From American Idol to a new EP, the "In The Stars" singer opens up about his unexpected road to success, and shares all the things about the guy beyond the music.
Benson Boone is a new artist that you seriously do not want falling off your radar. But honestly, it might be difficult for him to do so. The 20-year-old Washington state native has only been on the music scene for two years, yet he's accomplished a staggering amount. From earning a spot in the Top 24 on American Idol and working with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons to going viral on TikTok for his unique songwriting skills and performing for thousands in Norway, Benson has truly broken into the music world and his potential only seems to be growing. His first single "GHOST TOWN" earned gold certification after selling 500,000 copies and he recently performed his viral hit "In the Stars" on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
But let's go back a bit: before the singles and the upcoming EP, before singing his heart out in front of countless people, Benson Boone was just a typical high schooler. In fact, back then, he didn't even sing. So, one would think it had to be pure luck when Benson's friend asked him to appear in their school's battle of the bands.
Despite having never performed in his life, Benson said yes.
That battle of the bands performance would change everything. Not only did he unlock a latent talent, but a new passion for music became clear too. Up on stage, connecting with hundreds of people, Benson realized that exchanging excited, happy energy with a crowd through music was exactly what he wanted to pursue.
"Everything was intimidating about it,” said Benson.
Like many aspiring musicians, Benson's next step became competing in American Idol. He was only 18, still reeling from finding out he had a talent for music, and yet he impressed the judges with his rendition of "Punchline" by Aidan Martin. It seemed he could have made it all the way too after making it to the Top 24 and garnering a significant fanbase, but he eventually decided to leave the show for personal reasons.
Serendipitously, the decision to step out of the show led to his surprise meeting with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. The whole thing began on Instagram. When Benson received the DM from the music giant asking to meet up in Las Vegas to write some songs, Benson felt complete awe, but also plenty of nerves. The meeting was like jumping off into the deep end, entering the big house of an even bigger and talented musician. Luckily, Reynolds and Benson hit it off right away and spent the entire day writing music together. Their mentorship, which has evolved into a friendship too, continues to be nurtured as the two remain in touch and talk often about what they're working on.
Photos: Bridget Cannon
As of late, Benson has released three songs, which have been effortlessly racking up streams as well as views on TikTok. And his upcoming EP "Walk Me Home" was just released today, July 29th. Since he first decided to turn his talent into a career, he feels like he’s started to find himself as a musician.
One word that stands out when trying to describe Benson Boone and his music would be passionate.
He tends to sing about love in its many forms and each performance is shot through with vulnerability and truth, even if the moments, feelings, and instances captured on the song never even happened to him.
This rawness is certainly what makes Benson so popular on TikTok, along with his natural charm and humor. His fans have formed a small virtual community around him in which they celebrate his music and of course, ask for even more music. Along with videos teasing his new work and promoting the old, he also makes regular funny skits that often showcase his family. One video in particular that struck viewers was a video of Benson and his younger sister singing together. It seems like talent runs in the family.
"I'm a huge people person. And really, when I'm on stage, I'm truly like the same person I am in real life," said Benson.
When it comes to seeing Benson perform, he truly is the high-energy, emotionally honest musician that he projects to the rest of the world. His performance at Mercury Lounge in New York City was his first ever ticketed show in the U.S. and it definitely felt special.
This show was dedicated and heartfelt, despite the exhaustion he must have felt from the endless traveling. And what really stood out during the set was Benson's connection with the audience. He possessed a natural stage presence and he exuded genuine excitement about being with his fans and interacting with them. He even promised a few concertgoers that he'd meet up with them after the show to take pictures and sign autographs which he followed through on.
And this Benson-audience relationship isn't manufactured either. When asked about his favorite moments throughout his music journey, he gushed about the way he's able to feel the positive energy of a crowd and bring that energy back to them through his music. To him, the moments when fans sing back the lyrics are by far the most special. And after talking to him, it's clear that this amazing ability to connect with people on stage also applies to his real life. He's a total extrovert and a self-proclaimed people person. As soon as you meet him, you find yourself rooting for him.
This quality is sort of the core of Benson's talent. Not only can he hold a crowd, but his people skills allow him to write songs about real emotions happening around him. When it comes down to it, he sees himself as an observer of love; he's someone that watches his friends and family go through romance and heartbreak from an outside perspective and is able to articulate these difficult feelings into songs that feel so personal and intimate to the listener. He joked that if he ever does get his own heart broken, then the consequent songs he writes would have to be insane.
Top Photos: CristiGtzName | Bottom Photos: Bridget Cannon
"I want people to know that I'm not just a musician. I'm not just the music guy. I like to feel an adrenaline rush that's not just on stage," said Benson.
Of course, Benson Boone is more than just a musician and he isn't afraid to admit that. As someone whose music dreams have only just begun to form, he doesn't want to be just one thing. Along with making music, Benson also enjoys cliff jumping, mountain biking, and just being an ordinary 20-year-old. He has a big loving family supporting him and he seems in no rush to fall deeply into fame.
So far, he's just doing what he loves. Luckily for us, this does mean more music.
Benson's new EP, "Walk Me Home," was just released today. The cover of the project, Benson in black and white laying on his back, is yet another great symbol of his vulnerability as an artist. And he agrees that this set of music is a culmination of everything he's been feeling recently. With this EP, he's laying everything out there for fans, so there's no barrier between the musician and the person.
"'Walk Me Home' is super special to me and I'm honestly just excited to share a piece of my personal diary with everyone," said Benson.
In the short time we got to meet with Benson, it was clear he has a bright future ahead of him. He is someone you want to keep watching, whether that's in the music world or just as a lovely person. I'm highly anticipating what he'll do in the future and I'm certain you should do the same.