I remember first hearing Benny Sings‘ “Dreams” on an expertly-curated playlist from Mayer Hawthorne back in 2012. At the time, Mayer had yet to shed his eternal blue-eyed Motown glow and Benny had been something of a cult-hero in the perpetually-merging realms of synth-soaked r&b and pop, leaning heavy on the textures of decades prior, but with his own spin on the Top 40 formula.
“Dreams” made for a proper intro, but it wasn’t the one he had wanted me, or anyone for that matter, to have. In the eyes of the Dutch Dynamo, his best work was well behind him, wholly unfulfilled by his last two releases (detailed below,) left without much hope for sustaining a life in music. Which certainly seems odd (given that he was only four albums deep and in the meat of his career,) but those that know the reclusive, borderline enigmatic, songwriter, know this to be par the course. He’s a rigid man, but in all of the right ways.
Holding himself to sky-scraping standards, Benny’s long known that ever-coveted sweet-spot between polished and over-produced. But that wasn’t what brought him back to a place where he felt comfortable creating. Rather, Benny’s was a rare case where tinkering with shit served as catharsis, finding the light in dark spaces, both spiritually and physically.
And so, on the eve of his fifth studio album STUDIO‘s release, we caught up with the man behind the sounds, to find out where he went and how he got back, along with what compelled him to do so. We talked influence, crappy ’90s r&b, adapting to the digital landscape and how getting old doesn’t always mean losing a step. Stream Benny Sings’ new album exclusively down below and peruse our chat to get a sense of just what went into the comeback ahead of its official release, tomorrow. Grab your copy on iTunes today.