On 10 July 2018, Benedict Cork released his brand new single “Mama Said”. It followed up his debut track “Ghost”. Both songs were recorded live at Red Gate Recorders. We’re so glad we got to exclusively interview this singer-songwriter.
Benedict Cork is a rising artist who was born in Hertfordshire. He moved to London at age 18 to focus on his music career, it didn’t go as planned and he set his sights on bigger things, moving to Stockholm, Sweden – this is where he was always meant to be; it led to him embarking on his solo career. He easily impresses with the songs he has released, “Ghost” and “Mama Said”; both tracks are set to be a part of upcoming EP, titled Piano Tapes.
We chatted to Benedict Cork in an exclusive interview to chat about “Mama Said”, the new music video that accompanies the song, as well as his upcoming EP.
Hi Ben, we hope you are having a good day today, what have you been up to recently?
Thanks a lot. I’ve just finished up in the studio for the day so I’m just on my way home to chill. Going to watch Bruno Mars tomorrow in Hyde Park so I’m pretty psyched for that.
You have just released your brand new single “Mama Said”, can you tell us more about the song?
“Mama Said” is about the advice my mum gave me when I went through a really sad break up last year. I started writing it with my buddy Calle Ask in Stockholm last year, and then actually finished writing the lyrics a few months ago in my mum and dad’s house, on the piano that I grew up playing.
What is the message behind it?
I kind of hope it means different things for each person that listens to it. But there’s definitely an element of embracing sadness in the lyrics. Everyone who’s still lucky to have a mother figure in their lives will, I’m pretty sure, get some wicked advice every now and then. In this case, the advice I got was that it’s ok to be sad, and to ride the wave until it’s out my system.
What does the song mean to you?
For me personally, the opening lines ‘mama said the tears might stick around, write it down in song to drown them out’ are sort of a reminder to myself that I’m lucky enough to have music as this creative outlet to get me through when I’m feeling pretty down. I’m generally a happy person day to day, but my mellow side definitely comes through when I write.
What are your favourite lyrics from “Mama Said”?
‘Let the tears dry on their own, let them burn my heart no more.’
Will there be a music video to accompany the song?
Yes, we just released it [recently]. It’s a one-take live performance, just me and the piano, that we recorded at Red Gate Recorders in LA a couple of months ago. I was super lucky to work with Matt Edwards and the team at Compass Coalition who made this beautiful visual to go with the performance.
Your previous release was your debut, titled “Ghost”, can you tell us more about this single?
“Ghost” was my first release and it felt so good to be getting music out into the world after being locked away in studios writing for so long. I wrote it with my friend Andy Bannister in Dublin just over a year ago. It’s about feeling really connected to somebody from your past, even when they’re not physically in your life anymore.
What was it like to film the video? It was filmed in one take, wasn’t it?
Yeah! I wanted these first releases to be super live and raw, so we chose to record it all in one take. There was no tuning or editing possible so it was pretty scary, but it felt like the most natural way to start my project – just me and the piano. Matt and the team completely reworked the space and made it feel really intimate with all these old instruments and artefacts that were laying around in the studio.
The songs are set to be a part of your debut EP, titled “Piano Tapes”, which will be released later on in the year. What can you tell us about this EP?
I wanted to call this first EP “Piano Tapes” because it’s five completely live, one take performances – four original songs and one cover. When you record to tape, you only really get one shot to nail it. There’s no magic or trickery and that’s how I wanted to show these first five songs off. I love playing live so it felt like the most intimate way to do that.
How would you describe this EP to someone who hasn’t listened to your music before?
I love storytelling on the piano. These five tracks are really stripped back, intimate performances of five stories that felt really right for me to share right now. The cover is a song I heard for the first nearly fifteen years ago and fell in love with the first time I heard it. I hope it’s going to surprise people.
How excited are you to be releasing your debut EP?
So excited that I might leak it.
You also collaborated with Simon Jefferis on the track “Easy”, which is currently your most-streamed song on Spotify, to-date. How did the collaboration come about? And how does it feel knowing that that song has been streamed over 275,000 times?
It’s pretty awesome that a jam me and my friend SJ made in his front room has been heard by that many people. I’ve known Simon for nearly ten years now and we’ve been meaning to make music for so long. We wrote “Easy” on a cold, rainy November afternoon last year in Brixton and it’s my favourite way to work, with good friends and good food.
You’ve worked with and met many high-profile stars, who was your favourite artist you have met, and why?
I met Diana Ross on New Year’s Eve a few years ago and literally died dead in my tracks. Motown was probably my first love and I grew up listening to her records so that was pretty mental. She was really sweet and gracious.
What can we expect from you in the future?
The next tune from “Piano Tapes” is dropping soon. And then I’m playing my first ever headline show at St Pancras Old Church on August 8 which I’m super excited about it. We’re gonna make it really special.
And, finally, have you got a message for your fans?
Just a massive thanks. The love online for “Mama Said” and “Ghost” has been so amazing to be on the receiving end of. People have been sending me these amazing stories from their lives and how they connected to the songs, which is probably the best thing a songwriter wants to hear. So yeah, thanks a lot.
Thank you, Benedict Cork, for taking the time out to answer our questions. We can’t wait to hear the next song you plan to be dropping from the EP, as well as Piano Tapes itself; if it’s anything like “Ghost” and “Mama Said”, then we know it’s going to be epic.
His two singles, “Ghost” and “Mama Said”, are available to download and stream right now; alongside his collaboration with Simon Jefferis on the song “Easy”. His Piano Tapes EP is expected to drop soon. You can keep up to date with Benedict Cork by following/liking him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.