Not letting lockdown get in the way of his ‘catch ups’ with UK celebs, Anthony chatted to Ben Ofoeudo about his new band Boyz On Block.
In a lockdown live interview, Ben and I talked about, surviving the pandemic, internet trolls, the music industry, and Ben’s latest venture with Boyz On Block — his new band with Shane Lynch (Boyzone), Dane Bowers (Another Level), and ‘Abz’ (five).
The well-known pop superstar famed for his time with the group Phats and Small is probably most remembered for his chart-topping dance floor filling hit “Turn Around”. Ben Spoke of his route to success having been in a band that was dropped by the record label they had signed with and then fortuitously being asked to record lyrics for a song Phats and Small were recording – this saw the success he hankered after (and deserved) become a reality.
Ben shared his highs and lows of finding fame: “Whatever you think it is [fame] it is more, I discovered that I loved performing live, and I loved traveling and meeting people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet in my life”.
The lows he said were “the people who are making money out of you, they will push, and push and cause divides”; he also spoke about internet trolls: “The great thing is that now- trolling is so uncool, people who troll have nothing going on there in their lives and they feel the shame”.
Ben formed his new band with his friends from other boybands (Westlife, Another Level, and five), when they were booked to perform at Bournemouth PRIDE. “We hadn’t seen each other for a few years, and it was just like the old days hanging out backstage at a Smash Hits party, or something… We were all booked separately but ended up on stage together and it was amazing, the next day we said, ‘We have got to do something with this.’ ”
Speaking about the music industry and his age he said, “The people we know in the industry back in the day, are now the managers and directors of the labels, we can call them up and things are good — we haven’t had any problem with our age being a factor thankfully”.
On the topic of vaccines, and people being afraid to take a vaccine, in particular members of the BAME community, he advised that they should he advised: “There are people who watch videos online and the conspiracy theorists who spread fear, question what you are watching, they aren’t qualified to be advising you.”
Coming up for Ben and Boyz on Block is a new single with Heather Small (MPeople). “Heather is a good friend of mine, we gym it together, her voice is amazing, I am really excited about the track”.
I must say, I too am very excited to hear it! Chatting with Ben was a joy, he is a charming, HANDSOME, and articulate individual. I hope you enjoy watching our chat in the video below.
MADISON BEER – LIFE SUPPORT
Madison Beer releases her highly anticipated debut album, Life Support, nine years to the day since her first post on YouTube.
Candid, audacious and sonically eclectic Madison Beer’s Life Support is a strong personal and artistic statement from a self-made star who refuses to play by pop’s usual rules. It sees Madison where she thrives, commanding creative control through writing her own songs, producing, and creating her own visuals.
Expressing and inspiring a rollercoaster of emotions through spellbinding vocals over a broad ranging soundbed reflective of Madison’s own diverse musical tastes, Life Support is experimental, honest and ardent. There are references to mental health and prescription drugs, to the dizzying highs and rock-bottom lows of toxic relationships and to the atypical life that Madison has led since famously being discovered on YouTube aged just 12.
“Writing songs is like therapy for me.” says Madison Beer. “That’s why this album is called Life Support. It helped me get rid of the darkness and see the light. My inspirations sonically are really diverse. I guess I’m not an easy artist to pigeonhole, and a lot of these songs are like nothing I’ve ever attempted before. All of me is laid bare on this album; it’s been a really fulfilling experience to create something that feels so true to myself. Making music taught me a safe way of being vulnerable. It forced me to put my feelings into words, to hold a mirror up to myself and translate that into something tangible.”
“There was a time in my life where the promise of going to the studio was the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s my lifeline. I can put something into a song and then let it go, send it out into the world. When fans tell me I’ve put a voice to something they’ve been feeling, it’s as affirming for me as it is for them.”
Madison performed the album in full for the first time at Madison Beer Presents: LIFE SUPPORT IN CONCERT – a fully stylized, globally streamed concert which Madison has developed in partnership with Headliner.
The innovative concert took place at www.headliner.live on 6th & 7th March across five time zones.
Follow at: @madisonbeer