Sporty Pop: "Muscles" By Benedict Is Your New Make Out Song
“Muscles” is just the start of something much bigger. Originally from Kentucky, Benedict moved to NYC earlier this year to pursue music. When he met his producer Tony, things started to really click. The two linked in college, writing and producing the track together in a tiny bedroom in Richmond, KY. Love and heartbreak are major themes in his work – you can feel it in your bones when you listen to the lyrics. Looking up to people like Frank Ocean for all of his teen years, Benedict strives to help diminish the stereotypes surrounding the LGBTQ+ community through his music and influence.
He creates music that makes you want to kiss your crush in the middle of the party. He has dubbed the term “sporty pop” because of his love for basketball and his athletic aesthetic. We sat down with Benedict to talk about the release of his song, his sexuality and who influences him the most.
What was your process for making the song?
It all took place in a bedroom. I will remember that space forever. This was my first time writing to track and the hook flowed out of me within seconds like it was the most natural thing ever. I recorded a basis of the verse and hook melodies on my phone while the track played through my laptop and sent the idea to Tony. We would go to class and work, meet up in the evening and create throughout the night. “Muscles” is the first song we ever made together which is just like, the cutest.
What does this song mean to you?
I wrote it from the point of view about seeing someone during that stage of lust, but also thinking to yourself “Oh wait I am into, into this person.” That feeling is so exciting and new. Making a song in the grain of being flirty and fun was always a desire, but I also always wanted to make one that reflected me as a gay man accepting myself with zero mental roadblocks. I’m going to perform the hook proudly.
How do you imagine people listening to the song?
I want people to bump it when they are just looking for a good time. At the party, play it. Making out with your crush? It’s on. I would play drafts while I was at the gym and that was always fun. Lyrically speaking it is all good things happening so I would love for that to match and bounce off people’s energies.
Who are your biggest inspirations right now?
To be real, I thank Frank Ocean for helping me realize I can be who I am and not think twice about it. He will always be up there. I really love the way Maggie Rogers holds herself. Paul Klein and I could write an amazing song together. Those three people I look up to a lot.
Who did you write this song for?
I make music for everyone at the end of the day. In my heart I want this song to be a hug of comfort for the young people who either aren’t out yet or are freshly out and need to hear someone say, “Look – I have been there. Here I am living my truths and writing about it so you can do it too.” I’m definitely not the only guy in my shoes and I won’t be the last. We all have to watch out and be shoulders for each other.
Can you tlk about your sexuality and how it influences your drive to be a positive force in the music industry?
Coming out changed my writing. It changed everything, really. My creative waves became raw and real instead of me just trying to idealize things. The music industry plays a vital role in ending stereotypes. I just want to be on that train of showing people that singular titles defining sexuality hold space to a realm of diverse people who look different, but all come together in love and honesty.
You recently moved to NYC, how has that changed things for you?
That made it feel a little more real. Living in the city is still so fresh to me. I only moved in January of this year. I’m from Lexington, KY and came with no set plans and the highest of hopes. Music is it for me. It is really the only thing that has ever made full sense. Those kinds of feelings, you know? My heart told me this is where I needed to be so I listened to the intuition. Everyone is immensely supportive. I live in that comfort. I am so trying to play shows and see the world though, no lie!
So what’s the vision of it all?
I played basketball for a large portion of my life so I have always had a bit of sport in me. My personal style has sport influence. The cover art is on a court and the production sounds like dribbling. All of that was unintentional and occurred naturally, so I rolled with the idea. I call what I make “sporty pop” as an entirety. What can I say? Us gays love sweats.
What else do you have in the works?
“Muscles” is just the start. I am so excited for the next single; it means the most to me. It really goes there. I know my purpose in this life is to create music and an album is at the forefront of my priorities.
Images courtesy of Ryan Duffin
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