HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
Benjamin Elias. It actually took some time to figure out and I had some crazy ideas at first, but I decided to go with something personal. My first name is actually Ben, and my great-grandfather was named Elias– so I put those two together and got Benjamin Elias (Benjamin Elia$). I decided to add the dollar sign as an homage to 90s hip-hop.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Benjamin Elias. I’ve always been passionate for writing and storytelling. I’ve also always loved hip-hop. I can’t really say that there was one moment, but I just eventually put those two together and began writing lyrics. From there, things just kind of snowballed and I kept rolling with it. The more that I find myself creating music, the more I feel that this is what I was meant to do.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Benjamin Elias. If I had to say, one person, it would be Mac Miller. Hip-hop in general in a broader sense, though. I’m inspired by the culture and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
HCM. On your current release… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
Benjamin Elias. The End’ tells a story about a relationship that I was in but from the imagined perspective of my ex. I thought it would be cool to create a song that focuses on how we influence others and how our actions can make a huge impact, sometimes without us even realizing it. The video was inspired by the song and follows that same idea. We cast an incredible actress/dancer to play the lead, and I’m shown sparingly– as a character in her story. I thought that it would be refreshing for hip-hop fans to see a music video and hear a song that doesn’t really focus on the artist.
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Benjamin Elias. The biggest challenge has always been finding a team. It’s a dynamic process because you don’t always grow at the same rate as the people around you, but I believe that if you’re persistent and put the music first you’ll eventually find the right people. In terms of my work ethic, I’m very consistent. I’m always creating something new and that gives a constant feeling of forward momentum.
HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music?
Benjamin Elias. I want to make music that’s both catchy and meaningful. So hopefully you’ll be humming the melodies in the shower and then you’ll dig a little be deeper and be left thinking. I talk a lot about self-discovery in my work and I hope that people feel inspired to get to know themselves a bit better after bumping some of my tracks.
HCM. What are your plans for the near future?
Benjamin Elias. My debut album “On the Way” will be out on July 7th. After that, I’m planning to host a few shows in Tel Aviv (where I’m based) and hopefully perform at music festivals in Israel and Europe when that becomes a possibility again.
HCM. Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Benjamin Elias. My producers, no brainer. Oscar Fox and Raz Stamper. This project was the result of all of us working together and harvesting our collective creative energy. Also, Yugs, who is a Denver based producer and childhood friend that pushed me to chase my dreams.
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