We get to know Benedikt and premiere his debut track, “Vikings”.
Benedikt began life on Vancouver Island, homeschooled and surrounded by nature. Perhaps that explains his sparse soundscapes and penchant for a woodland photo shoot. Not only a talented musical newcomer, at 15 he attended the Canadian national ballet school and began to connect music with movement. A move to the Netherlands saw him turn his hand to choreography before settling in Berlin, where he now resides, in 2010.
After spending two years developing his first EP, Soma, today we’re premiering his first track, “Vikings”. Wistful and ghostly, Benedikt’s vocals dangle in the treble while the bass below is a lethargic pulse, expanding into heavenly ascending climax. Softly distorted and echoing throughout, Benedikt whispers after angels longingly, set to a backdrop that’s creeping after him. A poignant one to watch for 2016, we caught up with the musician, director and producer to try and unpick his unique style.
Hey Benedikt! What drew you to make the move to Berlin after your time in the Netherlands?
I visited a friend in Berlin while I was in the Netherlands and fell in love with the city. The city has this fresh, open and raw energy. It was exactly what I was looking for. Berlin offered a platform to expand my artistic practice. In Berlin one has the feeling that you can be who you want and create what you want.
You’ve lived in Canada too, where do you think has made the greatest effect on your work?
Most definitely growing up on Vancouver Island most effects my work. Those West Coast vibes and mentality is always with me. The nature and expansiveness is something I take great solace in. I try and go back at least twice a year to recharge and reconnect to my roots.
And you’ve danced all your life, when you’re making music, how much do you think about choreography when you make music?
Most often I am just focused on the song. However, sometimes the sonics will bring up choreographic ideas. When a song is feeling good in my body I know it’s usually going somewhere. For me the body and sound are interconnected.
When did you begin to make music? What made you want to start?
I come from a musical family so music has always been a huge part of my life. It was a way of connecting to my family and just having plain old fun together. I began with my Dad teaching me piano from a young age and then starting to write songs on the piano as soon as a could put some chords together.
What inspires you to write?
Most often I’m writing as a way to process my emotions. But that can be quite a spontaneous way to work. So now I’m trying to write music everyday on more of a set schedule. And I’m very much enjoying this process of being disciplined and creating a routine. The work then is more consistent and creativity/inspiration gets to be cultivated on a regular basis. Which in the end leads to a great variety of work.
Tell us about the EP, how long did it take to put together from start to finish? Who did you work with?
It took about two years to put together the whole EP. I recorded, wrote, produced and mixed the EP. Then Kaiku Studios took it to the next level making the mixes sound much stronger.
You directed and edited the video to “Vikings” yourself, how did you manage to do it all?
I really love having creative control. I like being involved in every aspect of the production. It was very time consuming doing everything but in the end I’m very satisfied with the work.
How did your collaboration with Luis Rodriguez come about?
He is a mutual friend. I saw his work on Facebook and loved how he was working with the body. I then went ahead and contacted him. We then met up and spoke about how we wanted to work together. He also has a dance background so we had a common language to connect through.
After the EP comes out, what’s your next move?
I’d love to start performing. Also, I am beginning to work on the next EP. I have some ideas on the next videos too.