Music

INTERVIEW: Ben P Williams Releases A Gap In The Rain

Lockdown was a time where people took the time to try something different and today’s musician did exactly that as well. Last Friday, Ben P Williams released his brand new single A Gap In The Rain that was created using a free piano from Facebook marketplace that he acquired in Lockdown. I caught up with the singer to find out all about the track A Gap In The Rain and plans for 2022.

Hello Ben tell us three unknown facts about yourself?

Hello there! Well, when I was ten, my house got struck by lightning. I’ve lived pretty much exactly half my life in the south of England and the other half in the north. And I’m taller than 6 foot 1 but shorter than six foot 2. 

How did you get into music?

I think the first thing that got me into music was hearing the Beatles. I was really young, about 5 or 6 and quickly became obsessed. Then when I was about 13 I got a guitar and started to learn to play and write songs.

Who do you find your inspirations? 

I think Paul Simon is a big inspiration lyrically. The Beatles, always. I love Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Also over lockdown I was trying to improve my voice by learning songs by great singers such as Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye.  Maybe that’s rubbed off a bit in the new single.

Tell us all about your latest single A Gap In The Rain?

Gap in the Rain is quite a soothing, chilled out sounding song. It features guitar , piano and cello as well as my voice. We recorded the song as one live take in the studio, with guitar voice and piano, and the cello was added later. 

How long did it take to write the song? 

I think it probably took a couple of hours. Initially I wrote the chorus sitting at the piano. Then I switched to guitar to write the verses. Then a week or so later I came back to it to tidy up the lyrics a bit. So probably a couple of hours in total. 

Where does the inspiration for the song come from?

The inspiration for the song was quite literal. I was waiting for a Gap in the Rain so I could get out for a walk over lockdown. I started singing that over some chords I had found on the piano and it seemed to work quite well. Also I was thinking about Bill Withers when I wrote it. The first line in Lovely Day is ‘When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes’. And the first of Gap in the Rain is ‘You wake up smiling every single day, but you stop smiling when life gets in the way’. So I was kind of taking inspiration from that. 

The piano that is used in the track has an unusual story and plays an important part in the record, doesn’t it? Tell us about it!

Gap in the Rain is the first song I wrote on a new piano I acquired over lockdown. I got the piano for free from Facebook market place. It was a bit beaten up , but after some TLC and bit of a tune it was as good as new. Most of the songs I’ve written have been on the guitar so it was good to try a new approach. It’s a different piano that is used in the actual recording though.. it’s a grand piano at my friend Dave Speakmans studio, played beautifully by Pete Robinson. 

It is a beautiful track – what is your favourite lyric you have written for it?

Thanks! I like the lyric ‘bring your waterproof, and bring your Bluetooth stereo’. I was having a chat with my friend about song writing, and he said it’s a good idea to get a few concrete nouns into the lyrics, as it’s something people can latch on to easily. So I was trying to do that here. And I was pretty pleased with the rhyme. 

 Have you managed to do any live shows this year?

I’ve done a lot of live shows this year. It has been great to be back playing again, to jam with other musicians and to have that in person connection with the crowd. It was great sharing songs and streamed gigs over lockdown, but there’s nothing quite like playing live. 

 How do you warm up for a show?

I’ve got an app on my phone called Vocal Ease. It was made by Arnold McCuller who sings backing vocals for James Taylor. I go through the warm up exercises on there to warm my voice up before a gig. 


How do you wind down afterwards?

Hmmm, a slice of toast with marmalade. Nothing too rock and roll. 

Also let’s talk tour – will there be live shows coming next year?

There will be some live shows coming around the release of my new album, which should be around May /June next year.

What is one of your favourite songs to perform live? 

I really like performing my song ‘Give It Back’ live. It’s got a nice singalong bit at the end which gets the audience involved. I usually use it to close my shows

What is the toughest songs to perform live and why?

I’ve got a song called ‘Does It Feel Like Fun’ which has got about a billion lyrics that come thick and fast, so it can be tricky remembering all of those and not getting tongue twisted sometimes.

 Our site also is about improv – in a music sense, what have been some of your favorite improvised melodies that you have created and been able to use in songs and why?

I really like this little solo section in my song ‘I Can Do That’, which is an improvised section between keys and guitar. It was completely off the cuff and quite subtle, but seems to fit the vibe of the song really well.

What are your plans for 2022?

I have a whole series of new singles to release on the run up to releasing my new album. So lots of new music to come.

 

And finally, why should people check out your music?

Because it’s ace. Give it a stream and see what you think. 

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