EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Misunderstood

Misunderstood are a London-based duo made up of best friends and former BRIT School graduates Stephan Benson and Jeffrey Okyere. They have spent the last few years perfecting their talents and gaining experience in the music industry and now the pair get to put everything they have learned so far into practice. They are on the brink of a huge breakthrough which could see them emerge as one of this year’s hottest new acts and we can’t wait to have a front row seat to watch their journey.

Misunderstood have been super busy over the last few weeks. Between embarking on a school tour which has seen them visit different schools all over the United Kingdom and promoting their newest singles, “Sucker,” and, “Imma Do My Thang,” which we premiered exclusively a short while ago, we are amazed that they are still going! If we had their schedule we would be on the first possible plane to a tropical island right now. But Stephan and Jeffrey are made for the spotlight, so they very kindly set some time aside to answer our questions when we recently got the chance to interview them.

Find out what they said here:

Why did you choose Sucker and Imma Do My Thang as your next singles?
S: “Whilst creating our current project we felt that, from listening back to the songs, that Sucker and Imma Do My Thang showcased the complete left and complete right of Misunderstood. Whereas the rest of the project showcased us as a whole… Sucker brings the throwback 90’s R&B vibe we love, and Imma Do My Thang has that crazy retro feel that’s a part of us. We thought using both singles would give us a great intro for what’s to come.”

What was the inspiration behind the videos for Sucker and Imma Do My Thang?
J: “Sucker has a slick, laid back vibe that makes you want to go out to the club and find that special someone. We loved the generic idea of chasing girls in the club, obviously, but we wanted to give it a little twist. But to find out what that is, you’ll need to watch the video! With Imma Do My Thang, we just really loved the grit of the streets of London and the aspect of dance which bought it to life. We didn’t really need a specific location for this, we just wanted to improvise and see the outcome.”

What was it like working with Luke Wharton on the video for Imma Do My Thang?
S: “We, as Misunderstood, are so into fashion. We love creating new trends and then finding up and coming, talented designers to work with. While scrolling through Instagram one day, I came across a page called Graduate Fashion Week which is where I found Luke Wharton. Instantly, I knew that he would be perfect for Imma Do My Thang!”

How did you meet each other and then decide to become Misunderstood?
J: “We met several years ago when we were a part of a local dance group. It was there that Stephan and I found our common interest in singing and songwriting. And later when the group dispersed, we both knew that we wanted to pursue our singing as a career so we decided to form Misunderstood.”

Who are your biggest musical influences?
J: “Mine is Michael Jackson! I’m also a bit of a n-eek when it comes to 90’s music too.”
S: “Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Missy Elliott, and Brandy for me.”

You guys have a very distinctive clothing style. Who, or what, influences it?
J: “We’re really influenced by K-Pop and the Japanese style, and creating things that are out of the box.”

What was it like attending the BRIT School?
J: “It was amazing!”
S: “It was such an incredible experience to be among so many talented people. We learned a lot of valuable things for our future that we didn’t learn in our normal schools.”
J: “We had the best teachers who taught us to be ourselves and to express who we are at all times. We’re so humbled to say that we graduated from the BRIT School and we recommend it to anyone who has a talent and who wants to further develop their craft.”

If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?
Both: “Beyonce!”
J: “And also for me, Nicki Minaj.”

What inspired you to go on your recent school tour?
S: “As well as having our music out there for people to hear, we want to be a voice for a generation that feel Misunderstood. We felt that it was imperative to go in and meet the students first hand, and to be able to share our story and our message with them.”

What do you think sets Misunderstood apart from other artists in the same genre?
J: “Well, I think that we are a male duo from the UK and there isn’t really that many of those around. We eat, sleep, and breathe our craft and I think with every artist, what makes this a hard question is that everyone strives to be different in their own way but we love being creative and being able to inspire others with the words that we write. As far as being different goes, you’ll just have to wait and see ha ha!”

Do you have any hidden talents aside from singing and dancing? Obviously they won’t be so hidden after this but…
S: “Jeffrey is a very good eater, as long as it’s not veg. ha ha!”
J: “To be honest, I eat, sleep, and breathe music so I haven’t discovered any other hidden talents unfortunately.”
S: “My other talents are that I love to act, I taught myself gymnastics when I was younger, and I can hold my breath underwater for over two minutes.”

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
J: “To release more music, to tour, and to shoot some more crazy videos!”

And finally, do you have a message for your fans?
S: “Remember to stay strong, trust in your talents, and be different because nobody likes the same – it’s boring! Be you and be happy!”
J: “And have fun, and keep supporting us!”

We want to say a huge thank you to Misunderstood for taking the time to speak to us, and we wish them the absolute best of luck with their new singles and ultimately their future. It looks like it will be a very bright one!

Did you enjoy our exclusive interview with Misunderstood? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, @CelebMix.

Written by Zoe Adams

Hi! I am a 23 year old graduate who loved writing essays so much that I like to do it in my free time too. Some of my other hobbies include listening to music, trying out the latest make-up trends, and catching up on celebrity gossip. I am a small person with lots of big dreams and you can check me out on Twitter, @StrawberryZoe.