I recently had the extreme pleasure of catching up with one of my dear friends, music producer, Ben Phipps. It was about one year ago, when I first had the amazing opportunity to learn about his inspiring music journey, since then he has gone on tour and captured many hearts with his single,”Don’t Wake Me Up“.

On our recent chat, we discuss many things from his experience of moving fully to NYC, his tour experience, his clothing line and his new single,”Mrs, Mr” (available now!), among other interesting endeavors he has taken on.

(Read more at The Rise of Multi-Faceted Artist Ben Phipps – Exclusive Interview)

Daily Rituals & Interests

The last time I spoke with Ben, he mentioned he had a daily ritual of writing down five things he was grateful for, I asked him if he still continues doing that, “I try to keep up with the journaling but lately I have to admit I’ve been slacking a bit. Thanks for reminding me to get back at it!” He further adds, “Sometimes the stress of 100 deadlines makes me forget how important good habits are, so at the moment I’m trying to make sure to keep up the good habits that I do have. On the days where I ‘don’t have time’ for my run around Central Park I end up feeling super stressed, and then at the end of the day I ask myself if my work that day would have been better had I gone for that run (even thought it didn’t seem like there was time to do it).” Phipps finds it difficult to adopt any new daily rituals because of his busy schedule, “Overall though, the only change is that I’m busier then ever, which just forces me to do everything more efficiently to still have a life outside of music at the end of the day.”

Phipps also shares that “Lorde” has been inspiring him. When he is not working, you can find him playing tennis, rock climbing or binge watching the latest season of House of Cards.

New York and Inspiration for “Don’t Wake Me Up”

In the beginning of the year, Phipps made his official move from his native Sweden to New York. Has the move influenced the way he makes music now? “The only real and significant change is that I have much better access to everything and everyone now, whether here in NYC or after a quick flight to LA. When I was in Sweden those trips would usually have to last for weeks to make it worth it.”

In the month of May, Phipps released his excellent new single, “Don’t Wake Me Up”, which is a clear homage to NYC. I asked him what inspired the song: “I first moved to NYC when I was 21, which was a big step for me into the unknown and it very much moulded me into the person I am today. I was growing up and creating my identity as an adult in this magnificent city. After a few years I had to leave because I had run out of legal options to continue residing in the US. It was a really sad day, but I set a goal of getting to a level so that I could get a one of the coveted “extraordinary ability” visas and make a triumphant return. After I left it took almost three years before that happened, but that is what inspired the song: finally being back where I belong.”

Ambition

Many of us who have set foot in New York are aware of the limitless artistic community found there, has the NY culture influenced Phipps’ artistry as well? “It definitely opens up doors to explore other kinds of art, like the (Mrs Mr) lyric video that I just produced, directed and partly shot myself.” He further shares, “I had a friend and DP of mine by my side, who helped with more of the technical elements of the camera work. I learnt some things from him, and he from me, so it was a symbiotic process for both of us – those kinds of people are much less common where I’m from.”

Mrs Mr and Video Directing

Those who follow Phipps on social media are aware of the teaser videos and pictures regarding the newly released single,”Mrs Mr” which was being teased as a “different, surprising sound to his previous releases.” After listening to the track myself, I agree, it is impressive. I asked Phipps, if he feel this single is artistic superior to his previous releases, “I always like my latest releases better then the previous ones, and I would hope that’s due to me getting technically better at what I do, not just because they’re new and fresh! Mrs Mr is a bit different, a little grittier than usual for me. But I love it, I really do.”

As previously mentioned, Phipps has begun to explore his video directing skills with his freshly released lyric video for “Mrs Mr” so I asked him about his learning experience.”The most exciting part is when the idea you’ve had in your head actually turns out to be pretty damn good. I did have to learn a few lessons about getting the right permits though, but that was my producer hat I guess (not my director hat).”

Touring and Elephant Merchandise

Last fall, the talented musician began touring through out the states whoch exposed him to a first hand look at how much his music means to his fanbase.”It was very much a roller coaster, with a lot of nerves in the days leading up. I was trying to finish all the music I wanted to perform and get all the gear to work etc. Once I got going though it was a lot of fun! At the first show there was a really sweet girl who couldn’t stop crying when I came out to the crowd. It got really real how much some people appreciate what I do, and it gave me a lot of motivation to keep pushing forward, even during the darker days.”

A couple of months ago, Phipps released his merchandise line which includes, crop tops, tees and a coffee mug all with his intriguing Elephant logo. It was during this particular time that Phipps shared the emotional story behind his logo and why it resonated with him so deeply. “I went to a photo exhibition in Stockholm many years ago and on my way out I bought a poster of an elephant family that I had seen in the exhibition. After I put it up on my wall I looked up the photographer – Nick Brandt – and to my horror found that the beautiful elephant family on my wall was found dead a few weeks after the photo was taken. They were slaughtered for their ivory. After that my interest in elephants grew and when it was time to pick a symbol for my music it was an easy choice.”

He further comments that he was very hands on in the decision making for each piece of the merchandise line; “As far as the merch goes, I’ve picked everything myself. For months I sampled different garments and prints until I was happy with them.”

Upcoming Plans

As we concluded our chat, I asked Phipps what is next for him and he shares that he’d be “playing a couple of shows this fall starting in Clearwater, FL for Labour Day weekend! More info to come soon.” As far as his upcoming music projects, “I have a few exciting remixes coming out in the next few months and I’m also going out to LA for a week of recording sessions in September, so lots to come!”

You can catch all the latest news on Ben Phipps on his official website.

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