The multi-talented Benedict Cork has just released a third single, ‘Down for Forever, from his new EP ‘Piano Tapes’ which is being released later this year, and just like the first two singles, it’s a track that needs to be added to your music collection immediately.
The singer, songwriter and pianist from London uses his music to tell stories and express his emotions, similarly to the likes of Tove Lo, Christine & The Queens and Solange – all of which are some of his favourites in the music industry. Tonight he will be performing his first headlining show at St Pancras Church in London with supporting act Olly Chamberlain. We wanted to find out more about his journey into music and just how he reacted when Elton John played his music on the radio.
What sparked your interest and when did you first decide you wanted to have a career in music?
I remember being 14 or 15 revising for some exams at school when I Was Made To Love Her by Stevie Wonder came on the radio and I freaked out. In my head, I pin that moment as the day I decided I wanted to write and make music. I played that record on repeat so many times that summer, and I still do now.
What was the inspiration behind your first release ‘Ghost’?
‘Ghost’ is about that emotional connection you’ll always have with someone that was a huge part of your life, even when they’re not physically there. I went through a pretty sad break up last year and wrote it while I was visiting my friend Andy Bannister in Dublin. We had an afternoon free where we sat down, jammed and ‘Ghost’ came to life.
Would you say you use your music as a tool to deal with your emotions?
100%. I like to think I’m a super honest person but I’m so bad at talking about my emotions. For some reason I find it so much easier to write about it then actually deal with them head on. I kind of bottle everything up until I write it down in a song and then there’s this massive sense of release afterwards.
Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with?
So many people. I made a dream list of collaborations a couple of months ago and I keep adding to it daily. At the moment I’m really into a Norwegian songwriter called Ina Wroldsen. She’s written for some incredible people but she’s also an amazing artist herself. Her song ‘Mother’ is insane.
Your new single ‘Down For Forever’ dropped today, how long has it been in the making and what’s the story behind the song?
Yeah, I’m super excited about this one. ‘Down For Forever’ is about me trying to get my head round the concept of forever. It seems like such a massive deal to me – to commit yourself to one person for a whole lifetime. I’d just come out the other side of my very first break up and I wrote it that summer with Andy.
You spent a lot of time in L.A and Stockholm between living in London, which out of the three would you say has the best music scene?
Ahh they’re each so different. I love Stockholm for the nature and the atmosphere. It’s all built on water ways and surrounded by beautiful woodlands which is perfect for writing. LA is just brimming with all these insane musicians, which is so appealing to me because I love meeting and working with new people. But London is always going to be home; and every time I come back after a little while away, I just wander round the city for an afternoon listening to music and I fall in love with it all over again.
What was your first reaction when you found out Elton John and Adam Lambert were promoting your music?
Adam and I met at a Queen show last year in Stockholm and he’s become like a sort of big brother in the music industry, which I so appreciate. He’s crazy talented and the support from him and his fans has been really awesome. When I heard the news that Elton John had heard my music, I’m not gonna lie, I cried. He played ‘Ghost’ on his Beats1 radio show and called it ‘sensational’ and said I was ‘a name to look out for’ which is just nuts. I FaceTimed my whole family and freaked out. As a young piano-playing singer/songwriter, it really touched me and I can’t really think of anyone better to have as a champion of my music.
You’re performing your debut headline show at St. Pancras Church – where else can people go and see you perform your latest music?
Yes, it’s tonight and I’m simultaneously so excited and shitting myself. After this show, I’m gonna be supporting my friend ORKID at her first London headline in October. She’s so awesome – I’m obsessed with her song ‘Soulmates.’ Then we have the last two tracks of my Piano Tapes EP to drop and I’ll be playing some more shows around that in the autumn.
Natalie Blain | WRITER
Paul Rusconi | PHOTOGRAPHER