"There’s nothing more powerful than a song that allows you to empathise with a person in between each note” - Interview with Evolve.
Ben Simmons, the passionate young singer/songwriter, effortlessly combines his love for contemporary folk, soul and blues to form a sound bursting with artistic integrity. Obsessed with the subtle intricacies of writing, he discovered his passion for music when he found his mother's old acoustic guitar in the attic of his childhood home.
Hello Ben, could you tell us more about yourself? What is your story?
Yes sure. During my years at university studying the Performing Arts, I began to develop my own style of soul-infused storytelling, resulting in my first inspirational breakthrough shortly after my graduation and settling in Lincolnshire, UK.
Since then, I have gone on to gain heavy traction from the team at BBC Introducing in the Midlands, perfecting my sound with every insightful experience - playing at my very first TEDx Talk at one of the most respected venues in Lincolnshire and appearing on the BBC Introducing stage at 2Q Festival, drawing further inspiration from a selection of favourite artists/bands such as John Mayer, Patrick Droney, KALEO and Jack Savoretti.
Thanks for sharing your story. That's so interesting. What first inspired you to perform at a TEDx Talk?
I first heard about the concept of a TED Talk a long time before the TEDxBrayfordPool event back in 2019. I remember staying up late most college/uni nights watching TED YouTube videos.
A big part of my inspiration towards performing was my mindset regarding the next record that was, at the time, in conceptual form.
This next EP held the theme of many internal thoughts, who I was, are in the present and who I want to be, personal traits, what I can change about myself and what I cannot. The record grew up and was released under the name ‘Aligning Fires’ in 2021, which was given the title to symbolise the attempt at controlling something that is sporadic, spontaneous, and irregular.
I felt many of these ideas, thoughts and feelings were relatable and hopefully could inspire others through song. So when Andy came forward and gave me the opportunity to perform, I said yes one hundred times over!
Three words to sum up the TEDx experience?
Surreal, Transparent, Honest!
What is the most important lesson you learned from performing at a TEDx Talk?
I’ve learned that through experiencing a TEDx Talk, many people hope to inspire and to be inspired, regardless of the medium. I personally go to gigs, to play or to watch, to be inspired. It’s a very good way of engaging with the thoughts you project with likeminded souls in the same room. Performing on TEDxBrayfordPool has also allowed me to broaden my inspirational horizons by looking beyond the notes, it’s also about the stories that hope to catapult and land with you.
How do you hope to inspire your audience?
I’ve always been very honest when writing my songs and am forever grateful to hear that people relate to them every day. Something I’ve always been attracted when writing out the verses is the use of metaphors. They are beautiful figures of speech because it allows a soul to generate a phrase and apply it to any given situation. metaphors are like drawings – not everyone will have the same idea, but it’ll always relate to the subject matter.
How has your life changed since TEDx?
I was very fortunate enough to have met a group of powerful, motivated and honest individuals that have so much to give in their respected fields. It was a pleasure to share the stage with them, as well as witness their experiences with various subject matters. I also feel inspired to create freely without the idea that it’s wrong or that it’s not wanted.
What is something people may not know about performing on a TEDx Talk?
I didn’t quite realise how much the audience will tune into your frequency. Ever since the open mic nights, in big city bars and small country pubs you quickly realise that you’re in with a good chance of grabbing the attention of the audience for a brief moment, before they go back to socialising.
With TEDx, every single speaker, events manager, stakeholder, external, organiser will tune in to listen to your every word. It’s certainly a beautiful moment when you can hear a pin drop in a room where everyone’s with you.
What do you think your next big project will be?
I’m always experiencing, always learning, and always writing. Last month I was very fortunate to sign to Saint In The City Records for a re-release of two original songs (“Only Gone and Fallen in Love”, released June 9th 2022 & “Sober”, released July 7th 2022).
They have been blowing up recently which is just amazing to see! I have just recently moved house too and it’s given me a huge burst of inspiration to write even more. Maybe a new song or a whole new EP will be visible to me in the not-too-distant future.
Favourite TEDx Talk?
I have so many it’s actually wild, but one of the most beautiful songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening to is called ‘Killing Time’ by an artist named Max Milner. It follows a relationship that’s slowly fading, but he utilises the metaphor of a painting to convey his honesty. Check it out!
You can watch Ben's performance here