Ben Hobbs

  • Ben Hobbs
  • 2020-06-09

Singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben Hobbs fuses bedroom pop with 70s and 80s nostalgia. His latest project is ‘How We Care’, is blend of electric strings, sonic nods and a pulsing drumbeat complimenting his gracious vocals. We caught up with Ben to find out more.

We all have our own way of working those moments with those most special to us. Sometimes it’s the small things, sometimes it’s the big things.

First up, tell us about yourself **what got you into music?
I’ve been playing in bands since the age of 12. I was really influenced by some of the music my dad introduced me to, like The Beatles, Talking Heads and Cocteau Twins.

Seeing videos of Talking Heads’ ‘Stop Making Sense’ tour made me want to be on stage. I remember as well getting hold of an old 4 track recorder too and started recording some of these sounds, ideas and songs with my friends.

Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
I listened to a lot of The Police, Tears for Fears and Fleetwood Mac when I was growing up, so that era of music has definitely been key for me when making my own. But there are also more recent artists I’ve found inspiring along the way. The Weeknd, for example, is an artist who always really grabbed me.

How would you describe your musical style?
Unsurprisingly it’s full of retro references but I also love a lot of modern day music so I’m happy to call it pop too. I want to take lead from artists who aren’t afraid to not do exactly what people expect them to do each time. There’s more recently a bigger soul influence. Let’s say “alternative soul pop”, but really I want it to be my own.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
The Killers.

Tell us about your new single ‘How We Care’. What’s it about?
We all have our own way of working those moments with those most special to us. Sometimes it’s the small things, sometimes it’s the big things.

It was written about my relationship with someone I love very much. When the chorus kicks in on this song, to me it feels unique and unexpected and it was really important to tie that all together.

When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote ‘How We Care’ with a great songwriter and friend named Paul Usher, in autumn of 2019. He has this cool garden studio which is a great base to work on ideas.

We made a start on the production that day too and had most of the melodies, chords and ideas sorted. We kind of knew exactly how it needed to sound by the end of the session. I then took it back to my place in London and worked some more on the recording, vocals and guitars etc. It was great to be working with someone who understood my musical world.

How does ‘How We Care’ represent your style?
It epresents my style in that it’s showing part of my character and my love of music, old and new. It’s got a soul vibe, it’s passionate, the guitars are important, I’ve pushed my vocal a little more than before - all things I want to do more of moving forward. It represents the next step for me.

What are your hopes for ‘How We Care’?
I hope that people love it and that I can connect more with people who feel the same vibes and want to engage with what I have to offer.

How’s the rest of 2020 looking in what’s becoming a crazy year?
New singles, an EP, lots of new songs and some shows later in the year, depending on where our planet is at. I’m excited for people to hear my new music, so getting it out there is top of the list. I definitely want to create more too.

Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I would go back to when I started this project at the end of 2015 and tell myself to trust my instincts and take those moments when you feel the most support to be a positive and accurate reflection on the good work you’re doing.

Work with people who are good for you, and feel good to work with. Value your own opinions hugely. That sounds like five things, but it’s kind of all one!

Listen to ‘How We Care’ on SoundCloud below. For the latest, go to benhobbs.co.uk.

Main image by Michal Chruslick.

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