The past 18 months have been crucial for South London’s Benjamin A.D. With 3 successful singles released and video views reaching over 64k combined [at time of writing], Benjamin tells us his outlook for this year. “It’s getting to a point where I’m actually consistently releasing some music now, so once that’s out I can start doing some live shows. We’re looking to put out the EP. We’re just ironing out tracklists,” he says. With brand new single ‘Oxytocin’ hitting the airwaves this week, there’s no stopping the artist from reaching new heights. Produced by ‘WAVSDNTDIE’, ‘Oxytocin’ sees Benjamin A.D. take his songcraft to a new level.
Benjamin explains the importance of surrounding yourself with a strong team. “Between me and my manager we’ve been adding different cogs to the wheel; people that get the vision. I think that’s probably been the hardest part; executing things to the level that we would like, with enough regularity. I feel like now we’re finally turning a bit of a corner.”
Last year saw the release of latest single ‘Backseat Driving’ which saw his distinctly chilled style in its element. The video for the track sees a daytime to nighttime juxtaposition of crossed paths whilst driving through endless streets. A distorted yet highly visual journey reflective of his style, it sees Benjamin sitting in the back of the car with other characters entering and exiting throughout the duration of the track. I asked if distortion and visual noise applies to the realm of digital technology, which is also evident in the video. “It got to a point where when I create, I’m extra sensitive to things that I see. I could be in the mood to create something then if I see something, that could completely put me off. Once I realised that that could happen, prevention was the hidden cure in that sense. There’s no point me going on Instagram if that’s going to cost me. If the only real difference is between me making a song or not, then I’m going to pick making a song.”
Speaking further about the impact of social media and the age of distraction, Benjamin explains, “I feel like everything goes somewhere. So whatever you’re reading, whatever you’re listening to, what you’re choosing to re-enforce into your brain can slowly start to dictate your outlook. So say with social media, I try and use it in a way that suits me where I’m there for a purpose or I’ve got something to say rather, than watching everyone else live. That’s not always healthy. Everything goes somewhere. Try and fill it with good things and powerful things.” This acts as a grounding for Benjamin’s creative process, which sees him collaborate with talented producer ‘WAVSDNTDIE’ on all his previous releases. “He’s an amazingly talented producer, I’ve known him for a long time. It’s just someone that implements in the highest order and he also gets the vision, so we bounce off each other. The way we work is just very natural. That’s kind of how I think music should be made. Sometimes the chemistry is just not there; I’m not saying that you have to be the same, but it’s important to embrace differences in collaboration. For me it’s about merging perspectives and maybe bringing something out of yourself that you wouldn’t by yourself.”
With an EP full of unheard material on the horizon, Benjamin tells me, “I just think a lot of the time when I hear music it’s like a timestamp and sometimes can feel less self reflective, it all depends on what music. We haven’t really fully chosen what the tracklist is [for the EP], so I’ve got hundreds of songs here and to only put 5, I’ve got to really get my around what the intentions are going to be. If it’s just about showcasing the different sides of me artistically, or some type of story, I’ll put some cohesion there but I’m too sure yet. I just know there’s about 2 or 3 that I mainly want on there.” There’s a deep sense of clarity in the art of curation in his process. He continues, “I go through a period where a few things that used to satisfy me, which is not different enough or doesn’t signify a resemblance of growth, it kind of leaves me unsatisfied. I’m always wanting to do something new, even if it’s like a slight difference, I’m one of those people that just wants to have that slight difference otherwise I’m just rinsing and repeating. That makes me unhappy.” He finishes, “It will hopefully be a reference point for people to know what I’m about in 2020.”
New single ‘Oxytocin’ is out now across all digital channels, with the official video available to watch now.
Photographer Abeiku Arthur
Stylist Zane Page