Interview: Ben Bowman
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Following the release of his new music video I’m Not Eminem, we spoke to Ben Bowman on his fledgling career in music and his desire to use music to combat mental illness.
“I started writing and rapping four years ago when I worked out I had depression, so it’s taken me four years to put my shit out there,” Ben tells us, seeming a little regretful that he hadn’t released material sooner.
“I can’t lie, I was being a pussy - but coming into this game with my background is scary because I am a white posh boy from Clapham South trying to do rap. So it took me time to grow some balls and just put it out there,” he continues.
Ben’s far from a stereotypical rapper and he’s sure his a-typical background could cause him problems as a part of the rap and grime scene. Elaborating on this unusual potential career barrier he told us it could be an issue “not because I’m white, but more because I’ve been so lucky in my upbringing and went to a posh school and shit like that. It’s just different and a lot of people would say it’s wrong that I am trying to do rap.”
Ben seems to be coping well with that struggle to find his place in the scene, and equally well with the negative feedback that has become part and parcel of publishing work online. He’s had to deal with a few naysayers already and he concedes: “To be honest I expect more of them.”
He’s not overly worried though, and by and large the feedback on his new track has been positive. Having racked up 20,000 views in the first 20 hours online and been featured by LinkUp TV, I’m Not Eminem has got Ben off to a flying start.
Its early days for Ben and I’m Not Eminem is his first real release. His potential is evident but Ben’s not happy yet, as he tells us: “I am nowhere near where I want to be. I got to develop everything… Which I am working on doing right now in the studio.”
Rap has also been immensely important to Ben as a method for combatting his depression. He tells us a little about his motivations: “I am just doing rap because I’m obsessed with it,” and followed up with a moment of honesty that cut to the core of his love for music, saying that rap has been “more effective in helping my depression than any pill a doctor has ever given me.”
He’s keen to help others too, and reminds us that “the biggest killer of men in the UK between the age of 18 and 30 is suicide.” It’s a long-term ambition for Ben to use his music to help people with mental illness.
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On what to expect in the near future Ben tells us, “next up is Black Crow and I finished filming the music video for that a few days ago. Then the EP will come out. Right now I’m working on new music for a project that will come out after my first EP.”
For more of Ben’s work as it’s released take a look at his Facebook page.