Band of the Week: Sean Benjamin

Meet the Band: Sean Benjamin (vocals and guitar)

Open Mic Fiend: Born and raised in Cleveland, singer-songwriter Sean Benjamin started performing during his sophomore year at Ohio State. "I fell into it," he says. "I had written all these songs to try to get a girl back. That worked and then stopped working." Yet, he kept writing songs. "I went to an open mic night at the Arabica by John Carroll University and one night the guy who ran it wasn't there so they asked me to just play there. I played every song I knew, and I got bit by the bug. I've been chasing that high ever since."

On Recording: Initially, Benjamin just recorded his songs in his basement and sold the resulting CDs at live shows. "They're the worst quality," he admits. "The songs are good, but my voice isn't developed. I still play those songs. When I made my studio-produced record [2011's I Exist], some of those songs were on them." He's currently in the process of recording an EP with his backing band Lucky City, and he hopes to record another solo album with producer Dru Boogie.

Why You Should Hear Him: His songs run a wide gamut. With its hushed vocals and percolating synths, "Sky Dive" draws from '80s pop/funk and the acoustic "Tenth Month" sounds a bit like something from singer-songwriter David Gray. "From a marketing standpoint, I break every rule," he says with a laugh. "I play all these different genres. I'm the worst nightmare for a record company. I have one song with a hip-hop sound and one with a folk sound. Sometimes, I play solo acoustic and sometimes I play with Lucky City and sometimes I play with my producer Dru Boogie and we have done some shows with turntable."

Where You Can Hear Him:

Where You Can See Him: Sean Benjamin performs at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Brothers Lounge.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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