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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Song

Creature Benny

For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!! Freaky Nasty Jams

What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.

I particularly enjoy the writing process, and also all the selecting, editing. and mixing that goes into my music once I record the raw material and it’s in Garage Band.

Songwriting is really fun because I never know how it’s gonna come together. A lot of times I’ll start with a bar or two that popped into my head and I took down in my phone. I usually write songs as I go, and don’t usually know exactly where they’re headed- I just know I’m tending towards kinda weird and creepy and cool. I also enjoy words a lot. The first line of the song will kick me in a certain direction, and then, using weird/creepy/cool as my guiding light, the rhyming words take me where I’m going. And when I get there I find myself nonplussed and bemused by where I've ended up. It’s super fun. The selecting, editing. and mixing process is fun because it’s a ton of work and it takes forever, but when I’m done it’s sick, and I’m stoked like “hell yeah.”

Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you? I record everything by myself in my closet/studio situation, and it’s the best thing ever. It’s a decent-sized space, so I have a loveseat and an 88-key weighted keyboard in there, plus a bunch of sound absorption stuff, as well as sketches, mementos, and various nonsense hung on the walls as “decoration.” I’m in Los Angeles, so in the summer it gets hot when I close the window to record vocals. I’m my own engineer, so when it warms up I record in my boxer shorts and just howl, holler, and sweat in there. I’ve recorded at a real studio a few times for a friend’s music project, and I don’t like it as much. I can try whatever I want when I’m in my own space on my own time. It’s a great way to work.

Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing? Fun for you but tough for me, especially during the pandemic. I see friends when I can, and watch stuff online when I’m not working during the day or working on music. Other than that, I draw cover artwork and photoshop it together. I just heard about a painting I’m gonna make a friend for their new place, which I’m stoked on. I’ve recently taken to riding those app-based scooters to and from the 7-11, which is pretty fun. I’m not up to much.

Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why? I don’t listen to many current artists, but, as an Atlanta Boy I’ll always love Gucci Mane. Wimps from Seattle are my favorite band that’s come out recently. I like every song they’ve ever released, which is the goal as far as I’m concerned. Together Pangea has always been really cool. I admire Tyler, the Creator a lot, both in terms of musical output and trajectory.

Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it? Creature Benny music is not super emotional in general, but there actually is one song from phase one (culminating in the album, Tales Moste Wretched, Vol. 1) that I’d say is emotional-adjacent. It’s called “Kinda Nice (Forever),” and it’s about the girl I was in a really incredible relationship with for essentially our entire college experience, and a few months afterward too. We only split because she didn’t feel like Los Angeles was where she wanted to live after school, and I was committed to living out here and working in the music industry. We parted on good terms, and are still great friends. We catch up a few times a year. She used to talk about forever / On the same page until the grave, I was down...

Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year? When I refer to what’s already released as “phase one,” it’s because during the years 2016-2019, which was a super-prolific writing period for Creature Benny, I also wrote all of phase two, and most of phase three. I’m still taking a break after all the work that went into phase one August-December 2020, but I plan to dig back in very soon, and begin releasing phase two later this year, 2021.

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Photographer: Jeremy Trombetta @jeremytrombettaa

About Creature Benny Creature Benny is a project by music industry professional Benton Oliver, who works in management helping artists, bands, and producer clients manage their careers. Benton has also worked with live music organizations including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Preservation Hall, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Prior to launching Creature Benny, Oliver recorded and released music under the name “goodie.” goodie music was conveyed primarily through rapping, almost entirely over self-produced beats made with YouTube drum loops layered with self-recorded acoustic guitar and other instruments. Songs also took the form of instrumental piano pieces, introspective caterwauling over violins, bongos, and harmonicas, and FL Studios-produced beats,


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