Singer-songwriter Arrow Benjamin can be categorized as an artist who has so much life and purpose. He is one of those artists who has a “get-up-and-go” motto when it comes to producing a fine line of work. From listening to Benjamin’s music, you can say he strives to bring a high level of tenacity in music. The London-native studied many artists from his hometown including Sam Smith and Emeli Sandè, and yet, he is not afraid to reveal his own unique musical sound. The rising soul star already collaborated with the lovely and talented Beyoncè on the song, “Runnin’ (Lose It All),” which also adds more leverage on his musical resume.
The single was a huge smash internationally, a top 5 on the UK charts in October; you can hear Benjamin’s prolific voice on the record. Now Benjamin unveils his very own five-track EP War, which highlights his work as a poignant lyricist. The latest single off the EP is “Look at Me,” an epic tune that talks about love and willpower.
Benjamin spoke with Singersroom.com about his musical ambitions, the EP, working with Mrs. Carter, and so much more.
London Upbringing/Influence: I feel like I was born to do what I do, and I didn’t want to do anything else with my life other than music. So yes I would have to say growing up in London influenced me as an artist. I consider London to be a melting pot of cultures. It has so many musical styles that helped figured how I should use my voice as an instrument. I grew up listening to different kinds of music, and there were no rules or restrictions in my house when it came to music. Everyone listened to different genres of music from reggae, house, so there I learned to expand my frame of thinking for music.
His EP W.A.R: We all rise when people hear the word “war,” they automatically assume it’s something negative. But so many things can be evolved from the word "war." I was in the Grenadines, the Caribbean while I was working on the EP. It’s such a beautiful place, and I recognized the beauty. The place is so refreshing because I was surrounded by nature. And from that point, I was working, writing songs. It just woke me up, and I felt like I was in a writing camp.
I called it War because we must all rise and confront our issues and battles. A lot of times, the biggest battle people have is with themselves which is a challenge in itself. The EP is a message of hope, overcoming your demons, and the fight for peace. I felt so inspired because we shall overcome and fight so we can have the results we’re looking for once the war is over.
His single "Look at Me": It was an interesting time, writing and recording that record. I was in the Caribbean, and it was a completely different atmosphere. It’s great writing songs for other artists, but it’s different when you’re writing songs for yourself in a peaceful place. I like to write based on human experiences as opposed to just myself. I like to write songs that fit well with everyone. And so the song “Look at Me” was a way to tell the people to look at me in love. This song was greater than me, and my music is created with love. “Look at Me” is a song you can play when you’re looking for the light at the end of the tunnel or coming from a very dark place.
A "Mother" To His Songs: I am a melody-fiend. My melodies are creative, and they speak to people. They bring so much meaning to people’s lives, and that’s why I call my songs “my babies.” I gave birth to them, and I want to share them with the world.
Featuring Beyonce on the Single "Runnin' (Lose It All)": We were in the early stages when we were working on the single. The record was raw, real, and honest and Naughty Boy produced the single. But I felt something was missing, and we were trying to find the piece to the puzzle. And we were like, let’s see if we can put Beyoncé on the single. We reached out to her, and she fell in love with it. She wanted to collaborate with us, and there was no ego. I was really happy because Beyoncè is singing on our track. It’s a deep record because it’s coming from a vulnerable place, not running from yourself anymore. It was about overcoming your demons, fear, and doubt all at the same time.
Working with Mrs. Carter – Challenging or Comforting?: Beyoncé is an amazing person and artist. She is so humble, grounded, and she loves music. It’s like when she hears music, Beyoncé can pick up the melody or the lyrics; I mean it just grabs her attention. So, I really didn’t feel intimated but I do recognize who she is musically as well. And when I was singing with her, it wasn’t so competitive. It was all about working with her and not being afraid to be vulnerable and honest. Love who you are and hold on to that for the greater good. So, no, it was not intimating, and I didn’t feel inferior at all.
Exploring More of Arrow's Sound in 2016: I am an artist who is ready to share his music with the world. My music is enriched with love, and it touches on so many things that people go through in life. I follow this phrase when I’m writing songs: “write the songs that you need to hear.” I think about that phrase in the mind and hearts of many. The phrase helped me get through some of the darkest places in my life, and with my music, I want people to have faith when you feel like there’s nowhere to go. My music is relatable to people who have faith, but it needs to be cultivated. Life can make you feel this way, but you have to keep growing. So I want my music to be a part of that result and process.