Benjamin Zięć is a singer song writer from Nottingham, and he's sending big things your way. Next Wednesday, 10th July, at Peggy's Skylight (one of Nottingham's hottest new venues) 'Benjamin Zięć and The Rarebreeds' will take to the stage, launching their new EP 'Fallen Leaves'. The night is set to be one to remember, with a cracking line up: Marco Woolf, Stacey McMullen, and the awesome Céline Siani Djiakoua who will be creating live projections of her organic art pieces.
Find out a little more about 'Benjamin Zięć' ahead of the show, and if you're not already going - it's guaranteed you'll want to by the time you reach the end of this juicy interview...
Taking it from the beginning, when did you first start creating music?
Going back to the beginning of my relationship with music composition it may sound cliche but music was the saviour to me. From a young age I found myself in unstable, unsavoury environments where this instability affected my schooling. As a way to try and re-engage me one teacher attempted to connect me with something that would positively impact my life and my situation… this was the guitar.
This belief and opportunity developed into a lifelong relationship for me with music-making. I started producing music electronically, recording music as an engineer and I started a band, playing anywhere and everywhere people would have me. The songwriting element gave me a portal in which I could channel my emotions, at the time my anger and offered a platform to release my thoughts and feelings.
You’re an acoustic - folk singer/songwriter, if we delve a little deeper, how would describe your sound to someone that has never heard you perform?
I think that the Benjamin Zięć sound is raw and true. I feel the sound is a blend of three main genres that have influenced me through the years - these being Folk, Blues and Grunge. I like the stories from both Folk and Blues music, the imagery that is formed through the lyrics, the characters, stories and scenarios. The grunge influence comes mainly from my vocal - the grittiness and growl.
If you had to pick, who have been your biggest musical influences as an artist?
I guess that I have had many different influences from many different artists from a range of genres. So in terms of musical artists I guess it depends which musical hat I am wearing. Although I listen to a lot of music and hold certain artists work dear to my heart, my biggest influences musically have came through my teachers, my mentors and the musicians that I have worked with and collaborated with through the years. I am a strong believer that you do not have to be a student of music. As soon as you pick up a guitar or write a lyric in my eyes you are a guitarist and a songwriter. We learn from doing, collaborating and sharing skills.
When you perform a gig, what reaction is it that your really want to see and feel from your audience?
As a musician and especially as a singer/songwriter I feel that you are bearing part of your soul on stage. It is naked, true and raw. I want my audience to be captivated within the stories I am projecting. I want listening to feel the rawness and believe the words and emotion that the music contains. I want the listener to feel a part of me.
What is it that makes you different to other musicians?
Everybody is on their own journey, physically and mentally. I do not feel that I have invented anything completely unique in the music that I create, but that said I feel the music is unique in its identity. Unique to my experiences and my journey as a person and as a musician.
Where do you find your inspiration when writing a song?
I write music everyday, whether that is lyrics, chords or producing electronic music. I hear music everywhere, in nature, in the City Soundscape… and this gives me inspiration. Lyrically as a singer/songwriter the best songs always come to me when I least expect it and when I am not forcing it or trying too hard to write. I see a scenario or situation in the street, or hear a story from a friend or I go through something in my own life and my way of processing this and reflecting on this is to write. It allows me to try and order things in my mind and allows me to visualise my own opinion and views on things.
How did the collaboration between ‘Benjamin Zięć’ and ‘The Rarebreeds’ come about?
The Rarebreeds was a product of this rallying of the troops. I wanted to build up the songs to something bigger than just an acoustic guitar and vocal. The Rarebreeds consists of some amazingly talented Nottingham-based musicians - some from my old band The Afterdark Movement and some musicians that I have met along the way. It is great to play with friends and people you respect as musicians and as people. I never want it to feel like a business or a chore, every time we jam, meet up or rehearse, it’s just all about the music and the enjoyment of making music.
At the moment you’re waiting on your Debut EP ‘Benjamin Zięć and The Rarebreeds’ to be mastered. Can you tell us abit about the writing and recording process you went through in the making of it?
The ‘Fallen Leaves’ EP which is released on Phlexx Records was the start of Benjamin Zięć. I have been writing for years but have always channelled my energy into other acts and bands. I wanted to do something with all the songs that I have written and felt that I didn’t want to die with all these songs only ever contained within my myself. A few projects that I had been working on had slowed down and it was time to rally the troops and see where the next journey would take us.
The ‘Fallen Leaves’ EP is a 5 track EP recorded at ROFL Studios Nottingham. It features a collection of my old songs, realised by a full band and string quartet. The exciting bit for me is what is next and what music collectively we can create together.
Finally, is there anything you’d like to share with us?
Just for people to check out the ‘Fallen Leaves’ EP and to drop some comments and share the love on the socials - this always means a lot and really helps artists get their work out. The material is on Spotify and all online stores and please follow and share my pages.
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Fancy coming to the launch? Pick up your tickets up HERE.
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