VMEN: Benson Boone
The viral voice with pure-pop stylings
While 2010 might not seem that long ago, in those few years of digitization, the music industry has undergone a significant evolution. There was the slow phase-out of CDs in 2011, the return of vinyl in 2016, and the rise of streaming just a few years ago. But, perhaps the largest shift in the industry has been the impact of social media, most notably TikTok. Many of this year’s biggest hits– “Sunroof,” “Doja” and “L$D”—built their widespread popularity in part to the app. As these infectious tracks skyrocket up the charts, the artists behind them do too, seeing their dreams materialize within a few months. And while there’s a plethora of new talent and content to consume, young musicians often ﬁnd it difficult to cut through all the noise. But, one musician is unfazed, if anything, invigorated by this challenge–and he goes by the name Benson Boone.
Unlike many other musicians his age, Boone’s introduction to music was unconventional. The Washington state-native wasn’t classically trained and didn’t aspire to be a musician when he was younger–he didn’t even realize he could sing until three years ago. But once he started penning his emotions into lyrics, his fate was sealed. “Music hasn’t really been a big part of my life for very long. I found out I could sing about three years ago, and then, a little over a year ago, I started writing music. That’s when I started to fall in love with it,” Boone shares over Zoom, from his home base in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Shortly after discovering his new talent, Boone entered the infamous singing competition, American Idol. His ﬁ first audition immediately impressed the panel–Katy Perry even said she could envision Boone winning the competition from that one performance. But he ultimately decided to leave the show before Hollywood Week to pursue his career on his own terms. From there, he began carving out his own path in the ever-changing industry by posting snippets of him singing on TikTok. Boone’s soulful, evocative musical aesthetic soon caught on and within a few months, he had accumulated a signiﬁ cant following–ultimately capturing the attention of Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, who subsequently signed him to his label, Night Street.
Now 20, and some life-changing events later, Boone has charted internationally and surpassed ten million monthly Spotify listeners. Last year, the singer-songwriter released his debut EP, Walk Me Home…, which beautifully chronicles life as a twentysomething thus far. In between heart-wrenching beats and intimate lyrics, Boone navigates it all: love, heartbreak, and loneliness while discovering himself. And though some may argue he’s already making his mark, Benson says the best is yet to come. “I have the best songs that I’ve ever written,” Benson beams. “I’ve never been more excited about a group of songs in my life. And I think it will be the biggest year of my career.”
Benson’s latest music video, “Sugar Sweet” is out now. Check out the musician’s first release of 2023 below.