Benjamin Yellowitz – ‘Ash Wednesday’ single out now

Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
It all started with Heart FM! I love the fact that so many kids grow up listening to a station playing golden oldies! I listened to my parents’ music as most kids do – my mum was always listening to Motown classics. I’ve also got strong memories of listening to ‘Shout’ by Tears For Fears on my dad’s old Hi-Fi. I picked up an electric guitar from Cash Converters and joined/started as many bands as I could throughout school and college. Metal, Indie, Jazz and Soul, the more I played, the more fun I had learning from the musicians around me, especially when I started playing professionally.
What are your main ambitions in the industry?
Some sort of progression, I would love to write for other singers. I have also been producing other people’s music over the last year or so and it’s a very different experience on the other side of the glass! I would love to continue down the songwriting/producing path; collaborating with others is an intense process as some of the best ideas can be the most embarrassing at first. I’ve learnt that a sense of freedom and trust within the group will get a track written/recorded best, so a cup of tea (or something slightly stronger) is always handy.
When did you start writing your own songs/music?
The first ‘proper’ song I wrote was about my difficult relationship with my dad. Although I was only 13 when I wrote it, it was a pretty mature perspective! I still occasionally receive compliments from the few that have heard it, I love the thought of playing it live again one day – I’d have to change a few things first though! From that age, I continued to write and record songs as much as possible!
What would you say is your music career highlight to date?
There are so many bench marks and stepping stones, it’s hard to mention one as the single highlight. Last week I stopped off in my hometown, Birmingham, to headline a venue I have dreamed of since I was a kid – The Hare And Hounds. We’re also performing on Sofar Sounds, a small achievement that means a lot to me. Supporting Bonobo when I was drumming for Lizzy Parks was an eye-opening experience as to how good musicians can be! But I think best of all, was the first time I got pushed on the main stage at an Italian music festival, to keep the audience entertained whilst the headliners set up. There were so many people in the crowd and I didn’t even know what songs to play. I ended up getting the loudest encore I’ve ever had, it felt brilliant!
Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?
My influences are pretty diverse, from songwriters like Tracy Chapman and Ben Howard to RnB/Pop stars Usher and The Weeknd and those who are out on their own; James Blake, Fink, Kate Bush and Jono McCleery.
What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?
It is a dark and twisting song about growing up through two different religious schools. I wrote and produced the track myself. I like to think its a bit of a crazy mash up of RnB, Acoustic and Metal with dark electronic production. But most importantly, you really need to come and see us perform it live!
Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?
Here is where I give a shameless shout out to some of my incredibly talented musician friends, some of whom I have played with, written with or produced, they are; State of Play, Honey Moon, Mock Deer, Catrin Vincent and Lucy Cait, go check them out!
Any gigs coming up?
We are finishing off my UK tour and crossing the channel on the 4th April to play in France, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Czech Republic. These dates are constantly being updated on my facebook so please click the ole ‘like’ button…
Where can we find/follow you online?
Benjamin Yellowitz’s single ‘Ash Wednesday’ is out now via BYz Records.
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