Ben’s journey in music can certainly be regarded as eventful and varied.
As a songwriter he has released his own album, several singles and video clip – all of which received critical acclaim, Radio & TV Airplay.
As a singer he continues to surprise his audiences, including the 4 coaches in ‘The Voice of Holland’, getting them to turn all 4 chairs.
Ben has also lent his voice to many radio commercials & jingles, remixes & song pitches, so there is a good chance you may have heard him somewhere. But success is often the result of much hard work, and this certainly applies to Ben.
Having studied piano since the age of 5, playing the traditional classical repertoire, Ben stopped playing aged 15. Teenage life and listening to heavy metal (AC/DC & Van Halen) was far more interesting. It was only a few years later after hearing Bruce Hornsby's 'The Way It Is' on the radio that Ben started playing and writing music again. He also taught himself to play the guitar.
Whilst completing a law degree in Bristol, UK, Ben took up piano study with gifted jazz pianist Dave Buxton (Andy Sheppard). It was Dave's creative and innovative approach to music and composition that inspired Ben to continue writing music, instead of just copying others.
Having fallen in love with Holland, Ben was accepted to study composition and arranging at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, where he studied with renowned jazz composer Bob Brookmeyer (Bill Evans, Stan Getz).
Although arranging for Big Band was a great learning experience, the songwriting didn't stop and during his study Ben won in UK magazine Sound on Sound the Best Demo award for 3 of his songs. The review stated :
” This is a tape on which any of the songs could be a hit for an established artist ”
After his study, Ben spent some time working as a freelance musician, producer and engineer and continued to write, record and mix his own songs. Having made friends with some of the best musicians in Holland, Ben learned a lot about the recording process, and recorded & produced his own Album ‘One and Only You’ – resulting in a quality seldom encountered with a self-produced record.
For further inspiration and in order to gain a better insight into the songwriting process Ben travelled to songwriting city Nashville, USA, where he hooked up with songwriter Rob Crosby (Martina McBride, Ilse de Lange) who shared his thoughts on the craft of writing songs. Ben also met many record company executives and publishers who all expressed pleasant surprise at the quality of the his songs - although at the time most felt that Ben's voice wasn't quite there yet if he was to compete with the best that Nashville had to offer - a point that Ben took to heart.
In the years that followed, Ben worked hard on improving his singing voice and played in just about every pub and club that would have him. He released some singles CD Singles (The Why, So Good Inside, Lost Alone) which were all well received by Press, Radio & TV. So Good Inside was also accompanied by a great looking Video Clip that was shown on the video channels such as MTV. As part of the CD promotion Ben played his songs many times on local and national Radio - always live on air - something that many artists prefer not to do !
In summing up his songs, one newspaper review (Haagse Courant) stated that Ben had :
” Managed to write songs that made you feel good, even when the subject matter dealt with life’s more serious topics such as heartache and loss ”
A sentiment that echoes Ben's positive outlook on life and one that is really necessary in the hard world of the music business !
Since taking part in the hit TV Show ‘The Voice of Holland’ Ben’s musical career has received more recognition. His version of ‘Time after Time’ left a lasting impresison, including the coaches. All 4 turned their chairs in the Blind Auditions, and commented that ‘Some things are just good’ (Marco Borsato), ‘It was really beautiful from the first moment’ (Angela Groothuizen), ‘We’d like to see you in your own theater show’ (Nick & Simon), ‘I’m a little lost for words’ (Roel van Velzen).
In the ‘Battle’ round Ben’s dual with favorite Guy Barzily - featuring two piano’s in the boxing ring - was one of the highlights of the show.
Since The Voice Ben has been busy writing, recording (his new CD Single ‘Long Hot Summer’) performing live, and hopes to release a new Album in the not too distant future.