As an electronic-folk artist from Israel, Benjamin's Brother has already earned himself praise from the likes of Paste Magazine, together with comparisons to artists including Belle and Sebastian.
With an unmistakable determination to be his own artist and put his unique stamp on the music world, together with having just released the video for his latest track "Story About A Broken Heart", he kindly agreed to this interview to chat social media, creativity and his plans for the year ahead.
PW: How would you describe yourself and your music?
Benjamin’s Brother: I would describe myself as a storyteller. I'll take a moment of my life and write it as a story that everyone can relate to and identify themselves in. The music is just another layer to the story and it's crucial to the story. Folk would be the best way to describe my music. Storytelling is the core of folk music in my eyes.
PW: When did you first realise that you wanted to be a recording artist?
BB: The first time I ever wrote a sentence, the first time I wrote music, the first time I loved what I was doing with the guitar or the piano, I just knew I wanted to put it out there. It's not something you suddenly realize or wake up one day thinking "oh I want to be a recording artist". It burns in you, like if you wouldn't do it, the world will collapse. Yeah, I'm a cliché!
PW: Who would you say you're most influenced by musically and personally?
BB: My influences come from different places. Whether it be Radiohead, Bowie, or my wife, it's all the same to me. Once a moment, a song, a kiss, is engraved into your mind, it's there, and it'll affect you for the rest of your life. But if I had to choose, I'd say Bon Iver, Other Lives, and my wife. Not particularly in that order.
PW: How does/has being based in Israel impact(ed) your musical influences if at all?
BB: Stress and losing friends to terror is definitely something that affects you. You write things like it's the last time. Also, Israel is a very small country, with so much talent, and you always have to do your best to stick out. The only thing that bothers me though, is the fact that when I play overseas, people ask me not to say I'm from Israel. I honestly wish they’d stop judging me based on where I'm from and stop letting political bullshit be a part of the discrimination system. We have so much bad in this world, we don't need more.
PW: Is there one band or artist you think you sound most similar to?
BB: There was one time I was compared to Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and Belle & Sebastian in the same sentence. That only confirmed the fact that I sound like myself more than I sound like others. I was honored though; they're my inspiration.
PW: What, in your opinion, makes a good, or great song?
BB: Well, we all wanna know that, right? I would hit the No.1 on Billboard. Personally, I think it's all about the soul in it. People can hear if you believe in your music or not.
PW: Which song would you say is the greatest ever written and why?
BB: There's no way I can answer that, and feel okay with the answer.
PW: Who or what influences your song-writing and is writing something that comes easy to you?
BB: I just want everyone to know - there's no such a thing as writing that comes easy. Sometimes it's faster and sometimes it takes years - yes, years. My influences are relationships. The relationship with my wife, my job, my friends, my country; I'm just trying to tell my side of the story.
PW: Tell me a little bit about "Story About A Broken Heart."
BB: I used to love someone, and we had a twisted relationship. It was built on lies and false feelings, but we still loved each other, so I wanted to ask myself ‘what do you do in that situation?’ Do you fight to stay or do you fight to leave? I still don't think I have the answer…
PW: The video is stunning. How did the creation of it come about?
BB: Noam & Tal asked me what the song is all about so they could build the script around it. I never told them, but somehow, they felt exactly what I wanted to say, but in their own language. And I think it's important when you work with artists that you don't feed them the story. They're creative enough as they are; that’s why you work with them.
PW: You've got an album due out soon. Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about it?
BB: I worked for 3 years on the album, and I can safely say that I'm proud of the outcome. I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself through creating it. I would always write the music before the lyrics, so that way I had to dig deep inside myself in order to find the right words for the music. It was an amazing quest.
PW: Do you have a favourite track?
BB: It's not a favorite, but it's the one that I'm proud of – “Room 505”. It still makes me cry.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media? Do you think it's a necessary tool for bands and artists today?
BB: A couple of days ago I got a message from a girl who was a victim of sexual assault. She said that my song "Room 505" was the first trigger for hope and believing she can have a new life after this horrible thing. She wouldn't have heard it were it not for social media, and I would never have known know that I helped someone. The fact I can talk directly with fans is the reason I love social media, and I believe it is a necessary tool.
PW: What are your tour and performance plans for the year?
BB: Hopefully tour in the US, and Europe, I'm actually working on it now.
PW: Any other plans in the pipeline you can tell me about?
BB: I have already started working on the second album, so the plan is to keep making music. Oh, and there's another video that will amaze you. I can't say more then it'll have twins in it.
Check out the video for "Story About A Broken Heart" below and for more information on Benjamin's Brother, visit his website or give his page a like on Facebook. You can also check out more of his music on YouTube and SoundCloud.