Every artist needs an identity. And some artists spend their whole life searching for theirs. Which is maybe why Alec Benjamin, the 24-year-old singer songwriter responsible for the heart wrenching hits "Let Me Down Slowly" and "If we Have Each Other," is so remarkable. Despite (or maybe because of) being dropped from his first label just a day after turning in his album, despite (or maybe because of) playing in parking lots outside of other concerts just trying to get his music out there, Alec Benjamin knows exactly who he is.
When he talks, he answers each question after a pause to consider what he's saying, making sure that he really means the words that are coming out of his mouth. He writes his songs the same way. "Certain things are easier to address than others, and certain things take a long time before I can even think about them or admit them to myself, and then sometimes it takes another year or two before I even get them in a song."
But the vulnerability that makes it so hard for Benjamin to write the songs is also exactly why they're so worth waiting for. Alec writes exactly what he means, pours his heart into his lyrics. "Music has changed, and production has changed, and the way we record and write music has changed, but people's emotions are generally the same throughout history, you know?" He says. "A person has a broken heart, that's the same in the sixteen-hundreds as it is right now… If the lyrics are meaningful then the song can last forever"
His raw, emotional lyricism has earned him plenty of fans, but they've had to wait as his singles slowly trickled in over the years. But not anymore. Alec is finally releasing a mixtape, "Narrated For You," a collection of his works that's grown considerably over the years, along with plenty of songs that people haven't heard before. The decision to release a mix might not be the most conventional, but Alec has never been known for sticking with the status quo. Besides, he recognizes that times are changing, and a static body of work isn't always the best choice. "Albums are living and breathing now… it's not always just done once you put it out."
With a fire
mixtape and a sold out tour, it's clear that Alec Benjamin is on the rise. But even if he falls, fans never have to worry about him going anywhere. "I might have to start over again, like I always have been. But I love making music. I'll do what I have to do no matter what the circumstance is."
Head over to Spotify, Apple Music, or check out the incredible "Narrated For You" below.