James Bene Interview with Muzique Magazine
How did you come by your stage name?
My stage name is my name, James Bene
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I had been playing the piano and into music since I can remember. My parents bought me my first upright piano as a kid, I loved jamming on it and creating my own melodies and songs. I ended up going to college for music and got my BFA. Music and theatrics were always top of my list…I toured as an actor/singer for some time but ultimately realized my love for songwriting..so.I jumped in!
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I grew up listening to my parent’s music mostly…Smoky Robinson and all the Motown favs were huge inspirations. I fell into Tori Amos in later years and her piano playing blew me away. listening to her made me really want to write my own music and speak my truth…whatever it was at the time. I love new wave music, Depeshe Mode, George Michael, Rufus Du Sol, St. Lucia, Queen (of course) Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood.. and the list goes on and on!
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
I am currently working on the releases of my first ep…American Warrior was the first single to be dropped on November 22, 2021. I wanted to write an anthem for all the survivors out there. Me being one, I wanted to express empowerment and resilience in overcoming adversaries. I wrote it as I stared out my window in LA. The other songs were written out of my own personal experiences of life.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The greatest challenge for me is motivation…was and is and will always be. To me, continuously being inspired to create is difficult..especially during these intense times we are living in. Creation and the process of creating music is the most important part of my career, while all the rest feels like a desk job. I am lucky to also work in the wellness field to support my dreams. Having a job you love while pursuing your dreams is such a gift! For artists..money becomes an issue. I never liked being a starving artist so I make sure I am taken care of financially so I can have less stress and write more out of the love of it, than desperation.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
All artists feel they are the best. LOL. In a way, you need that delusion in order to cope with the challenge of being an artist. I am the best James Bene there can be. I give my 100 percent. I am always learning and growing. Music is so subjective and to some, I am great while to others (who troll my social media) I am garbage lol… I worry less about that and more about the songs. Can I write a better song tomorrow…sure…will I?… I sure will try!
What are your plans for the near future?
My plans are to continue realizing and releasing my singles into the new year and then release my full ep …which will also have some dope remixes of a few songs and some extras. This is the beginning for me in some ways and in others, the resolution to a long-awaited symphony I have been waiting to let the world in on!
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout-outs?
I’d like to thank God for guiding me down this path of uncertainty…this journey is my ultimate teacher. I’d like to that Thomas for his constant support, my family for being my fans, and all who have helped me musically over the years….you know who you are!
How can fans find you?
American Warrior releases November 22. Find me on Spotify. Like and save my song! Profile is James Bene. Till then www.jamesbene.com has all my links, social and pre-saves! American Warrior lyric video can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ehwiJE-BVZ7-B_ygR_XVg
Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok: @jamesbene
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Feel your fear and do it anyway! Just jump in. If you think too much about it you will never make progress. Heal! Work on yourself. Don’t let people bring you down. When you feel broken you are really breaking open…trust!