Ben Platt Exclusive FAULT Magazine Digital Covershoot and Interview

Photographer: Martin Brown | Fashion Editor: Chaunielle Brown | Grooming: Melissa DeZarate for Sunday Riley | Fashion Stylist Assistant: Anna Khitrina | Location: The Conrad Hotel

 

Words: Miles Holder

While many know Ben Platt from his role as Benji in the smash hit film series ‘Pitch Perfect’, in March of this year he released his debut album ‘Sing To Me Instead’ – a raw and brutely honest album which for many was the first time we’ve gotten to know Ben for Ben and not for the character he portrays on screen and on stage in his numerous acting roles.

His album’s success can be attributed not only for the quality of the production and powerful vocals honed from years on the stage but also for his ability as a well-known celebrity to sing about issues such as heartbreak, sexuality and the joys of life and still resonate with listeners across the world.

We caught up with Ben in New York’s The Conrad Hotel to find out more about the fears and joys of releasing such an album to the public and to find out more about his upcoming projects.

 

How does it feel now that the album is out there and you’ve had time to reflect on its reception?

I think of it much like a band-aid that needed to be ripped off. I was nervous leading up to the release and what the reception would be like. Once the music was out there in the world people were responding to it in a meaningful way – I just became excited to just get on stage and start touring. The main goal of the project has always been to perform these songs live in a room full of people and now that I’m very comfortable with all of my thoughts and feelings being out there in the world I’m excited to let the audience in, in person.

Has your drive to get on tour and performing live maybe linked to your theatre background?

It’s definitely that background that has made more comfortable but also for a lot of my personal favourite artists, it wasn’t until I saw them live that I truly fell in love with them. With recorded music, there’s a lot of production and “fixing” which is done to create a beautiful sound but I find there’s something more beautiful to see someone performing unadulterated and raw and it produces a unique kind of electricity. To have that alongside the thrill of performing your own music is certainly a thrill that I’ve chased and am very excited about.

It’s a very honest album, was there ever a moment where you thought “oh wow, maybe I shouldn’t be so open”?

During the process, it was very natural and I knew that I wanted to sing about certain topics which appear on the album. I think coming from the theatre I’m used to music being a form of communication so I wasn’t scared of using it as a form of tackling certain things. It was more so the lead up to release that the fear set in in line with the reality of the situation. I’d had a month of sharing my feelings with myself and my friends and family which was such a positive experience to have with a small circle of people and once the larger campaign happened with the public I was quite scared. But that was the whole point of doing the pop album of original songs and not just covers, it was about showing the public a side of myself that I don’t get the chance to show as an actor because I’m able to speak to different people and share my own persona which was only going to happen if I went out on a whim and showed true transparency with my audience.

Was was the best part of creating the album?

Working with my fellow co-writers, there were a few particularly that I just connected with personally and artistically and I am so happy to have them in my life. One of my favorite parts of the experience was to meet such creative people because I’d never been through a process like that before and some of the collaborations were beautiful for the songs we made and others for the impact they had on my life during that time and I’m grateful for that experience and can’t wait to do it all again.

And in turn, what was the most difficult part?

I needed to decide if I should do a softer singer-songwriter approach but then I didn’t want to throw away all of the technical singing knowledge I’d accrued from working in musical theatre. Deciding on what songs made it into the album, in the end, was finding which ones sat in that middle area.

What’s one question no journalist never asked you before?

People tend to be very thorough! I guess no one has really unpacked with me what I’m going to do after this album and I do want to confirm that I definitely plan to continue honing my writing skills, going to Nashville and learning how to perfect the craft so I can continue to write real pure songs which say exactly what needs to be said on later projects.

We’ll see you on screen again in September in The Politician, can you tell us a bit about your role?

My character is Payton Hobart is pretty conniving, ambitious and self-serving which is something I’ve never gotten to play and I really enjoy playing characters who are difficult to root for and morally ambiguous. The show will follow his unshakable ambition to become president of the united states and it’s a very heightened satirical world and I’m excited for people to see it.

 

A lot of the cast have a stage background also, did that bring a different dynamic to your other projects?

The show is very stylistic and composed and I think that Ryan Murphy the great mind being the show picked a lot of people from a theatre background for their love of that kind of environment. It feels very familiar and we’re all such a creative family and the show really feels like home for the whole cast.

What is your FAULT?

I am a big over worrier to the point that I keep myself doing things which can have a positive impact on my life. I tend to think of all the things that can go wrong before the things that could go wrong and I think that anxiety in general and from being so appreciative of what has gone well for me that I’m always worried of when that energy could drop.