Benjamin Francis Leftwich talks touring, Kanye, and having wine with Damien Rice [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Ben Leftwich by Pip for Dirty Hit Records

After years of pouring over Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s music, on both sunshine-filled days and blustery winter nights, we finally got what we’ve always wanted. It took six years for us to see him perform, but it was worth every bit of those agonizingly long 2,000+ days.

Before we watched him perform, we, of course, had to spend some time with him to get up to speed with everything that had happened in that lengthy wait. Instead of crafting questions, though, we ended up just talking for a half hour. Nothing was planned, rather just two music nerds talking about life, and everything that comes with it.

TMN: You’re on a tour right now, going through the states, and you’re midway through. How’s the reception been so far?

BFL: It’s been amazing. We did a tour up here in July — a shorter tour. Kind of normal places to play. This time, I’ve played at places I’ve never been to in my life. Mobile, Alabama. San Antonio, Texas. Spent a night in New Mexico. Dallas. Houston. Orlando. Denver, Colorado, where we are now. I really take that stuff very seriously.

Where I’m at as an artist, some nights we’re playing to a lot of people, some nights we’re playing to very, very few. The truth is — I love it all. Even when it’s a few people. Those people have driven so far to be there and I’m so grateful to have them there. It spurs me emotionally as well. I know what it’s like to fall in love with a record.

It’s an amazing feeling and I’m lucky to tour with such a nice group of people. I’ve met some beautiful people. And, so much of the music I’m into is American, or heavily influenced by America in some way. Tom Petty. Springsteen. Even someone like Tallest Man on Earth. He’s one of my favorites. I know he’s Swedish, but he’s influenced by American worlds.
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[Alternative/Rock] Shiny Wet Machine – Hospitals

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Shiny Wet Machine
Hospitals

Shiny Wet Machine already caught our ears with their debut single “Stun Gun” and now they have returned with more. Their sophomore single “Hospitals” just hit the web through Sizzy Rocket’s imprint Diet Punk.

With “Hospitals” the group tones down the energy and attitude a bit, but they still hold true to the values that brought these artists together. There’s still some sass, but it’s not as outwardly provocative. Sizzy’s performance is as incredible as always and her lyrics are captivating. The thing I really love about this song and the project at large is they are able to play both sides of the line between the professional sound and the intimate, local rock vibe. Shiny Wet Machine is what every band you hear playing at backyard shows wants to be, but doesn’t come close. No offense, just listen to “Hospitals” for yourself and see. While you’re at it, grab a copy on iTunes.

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[Future Bass] Trivecta – Shatterpoint

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Trivecta
Shatterpoint

When you think Florida, you think clubby house music, but that’s not the case for Tampa’s Trivecta. The producer’s new single “Shatterpoint” was released this week through AIA. Although the single fits into the future bass style, it doesn’t exclusively limit itself to that sound.

Trivecta has always had a taste for different types of music, producing everything from dubstep to glitch hop and house. Now, he adds future to that list with “Shatterpoint.” With it he blurs the lines between future and melodic dubstep, and we even get a bit of a hybrid trap break in the middle of the tune. It’s nice to hear someone put their own take on numerous styles, especially if they are all contained within one superb song. Grab “Shatterpoint” today through the digital service of your choice.

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[Future/Pop] Julie Bergan – Blackout

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Julie Bergan
Blackout

It’s understandable if you haven’t came across Julie Bergan given her location across the pond in Norway. We wish you did already, but if you haven’t, you’re here now. The Warner Music signee is making some big moves lately. For starters, she unveiled her completely live show, as well as released her new single “Blackout.”

“Blackout” is what we have to share with you today. The future pop single is just what radio-listeners are yearning for, along with festival ravers. It’s that perfect mix of underground dance music meets mainstream pop. Julie shows yet again why she is someone to have your eyes and ears on, no matter your location on the globe. Listen for yourself, share it with your friends. They’ll appreciate it. Whether you stream it here or on Spotify, just click that play button.

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[Electronic] mAsis – Flesh

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mAsis
Flesh

The Glendale trio mAsis returns with another smash single. “Flesh” just dropped last week with a soulful sound that is sure to seduce. The subtle songs created by these two are extremely powerful, packed to the brim with raw emotion. You can’t escape mAsis.

You can’t escape “Flesh” either. The peaceful, airy tune is one that we have found ourselves coming back to again and again since it’s independent release. There’s something special about a good trio, which this has; however, together these three did more than just play off each other’s sounds well. It’s not something that can really be put into words, it’s something you simply must listen to in order to understand. mAsis have what it takes to be one of the year’s hottest acts.

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[Electronic] WRLD x Savoi – Hideaway

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WRLD
WRLD x Savoi // Hideaway

Heroic Recordings kicks off 2017 with a solid single from WRLD and Savoi. “Hideaway” is the song and the vibe is just right to ring in the new year. You would think this as a Summer song, but we’re glad we’re getting it in the midst of Winter to warm us up.

“Hideaway” is a light, midtempo record whose highly melodic composition will get stuck in your head with ease. It’s getting it out that is the hard part. WRLD and Savoi lay the landscape for listeners to escape in this dashing tune. It comes as no surprise that Heroic Recordings wanted WRLD back on this one as it isn’t a song you’ll be forgetting about any time soon. Get your copy of it today.

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[Denver Event Preview/Ticket Giveaway] TMN Presents: Great Good Fine OK @ Larimer Lounge – 1/25

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Brooklyn based electronic-pop auteurs Jon Sandler & Luke Moellman -better known as Great Good Fine OK -first landed themselves amongst the heaps of fine music here at TMN all the way back in 2013, and have found themselves supplying our listeners time and time again with a lush brand of heartfelt, synth-driven ditties in the years since. Outside of these Ninja confines, the duo have found themselves racking up countless moments of acclaim; from music video premieres on MTV, features in Billboard, and appearances at some of the world’s most notable festivals, GGFO have established themselves as a forceful live act blessed with the ability to fill eager rooms wherever their sound careens through a loaded set of live monitors.

Great Good Fine OK find themselves marching into 2017 armed with a new EP, III , (stream “Take It Or Leave It” & “Always” from III below) which lead vocalist/songwriter Jon Sandler noted as housing “…some of the best songs we’ve ever written…”, a hefty upcoming North American tour, and a more polished, mature aesthetic. On the heels of all that hype, we’re feeling like some rather eager beavers to be presenting their Denver stop on January 25th at the Larimer Lounge, and we wanted to get our readers equally as excited by giving away a couple pairs of tickets. Entering our contest is as always, beyond easy. Just “like” The Music Ninja on FB, click on this post header if you’re still on the TMN front page, then comment below with your favorite Great Good Fine OK song, and boom, that’s it! (We even provided a few below if you need!) And of course, we want as many people as possible to come dance with us, so for our friends looking to secure their spot, advance tickets can be purchased here.

There are a few rules, of course:
– The event is 16+ Be sure to tell all of your friends to increase chance of winning!
– You are responsible for your own transportation.
– You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the Larimer Lounge door.

Check out our preview mini-playlist, start commenting below and best of luck ninjas!

Great Good Fine OK – ‘Take It Or Leave It’
Great Good Fine OK – ‘Always’
Great Good Fine OK – ‘Already Love’
Great Good Fine OK – ‘Something To Believe In Ft. St. Lucia’
Great Good Fine OK – ‘You’re The One For Me’
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