The Granite Tower
ARTS & CULTUREMUSIC REVIEW
Alec Benjamin - A Singer Living Next Door
Choi Hyowon  |  yohyo16@korea.ac.kr
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승인 2019.06.08  18:46:28
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"Could you find a way to let me down slowly?” The blend of the line showing the heartbreak of a man who can barely let go of his lover and of the soft, narrative voice amplifies the sorrow of a breakup. Alec Benjamin’s single “Let Me Down Slowly” is a portrayal of his vulnerability after his first relationship. As a singer-song writer, he is able to express genuine feelings in his music to make himself relatable as if he were living next door. It is the familiarity of the emotions and unique singing style that makes him stand out and become notable in the mainstream genre of pop music.

 

   
▲ Alec Benjamin

 

Benjamin is an American singer-song writer who was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born into an ordinary family that did not have any musical background. However, in high school, he started to play the guitar and wrote his own songs as he thought it was the best way to express himself. He would also travel around Los Angeles (L.A.) and send his songs to numerous songwriters, which may or may not have caught the eye of the big music markets. By releasing mixtapes in 2013, he gained some degree of a fanbase and carried on singing until he discovered YouTube.

 

Just like many other famous singers such as Alessia Cara, Troye Sivan and Shawn Mendes, YouTube is where Benjamin started gaining recognition. His debut single “Paper Crown” successfully colors the
general atmosphere of most of his songs. Based on a true story, he wrote about a girl who is wearing a “paper crown” with a “heart made of glass” in her own kingdom shutting people out because she does not want to get hurt again. Both “paper” and “crown” show how fragile her state of mind is and Benjamin displays this well with his falsetto voice and a catchy beat.

 

Although Benjamin has a dreamy voice and an adorable smile, his songs are mostly composed of mature lyrics and melodically dark tunes. The influence of this musical style comes from his love for Eminem, which explains the movie-like lyrics he writes and the calculated beats in his songs. For example, “Annabelle’s Homework” depicts the young soul of Benjamin learning that even if he does all her homework, trying to approach love through materialistic appeals leave nothing but heartbreaks. On a rhythmic guitar, his narrative youthful sound collaborates beautifully to sing about a story that most people went through in their teenage years to gain love. His musical stories give him the boy next door image that helps build a relatable connection with the audience.

 

On top of his musical talents, he is slowly making progress on making his name for himself in the public’s eye. He has been performing at parking lot shows at Troye Sivan and Shawn Mendes concerts and had Alessia Cara featuring in “Let Me Down Slowly.” All the artists were interestingly enough on YouTube. He released his full album Narrated For You (2018) and made his television (TV) debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

 

Benjamin’s uniqueness and bitter sweetness lie within himself. He has an innocent image, but sings such deep, emotional songs that show he is more than what he appears to be. He started out his career as an ordinary person than most presume singers to be. It shows that not every phase in life has to be triggered by a special moment; rather, it can be from unconditional love and a passion for music. That is why his songs are simple and relatable because he is a singer that emphasizes the unexpressed emotions that many have faced without noticing in their daily lives. Although his name is not widely known, one click of his music video will certainly melt one’s heart away.

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