What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Hey! My name is Ben Leit, and I’m a 20-year-old artist and producer based out of Maplewood, NJ and Clinton, NY. I’ve been playing music for most of my life – but I was inspired to really start writing my own stuff after hearing Frank Ocean’s “Self Control”.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
My latest release is called “Sundown”. It’s a pop song, but it has a really atmospheric feel to it, so it feels a bit psychedelic. I’m really proud of it. It’s one of the first times where a song comes to me all at once. Lyrically, it’s sort of like a reflection on a lost relationship.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Jeez, tough question. I’ll limit myself to three of each. Musically: R.E.M., Mac DeMarco, Frank Ocean. Non-music-wise: Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, and my grandfather.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I think I’ve got of a cool marriage of serious lyrics over not-so-serious instrumentals! I also come from somewhat of a jazz and musical theatre background, so that definitely colors my sound. And I write, mix, and produce all of my own stuff, so everything you hear on one of my songs is 100% me.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
ALBUMS: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, OK Computer by Radiohead, ASTROWORLD by Travis Scott.
MOVIES: The Dark Knight (2008), Annie Hall (1977), Singin’ in the Rain (1952).
BOOKS: One More Thing by B.J. Novak, Phaedo by Plato, and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Hm. I’d say studio, because you can get everything “right”. But performing is probably more fun.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I showed an interest in music from a young age, so I was brought to my first guitar lesson at age three – but I couldn’t fit my arms around the guitar.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
The first single I ever released, “Worst Nights”, might be my favorite. It’s got a “lo-fi” sound, but with high-end production. It’s also the only one of my songs entirely recorded in a dorm room! Plus, I love the outro. Lots of distortion and a big string section.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
My debut EP Window is available everywhere on July 24, 2020, and I’m really, REALLY excited about that.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Besides music, do you have any other creative/artistic outlets!
Yeah! I’m an actor, and I’m currently pursuing a double major at Hamilton College in Philosophy and Theatre. Next spring, I’m headed to Chicago to attend The Second City’s Comedy Studies program.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Ben Leit:
INSTAGRAM: @benleit – https://www.instagram.com/benleit/
TWITTER: @benleitmusic – https://twitter.com/BenLeitMusic