In an industry always pinning its hopes on the next big trend, Benny Sings is in it for the long haul. The Dutch artist has honed a signature sound while creating a colorful catalog of essential pop gems that have led to loyal global following. As NPR Music has put it, “There's a secret society of Benny Sings fans ready to share him with the world.”
Benny’s songs are sophisticated and easy to fall in love with, earworming melodies and sticky choruses the result of years of craft that have made him the ultimate songwriter’s songwriter. Rex Orange County, with whom Benny wrote the platinum hit ‘Loving Is Easy’, says, “In my opinion he’s one of the most underrated producers and artists going.”
Benny cut his teeth as a studio collaborator and to this day is as comfortable working with a huge range of musicians as he is writing his own distinct songs. He says: “I’ve learned along the way that working with other artists enriches my music. I’m a bit of a loner, and because of that I’ve always had more affinity with writers than with musicians. Over the past few years I’ve been actively chasing collaborations with kindred spirits.”
Some of those kindred spirits bring their talents to new album Music. Mac DeMarco lends deadpan vocals to ‘Rolled Up’, and Tom Misch contributes a blazing guitar solo to ‘Nobody’s Fault’ – Benny’s personal favourite song on the album. The Motown-inspired ‘Sunny Afternoon’, co-written with songwriter P.J. Morton, wears its ’70s influences lightly, while ‘Kids’ is different yet again – an unexpected collaboration with L.A. rapper KYLE. Finally, Cautious Clay appears on the laid-back pop song ‘Run Right Back’, and Kelsey Gonzales of The Free Nationals and Emily King contribute to the ecstatic, gospel-influenced ‘Miracles’. Music was engineered and mixed by Renaud Letang, of the famed Studios Ferber in Paris.
Before Benny even started working on the album, he had an idea for a song that he knew would be a perfect fit for Mac DeMarco. When the two artists met up in L.A., they wrote ‘Rolled Up’ together almost effortlessly – even its opening lyric came about by happenstance, overheard from someone in the street. A song about feeling down without any reason, ‘Rolled Up’ is a counterpoint to the album’s generally upbeat tone.
The sweetly nostalgic ‘Here It Comes’ also slows the pace. One of the few songs on Music Benny wrote on his own, it recalls a time of hope and bravado, with lyrics describing Benny as a young boy skating with his friends and feeling excited by the possibilities of life.
In 2019, Benny made his Stones Throw debut with City Pop, which fans have streamed 20 million times. Music will be his eighth studio album. At a time when music is needed more than ever, to soothe and bring solace, Benny delivers. On the album’s title track, he sings: “Music, help me through this, whenever I’m down on the floor.” He explains: “It’s so easy to get overstimulated in the world today. We need light and air, we need something that energizes us.
“I’ll always be amazed by the magic of music – how something can spring into being that simply transcends everything.”