Ben Ramsay is an 18 year old artist from Worcester, he has recently released me debut single titled “The New Consistent” with production coming from Austin Williams of Swim Deep.
Ben was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, here’s what he had to say.
How did you first get into music?
“Like most musicians I was brought up with music always in the house, then in my teens I really started to gain interest until it became the thing I revolved my life around, it became a social thing to like. I’d go to gigs with mates in Birmingham at places like the sunflower lounge, the institute and it got to the point when I was like 15/16 when I thought I wanted to do it myself. There was never a pivotal point where I decided I was into music, it sort of just grew on me as I grew up, I think that happens with most people though, they just discover and listen to different genres”
How supportive have close friends and family been?
“I’ve only got a small circle of people around me really, but those within it have been great. I think everyone likes what they’ve heard so far and have tried to spread the word as much as they can, I can’t thank them enough for it really. My dad’s kind of decided to be a wise man, coming up with ideas and stuff and being brutally honest in feedback when I show him new material, which is good. My mum and my missus are proper supportive, whoever follows/is friends with them on any social media site must be sick of seeing all my posts they’ve shared!”
Where do ideas for songs come from?
“Genuine experiences I’ve gone through. In my first demo I put out, the lyrics were kind of a story, and I wrote about the real, simple things I, and many others have probably been through. Ozzy, who is kind of my producer/manager at the minute picked up on that straight away, saying lyrics like “I’d rather just lie back down and give her a spoon” really stood out to him and so I’ve just carried on with that style of writing since. I think it engages people more when you write the song like a story, and I find that quite easy to do. Most of the time, if I find myself in a situation that’s given me some inspiration, I’ll just sit there and write 80% of the song in my notes on my phone”
What has been one of your top highlights
“There’s been loads of highs already to be honest. I think the day I put out my first demo in March and got a reply from Ozzy saying he loved it was pretty mad, cos before that I’d barely shown my music to anyone and suddenly I found myself at the start of all this and things really began kicking off. Going down to London to record the tracks was pretty insane too. I’d never properly been out to London or anything, so it was quite a big thing. But getting the chance to record my music with someone who I look up to was great, and I can’t thank Ozzy enough for what he’s done so far”
Can you tell us about your new track?
“This track was written quite soon after I’d broken up with my ex. I’d gone out to the pub with my mate after work and we were both feeling pretty shit for a few reasons and were just chatting and getting pissed for hours and I just sat and wrote the whole song on my notes in the space of like 10 minutes. I was just taking in my surroundings and feelings and throwing some rhymes in. It’s quite a personal song, because it’s so honest and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I then took the lyrics to London in May and Ozzy had this backing track that he’d made, and they just fitted perfectly”
What was the music scene like where you grew up?
“In Worcester itself there wasn’t really much going on, they’re never has been really, except when it was kind of involved with the B-Town scene, with various members of different bands originating from here. It wasn’t until we ventured to Birmingham for gigs each week that you saw any type of scene. Because nobody comes to Worcester when they tour we sort of have to attach ourselves to any scene that’s associated with Birmingham, because they’re so close we can sort of get away with it! But yeah, 2015 was pretty cool musically cos everyone was just getting back into grime, and a few of the midland’s bands had come back with second albums so it felt like a lot was going on”
Do you have any funny/interesting gig stories you can share with us?
“In terms of going to gigs, there’s a quite a few. We went to see this band at the civic hall in wolves and by the time they came on my mate was just sat in a corner on the floor by himself cos he was too stoned, then by the last song we all found him with us and he was fine again! I once met a member of Spring King when they came to Birmingham a few years back and he said thanks for coming to me and in all the hype I just went “you too” and walked off shamefully. I thanked the bloke for coming to his own fucking gig”
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
“If all goes to plan, I’m gonna be releasing another single at the end of October/start of November and then to follow that up I’m gonna be releasing my debut EP by January the latest. A lot of the recording is already done for the EP, which is gonna be 5 tracks long, with just a few bits needing to be done with Ozzy, who’s producing it. Come the new year I want to start playing live, I’ve begun practising so hopefully I’ll be getting some gigs in around January/February so make sure you get down for them once they’re announced!”
I ask this question to everyone I interview, what was your first ever gig/concert and how much of an impact has that had on you?
“My first gig was Morrissey in Birmingham in like 2015, before I realised how much of a prick he is, may I point out. To be honest it didn’t impact me that much. It was in this massive arena, with shit sound and I only knew half the set so it’s never stood out in my memory, I find smaller gigs, of current artists to be way more inspirational cos it makes you feel like you could be doing the same right now. I’m glad that my first gig was the first and last time seeing Morrissey, because if anything, the only impact it had on me was laying down the foundations for my growing hatred of him. Johnny Marr is a top bloke though”
By Siân Parker
Credit to Andrew Busby for the photo