OnlyBenton used the experiences in his life to cultivating an R&B EP that’s uplifting and memorable. It was an honor to interview my friend about his project and sacrifice to find true love.
R&B is not dead. It is very much alive!– ONLYBENTON
Your EP is real R&B! Tell us about your creative process when preparing for your latest project?
When preparing for this project, I dove into old school R&B. I fired up a Bleezy and started doing homework, reminding myself how the music made me feel. I studied lyrical content, tones, textures of R&B greats like Luther and Marvin. I even pulled some Sam Cooke records. I wanted each song to be created from a natural/authentic vibe.
Surely you love your entire EP. What are your recommended go-to tracks?
Of course, I love the entire EP. It’s like my Lil baby, ya know?! My go-to songs would probably be ‘Wish I Could Tell You’ and ‘Energy,’ those songs yoooooooo! They are the most vulnerable songs I’ve written for myself. I love how they make me feel.
Do you believe R&B is making a resurgence, or is it dead?
I definitely feel that R&B is making a huge resurgence. People want to feel something good again. Songs they can relate to, walk down the aisle to, or even make love to; therefore, R&B is not dead. It is very much alive!
Explain the vibe of your EP.
My EP, Words Fall Short, is about love, vulnerability, and self-reflection. The vibe is smooth and sultry. Spark up, grab your favorite drink, and go on a Lil’ ride with me.
Has social media helped or hindered your reach as an artist?
Social media has helped my reach big time as an artist. A big part of my following was created on social media, and a lot of effective networking has helped me find creative work & some paid work too. I believe if I use more social media networks, it could improve my reach as an artist.
What are some of your challenges being an independent artist?
The biggest challenge of being an independent artist is silencing that inner saboteur. As an artist, it’s tough enough with jus being creative and innovative. When you are independent, there are so many other factors of the business to be concerned about that it can be overwhelming. You tend to doubt yourself and compare yourself a lot. I had to silence the negativity and focus on one task at a time.
You’re an openly gay artist. Why is it important to live your truth?
Yes, I am an openly gay man, and I am an artist. It is essential to live in my truth first, for myself and my happiness. I also find it vital to live in my truth as an example of what I didn’t see growing up. Living in your truth allows you to be free and powerful. Being who I am unapologetic, without compromising my integrity, has opened doors for me and put me in spaces to share my most authentic self with others.
We’re huge fans of your financé, Jamison Harris (Content Creator/Fashion Designer). How has he changed your life?
Well, I am also a HUGE fan of Jamison. Jamison has changed my life in such beautiful ways. He inspires me every day to see the very best in myself. He calms me and silences my demons. He sees me and loves me unconditionally, and I don’t have to question it.
Did the Covid-19 pandemic bring the two of you closer, or did you experience some push back?
This pandemic has definitely brought us closer together. You learn a lot about yourself when you are locked in the house with someone 24/7, especially at the beginning of this pandemic. We found ways to entertain each other and became even more of an accountability partner for one another. We didn’t experience much pushback as we still allowed space for individual alone time, and we had already established boundaries beforehand.
Your favorite R&B artist of all time?
My favorite R&B artists of all time is sooooo hard to answer. I love so many R&B artists. I would have to say its a toss-up between Boyz II Men and Tevin Campbell.
Being from Baton Rouge, what do you love most about your hometown?
What I love most about my hometown is the food and the people. I love visiting, spending time with my family, and all the cajun foods.
Most definitely! I want to shout out my DOPE A** producer, Chris V (@iiamchrisv), for bringing heat to every studio session. Shouts to my bro Auspicious (@opticmurals) for the dope video for About Us. Shouts to my moms, pops, and family in Louisiana and Texas. Shouts to my soon to be Hubbs for riding this journey with me. Last but not least, shout out to all of my supporters that have been rocking out and vibing with me. Keep shining and keep rocking!
STAY SOCIAL WITH ONLYBENTON
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Feature image/Artwork: Photo: Jamison Harris | @jamisonoht
Promotional Image: Jamal Harrison
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