Formerly known as Ben l’Oncle Soul, this award-winning artist returns with not only a name change but a new and evolved sound, to match. Now, he simply goes by, Ben.
This singer-songwriter is looking to tear down the boundaries between R&B and Hip Hop, whilst observing his past, with echoes of Soul and Jazz. To introduce his new sound, Ben performed a live acoustic session of his fourth track, “Addicted” in one of Paris’ busiest metro stations, la Station Jaurés. The YouTube video has already received over 2 million views and solidified his new sound, as well received.
The highly anticipated new album, Addicted to You, is now available, and reflects the sounds Ben was most passionate about as a teenager. Here’s what he had to say when we grabbed him for a one-on-one chat.
1. Ben, welcome! Describe your sound to us in three words only…
Soul, and RnB
2. Tell us a bit about your album, Addicted to You…
My album ‘Addicted to you’ exists out of 11 songs, all of them are influenced by the music I was listening to when I was a teenager. From Mary J Blige, d’Angelo, Erykah Badu to Bilal… I’ve always dreamt about doing an album like this.
3. Since you’re bi-lingual, speaking both French and English, can we expect some French influences in the album?
Well I grew up listening mostly to Afro-American music, my mum was a huge fan of soul music, my father is from the French-Caribbean and he loves Bob Marley. There are some reggae influences on the album, that’s for sure, some of the grooves and also in the way I sing.
4. You’ve had a chance to work with a few greats, Talib Kweli, Musiq Soulchild, Bill Withers, and Gregory Porter – how did this come about?
I’ve been doing music for a little while now and you know, I’ve been lucky with Talib, we did a collaboration for the soundtrack of a movie, for Musiq Soulchild I did the opening part for him in Paris; Gregory and I are signed to the same label. I think sometimes, when you spread the right energy and things just happen to you.
5. If you had to collaborate with any artists, who would it be and why?
It would be India Arie because she invited me to jump on stage during her gig 10 years ago in Paris/Bataclan and it was really special, it was so uplifting.
6. COVID-19 has affected everyone but how have you kept your creative juices going?
I got my people with me every day, talking on the phone, sharing stupid stuff on socials… musicians are always connected, we keep going and do live performances, you can watch our videos on my Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
7. Do you remember the first song you ever heard? Was it cool or not so cool?
It was Otis Redding’s voice from my mother’s womb and it was amazing. It might sound crazy but I was under hypnosis when I remembered. So here’s where we get to know you a bit better… in our quick fire round
8. Who are the top 5 artists on your Spotify Playlist?
I listen a lot to H.E.R, Ella Mai, Lucky Daye, PJ Morton, and Summer Walker these days.