Alec Benjamin Photoshoot and Interview for FAULT Magazine Issue 31 preview


Alec Benjamin For FAULT Magazine Issue 31 

Alec Benjamin


Words and Photography by Miles Holder

I’ve often found Alec Benjamin to be a mysterious artist. While his young age and 1.2 million Instagram followers tell the tale of another digital artist capitalising of virality of one single, when listening to his rich musical library, it becomes very clear that this is not the case whatsoever with Alec.
He cites Eminem, Jason Mraz and John Mayer as early influences and it shows in his exceptional storytelling ability. One of his earliest songs “Beautiful Pain” released in 2013 and inspired by the passing of his grandfather, opens a window into the fascinating ways Alec processed the grief internally. More recently, his 2018 single ‘If I Killed Someone For You’ sees Alec flex his storytelling muscles, forming a coherent linear narrative in a song filled with foreboding lyrics concerning contemplated murder, only to flip the script and reveal that the one murdered was, in fact, the person he used to be. A magnificently written track and one where his admiration of Emnimen’s music (Stan especially) shines through.


Your career is unique, both in your rise to acclaim and your lyricism, but does being so unique prove difficult in that you don’t have a point of reference to learn from or any musicians to replicate?

Alec Benjamin: I guess everyone has their unique path and there’s never a clear way to do things so I think everyone struggles. 

When I was a kid I was never into the most popular music, I wasn’t indie enough for obscure music but I also wasn’t into the most popular musicians. My favourite musicians growing up were Jason Mraz, John Mayer and other adult contemporary artists. 

Like everyone else, as I got further with music, I started to compare myself to other artists like Ariana Grande, BTS or Billie Elish and beat myself up over it. I’d ask myself “Why aren’t I as big as them?” “Why aren’t my shows crazier?” But then I remembered that when I was a kid, I wanted to go and sit in an auditorium and just listen to someone sing, so it makes sense that this is my path and the only difficult aspect is having to accept it because I always want more. 


Do you ever feel worried about receiving critical opinions towards your dark but also honestly written music? 

Alec Benjamin: I think the scarier thing is making a song that isn’t honest. I like to tell the truth and be open and I while something inside me says “be bigger and sell tickets”, all I want to do is impact people. I was watching Elon Musk talk and he said “you either want to impact a lot of people on a surface level or a smaller amount on a deeper level” and I want to do the latter. 

If I’m scared of anything it’s that my desire to grow will dilute my message and the fans who found me at the beginning will notice I’m not speaking my truth anymore. 

Alec Benjamin

You seem to share a very close bond with your fans

Alec Benjamin: I think I have two types of listeners, some people listened to ‘let me down slowly’ and enjoy it but won’t necessarily come to my shows.  There are those that come to my shows and have found songs on the album which they relate to. I imagine they feel the same way about things happening in their lives as I did and that’s so special to me. 

I put out music because I want to tell my truth and I don’t think people truly understand me otherwise. I started talking to a psychologist because I felt a little down and I needed to talk to someone.  In telling him my life story he explained that the reason I can be so open in my music is that without it, I don’t feel like people understand my feelings. 


In a way, are you trying to be the musician you needed to hear while you were growing up?

Alec Benjamin: 100%. When I was younger I wanted to be John Mayer and Jason Mraz and I wanted to write words that made people cry. When I listened to Stan by Eminem at 6 years I went back through his discography I was like “shit”. I had never heard someone do that  “All I want to do is impact people” with words and I wanted to do the same. I ended up being a musician and now looking back it all makes sense. 

alec benjamin


If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?

Alec Benjamin: I would tell myself to work harder because I was the person who was like “I need to wait for inspiration to strike” but I went from one extreme to the other. I’d walk into writing sessions unprepared or I’d go to preparing so much that I wasn’t living my life. 


Do you think you get a chance to take in and reflect upon your musical journey? 

Alec Benjamin: I never feel like it’s real because I’m always looking at people who have more than me. I’m like “this is cool but imagine I had all of what that person has.” Sometimes I feel I need to take a step back and appreciate it. In saying that, there are a few times I’ve stopped to take it all in. When I played in New York where my mum, dad and my best friend Evan attended. I’ve known Evan since the 6th grade and I looked up and saw him smiling and I was like “I’ve come a long way”. He’s seen me playing tiny gigs for 2 people and now I’m in front of 3000 people. That to me was a moment that hit me. 


Do you fear that by not paying attention you could miss it?

Alec Benjamin: I get too scared that it’ll go away and I think that’s why I can’t enjoy it. All the great things that have happened to me now are a result of things I did two years ago. In my head, if I want to still be on this path in two years from now, then I have to focus on working so I don’t fall behind. 

Alec Benjamin

That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself…

Alec Benjamin: Yeah it is but what choice do I have. I see people get a little bit of success and they go out and party and spend all their money. I don’t want to enjoy it too much. 

What is your FAULT? 

Alec Benjamin: I overthink and everything and need everything to be perfect. When I was a kid I thought I was lazy because I didn’t realise that one of the reasons I would avoid doing things is because I have OCD. I will do something but I won’t ever finish because I don’t feel it’s perfect – that’s often my FAULT.


Alec Benjamin’s debut album ‘These Two Windows’ will be released May 29th