STILL STANDING: Eric Benét
Q You’re coming to the UK to perform a series of shows this month. What is it about performing for a UK crowd that you love?
Eric Bent: I’m happy to be back to perform in a place I love because there is a high enough demand that allows me to come over and do my thing. I love how there’s an appreciation for real, funky music here.
The focus seems to be on music and instrumentation opposed to personality. So I’m excited to play to audiences who get it and appreciate artistry.
Q: Beyond these upcoming shows, this year you’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of your solo debut, which is a huge milestone! Out of all the albums you’ve released thus far, which one do you feel is the most significant and will be just as iconic as your debut in 20 years’ time?
EB: I’d probably say ‘Day In The Life’. That album was released 18 years ago, and could still be relevant in 20 years. Everything from the way the bass is thumping to the harmonies is timeless to me – but I try and attempt to make music that isn’t stuck in the moment at all times.
Q: Your music seems to exude positivity these days – despite being influenced by current world events. How do you maintain a positive mind- set and express that through your music?
EB: I think it’s just maturity. The older I get, the more I understand what’s important, what’s worth investing in and what’s not. So those cliché sayings like, ‘Believe in yourself’, really do mean more to me now. It’s all about keeping the people you love close to you, being true to yourself and those you’re with. So the older I get, the more I aspire to be that way, and I think that’s reflected in my music.
Q: With only three months left until the end of 2017, what are you still looking to achieve that you have yet to, whether that’s professional or personal?
EB: I’m always looking to find new ways to express myself and explore my creativity. I’m embarking on a new creative venture of film production, which is thrilling and exciting. It feels like I’m 20 years old again in Milwaukee, recording my very first album – which as you can imagine has all kinds of feelings of joy, anticipation and excitement.
So it’s really fascinating to feel that all over again and in the film industry, so I’m excited to explore that further.
Q: And for those who have never been to an Eric Benet show, what can they expect?
EB: My band and I will be performing some amazing music, from new songs to songs I haven’t performed for a while. We just like to have fun and be free with our creativity in a very spontaneous way. So expect a free, fun and authentic live experience.
See Eric Benet live on Thursday, October 26 at Electric Brixton, Friday, October 27 at Club Academy Manchester, and Saturday, October 28 at O2 Institute Birmingham. Tickets are available for all shows at ticketmaster.co.uk
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