Hailing from Essex, England is singer-songwriter and music teacher Ben Selleck. Citing his influences as Al Green and Marvin Gaye, Selleck’s vocal performances and musical sound are reflective of times’ past. This year, Selleck has released his debut single “Different Sides”– which speaks to a couple who couldn’t be more different, but complement one another’s differences. The song recently earned its way to the #1 position in the UK country charts and amongst the top 100 songs on iTunes.
Recently I spoke with Selleck about his path to pursuing his solo career, his debut single and his goals for the remainder of the year.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become an artist?
I’ve been a part of my local music scene for 20 years, playing in bars & clubs and wedding bands. During lockdown, I found myself listening more and more to UK country artists via indie radio stations & also on the artists’ live streams. It all inspired me to start writing (something I’ve shied away from in recent years) and release the music as a new solo project.
Kyla Pearson: You have also been a music teacher for the past several years. How would you say that experience has influenced your solo career as an artist? What made you want to make the jump to pursuing a solo career?
Ben Selleck: I can’t really say that it has influenced my solo career, if anything it has been the break from teaching & playing live as venues shut down in the midst of the pandemic that reignited this passion of songwriting.
Kyla Pearson: What would you say has been the most memorable part of this new journey for you so far?
Ben Selleck: To have released anything at all has been such a positive experience for me, from reconnecting with musicians, meeting new co-writers, and hearing my music on the radio. However, the absolute sheer surprise of seeing the single steadily climb up to the top spot on the iTunes UK Country Chart on its first weekend of release, was something I couldn’t have even dreamed of.
Kyla Pearson: What message do you hope to share with your fans through your music?
Ben Selleck: I want my music to connect with people, and build up a back catalogue of tunes that have memorable melodies and song topics lots of people can relate to. Maybe that’s a generic answer but it’s totally true… I want people to be able to easily sing along at a gig- yet find substance or a sense of connection to the lyrics if they want to dig a little deeper.
Kyla Pearson: Your debut single, “Different Sides” was released on May 28th. The song speaks to a couple who is “two different sides of the same coin”. Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind the song?
Ben Selleck: I’d say it’s mostly based on a fictional couple, however, since its release so many people have said “that sounds just like me & my wife” etc. I was just inspired by the title of the song, a phrase I heard being used on a podcast and used some more Men are from Mars Women are from Venus scenarios to flesh out the idea. Everyone knows that couple that seems to be polar opposites, yet seemingly manages to co-exist in perfect harmony despite their differences.
Kyla Pearson: Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song?
Ben Selleck: I was able to call upon some great musicians and friends to help me in the recording process and put some flesh to the bones of my original demo. Amy Debouchet on backing vocals almost made the song sound like a duet. She’s superb. Ben Rudge added drums, and Adam Wright added so much with his guitar licks and bass lines, also producing the song. It was all done remotely and I’m very much indebted to their talent.
Kyla Pearson: Your musical sound is influenced by the likes of Al Gavin and Marvin Gaye. What made you want to pursue this specific niche sound?
Ben Selleck: Whether or not it’s a niche sound globally, I’m not sure, but I don’t hear too many UK acts with this southern rock/soul sensibility. I’m not sure who I could liken myself to, perhaps a male Sheryl Crow type sound – I’m a fan of her soulful vocals, yet her stones/black crowes-esque instrumentation appeals greatly to me too.
Kyla Pearson: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Different Sides”?
Ben Selleck: Yes, indeed. I’ve just finished mixing my next single “Soul Food” which is scheduled for release In July. After that, I have a few more singles I’d like to release before an album “Four Chords & The Truth” in Spring 2022.
Ben, Selleck. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jun. 20 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: singer-songwriter Ben Selleck”. Photo courtesy of Ben Selleck. Accessed Jun. 20 2021.
Unknown. “Official single art for Ben Selleck’s debut single, ‘Different Sides’”. Photo courtesy of Rachel Selleck. Accessed Jun. 20 2021.