Pop prince newcomer, Mac Benson, answers all of our important questions – we thought they were neccessary in order for you to get to know him. You get to find out when he first knew he wanted to be a musician, how he describes his sound and we chat about the dreaded topic – the music industry (in general).
When was your first initial thought that you wanted to be a music artist?
Well, I’ve always been into music since I was really young. My mum and aunt would always have the radio on and would always let me play CD’s they’d bought me in the car if we were ever going anywhere. I’d listen to the CD’s and watch concert movies religiously and loved to watch people perform, I’d even put on shows for my parents, sing them Lady Gaga and Britney songs and make up dance routines. Then, in my early teens I started writing my own songs and exploring SoundCloud, seeing ordinary people like myself making really good music. I guess ever since then, I’ve known that I wanted to be involved in music in some capacity.
How would you describe your sound and do you think it represents you as an artist?
I would say simply that I make Pop music. I think that’s a term that a lot of artists tend to shy away from because when they think ‘Pop’ they think of something diluted, simple and disingenuous. But I think that Pop music can actually be really clever and complex every now and then. I’d definitely say that my sound represents me as an artist as it’s directly inspired by the music that I listen to and that I grew up on: Lorde, The 1975, Frank Ocean, Blood Orange, Youth Lagoon. I feel like you can listen to my music and draw direct comparisons in production and lyricism and types of melodies from all of those artists.
Are there any upcoming bands/artists you’d love to collaborate with?
So many, my entire circle of close friends are musicians, either vocalists and writers or guitarists and I love working with them when I get the chance. Other than that though, I’m really into people like beabadoobee, her new album is really great. And maybe someone like Sam Fender, I think he’s doing a really good job of putting Newcastle on the map again in music.
Do you see yourself performing at Glastonbury one day?
Hopefully, I think to play a festival like that is an aspiration for most artists like myself.
Nobody wants to pay for music anymore
What are your thoughts on the music industry? Do you find it hard to breakthrough as a small artist?
Sometimes I think it can feel like the music industry is on a downward spiral. Nobody wants to pay for music anymore, nobody wants to invest in products from artists they love in the way they used to because of the rise of social media and streaming services, which, depending on who you are, don’t make you a lot of money. However, I do feel as though now more than ever, musicians are beginning to realise that they can make music on their own terms, and I think that people are defining success based on themselves rather than thinking of success as signing to major labels, making loads of money and being known widespread. You can literally do all of that yourself now, from your room, with no label behind you.
If you could be one artist for a day, who would you be and why?
I’d love to be somebody like Adele, or Lorde or Lana Del Rey, mostly because their lives are seemingly quite casual. It’s all about the music for people like that. They maintain low profiles when they’re working on something and sort of come out of hibernation during the promotional period and then repeat the cycle over. Something about that just seems desirable to me.
Finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
By then, I hope to just have making music be my full time thing. I also really enjoy the production side of things and have been working recently with loads of my close friends, producing stuff for/with them and prefer that much more to working on my own music, so maybe I’ll explore that more. I’d also really like to make an album. I’ve been making little EP’s since I was 16 and I’m now about to turn 20, so I think maybe its time to invest and work on something a little bigger.