Following the release of his latest single 'When (I Runaway)', Ben Kidson has gained quite the attention with his combination of distorted grungy 90's guitars, with hip-hop drums and exceptional pop songwriting.
With only a series of singles, the London based artist has crafted a new 'Punk Pop' sound, that is perfect for the new decade. Luckily, Vibez was able to ask a couple of questions about Ben's journey as an artist, his love for Gus Dapperton and Biig Piig and what he's got planned for the future.
What has the reaction been like since the release of '(When I) Runaway' and what is the story behind the single?
The release for Runaway has been mad actually! Aside from getting texts from my mates being like ‘this is 100% your best tune yet’ it also got so much love from Sarah Gosling on BBC Intro South West, she made it upload of the week and I did my first acoustic live session with her last night, it was crazy! I got to say thanks to her for all the love she’s shown my tunes. The song itself was written as a letter to someone I used to date, basically blaming them for my (at the time) inability to foster any functional relationships but, I finally finished it during lockdown over WhatsApp with my producer Patch. We did the entire thing separately from our living rooms.
How did your musical journey start and what do you aspire to be?
Started with ABBA Gold, to be honest, I like to swan around with my bleached hair and my Nirvana T-shirt these days, but yeah, music for me began with playing Spanish guitar and listening to ABBA as a kid. I’m trying to blend distorted guitars and Pop in a new way with my sound, I’m calling it ‘Punk Pop’ and it’s in super early stages. I guess I’m intending to take it global.
Who are your inspirations and what is your creative process when it comes to making a single?
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, ABBA, Nirvana, Childish Gambino (or Donald Glover in general tbh). Honestly, starting new songs is always the most daunting thing, I sit down at my laptop at like 10 am with a coffee and stare at a blank screen until something starts to happen. Or doesn’t. Then I make a playlist of my favourite tunes and take the song to Patch. My music is always heavily influenced by what I’m listening to at the time.
What has been your lockdown been like and how excited are you to get out and perform live?
So, I had to move out super close to lockdown, moved into this big creepy house in Raynes Park with my mate. It had enough rooms that I was able to set up a studio and had an old out-of-tune grand piano to test things out on. I’d get up every morning and stare out of the window across London, then get started on trying to write stuff. I can’t wait to get my live shows going, I’m booking gigs I don’t know will happen just so as soon as restrictions are lifted, I can get out and play.
With a series of rising stars within the industry - what are your top three?
Man, I’m really enjoying Gus Dapperton at the moment, his tune ‘First Aid’ was one of my lockdown anthems, along with my mate Biig Piig, who has been coming up for a while now, we used to play open mics together like 5 years ago. Her tune ‘Switch’ is so good man and the video’s genius. Finally, I’ve been listening to a lot of KennyHoopla, he’s making such cool punk music man, his tune plastic door// is so so cool.
With a series of singles out already this year, what else can we expect before 2020 is over?
My next single, out in October has a music video with it! I’m getting so much more into visuals at the moment, I’m going to be shooting a series of videos over the rest of the year, and I can’t wait to share them with you guys.