar and he said you gotta sing, this is on you. We grew up together since we were five months old. I tried it and it ended up going really well, we ended up winning. I had never tried to sing well. I screamed lyrics in the car with friends. Singing well is another world.

Cali Mag: And so how do you go from high school with virtually no singing history to American Idol to being signed by one of the biggest frontmen of the moment?

BB: When the pandemic started, I was finishing my senior year and me and my boys would go climbing to cell towers and listen to our classes, trying to make the most of our year. That time gave me a chance to explore my voice and I started posting videos on TikTok. American Idol asked if I wanted to audition and I was on the show for a bit and stepped away. I wanted to pursue music on my own and after experiencing that, Dan [Reynolds] reached out to me shortly after I quit.

Cali Mag: “Before You” is really a beautiful wedding song, as you say. I actually thought of that. It’s truly timeless and your vocals evoke elements of both Michael Buble and Harry Styles. Did you co-write this one with someone else?

BB: This one I did with Jack (Lafrantz) and Suwito and there’s one other girl Casey Smith and it was just a good vibe. It’s a love song. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.

Cali Mag: You have another new song that’s set to release soon, a very intense pop/rock song. You have posted some clips, can you talk about this unreleased track?

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BB: It’s called “What Was”, I’ve never written a song like this, it’s such a unique vibe and perspective for me. This is my favorite song I’ve ever written.

Cali Mag: Though it’s not totally clear, it seems like church may have had an impact on you. Your tune “In The Stars” even mentions church in the lyrics and on “Empty Heart Shaped Box” it almost sounds like you recorded with a choir. Do you envision yourself as an artist who can sing with a choir one day? And what is this incredible French version of “In The Stars” by the way?

BB: I could definitely see myself being backed by a choir. Going to church was a big part of my upbringing. I went every Sunday with my family, I didn’t sing along much, but I think it definitely helped my musical background with understanding music even though I didn’t know I was understanding it. The French version of “In The Stars” was kind of just on a whim. The song was blowing up in France and I was there and there’s this artist Philippine Lavrey who was into the song. It’s doing very well there.

 

 

Michael Menachem is a Recording Academy professional member, published music and entertainment journalist, marketing and content specialist and copywriter. His published work has appeared in Billboard, Show Business Weekly, Backstage, New York City Monthly, Hamptons Monthly, PopCrush.com, PassTheAux.co, IndieWavves.com and more with interviews that include Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Maren Morris, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, Kygo, Pitbull, Bebe Rexha, Maxwell, Charlie Puth, Sara Bareilles, Enrique Iglesias, Cyndi Lauper, Nile Rodgers, Gloria Estefan, Hall & Oates, The Pretenders, Motley Crue and more. Michael is a lifetime student of popular culture, an avid hiker and a lover of dogs and hot sauce. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their five succulents.
Twitter: @menoxmusic
Instagram: @menoxmusic

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