He started out trying to make hip-hop beats at first. This was just ill-conceived enough at the time to provoke him in another direction: to record his own pop songs. Some say the jest was inspired by, if not borrowed from, a somewhat more serious artist named Spencer Owen, whom Ben happened to be roommates with at the time. Some would be correct. During this time, conversation began with New Jerseyite "Goodbye the Band", as did some degree of his influence on Ben's consideration of music.
In addition Indeed, Ben began to collect influences like a snowball as his obsession with all sorts of albums grew to cancerous proportions. The following year Ben finished an alright 14-song album called Rope Swing with some help from his friends, manning the guitar and voice consoles the whole way. This turned out to in fact consist of two completely different EPs (Gimme! & Rope Swing) squished together for yet to be understood reasons. But there was enough good material to fuel a second album titled Etcetera the next year. The new work was supposed to be a short, 10-song concept with country, folk, hip-hop, and pop influences...but when the meat fell out the grinder it made clear to Ben that though his sense of arrangement had matured greatly, he couldn't yet sing at the level his music required and his lyrics so far spoke to sincerity rather than from it.
Meanwhile he fell into the sort of humid comfort so easily provided by the haze of his surroundings and stopped attempting live performances whatsoever. After a couple more years he left the drug-addled mists of Santa Cruz with a BA in English and a handful of new demos with which to begin the mighty Pith Hat project in the East Bay/SF area. After this fell through--and after a brief stint in the corporate world--Ben created producer Lil Ben (www.myspace.com/lilbenmuzic)--a California golden bear from the north woods with a love for urban aesthetes. In April 2009, as lead producer and performer, he released Lil Ben's debut LP "Jah Flagrant", which included collaborations with Spencer Owen (Bird by Snow, James Rabbit, Sean Smith), Victor Vazquez (Boy Crisis, Das Racist, KOOL A.D.) and avant saxophonist Joel Reber (A Fashionable Disease).
With a follow-up EP on the way, Ben is also working on a folk/pop project as Waverly with multiple female vocalists, and programming beats for a series of Lil Ben-related projects. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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