Die musikalische Reise des Singer-Songwriters Ben Lorentzen beginnt wie bei so vielen Musikern mit viel Ehrgeiz und der Besessenheit von Musik.
„Manche sagen, meine Musik klinge dunkel, eindringlich und schön, andere nennen sie schlicht „Winter-Musik“. Für mich ist es einfach „Acoustic Pop Noir“, sagt Lorentzen über seinen Musikstil.
Bereits als 19-jähriger Newcomer hatte der gebürtige Norweger den ersten Plattenvertrag mit EMI in der Tasche.
Im Jahr 2000 unterzeichnete er mit seiner Band „Brent“ einen Vertrag mit S2/Universal und veröffentlichte kurzerhand zwei Alben und eine EP, die es in die Top 3 Radio Hits in Norwegen schaffte. Als selbstständiger Songwriter schrieb er alsbald Songs für Paal Flaata (Midnight Choir), Martin Hagfors (HomeGroan) und arbeitete mit Mitgliedern von „Madrugada“.
Auf der Suche nach der musikalischen Erfüllung, zieht der Künstler im Jahr 2000 nach New York. Den Atlantik überquerte er mit einem Koffer voller Songs, den Hosentaschen voller Träume und natürlich seiner Gitarre. Schnell fasste Lorentzen Fuß in der neuen Heimat und arbeitete mit einer Vielzahl an Künstlern, darunter Rje Tsuji (Beyonce) und Brian Hardgroove (Public Enemy) und bespielte legendäre Clubs wie Cafe Wha, The Bitter End und dem Hammerstein Ballroom.
Von New York aus veröffentlichte der Musiker 2015 seine erste Solo-Aufnahme America, die von Kritikern aus den gesamten Vereinigten Staaten hoch gelobt wurde. Das Album ist stark von Künstlern wie Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash und Chris Cornell beeinflusst. „Ben Lorentzen hat es enorm in sich!“, so kommentiert die Huffington Post
seine neuste Solo-Aufnahme “Pains & Pleasures of Intimancy”, die er nun auch dem deutschen Publikum präsentiert.
Ben Lorentzen is a Norwegian singer songwriter, born up north near Tromsø, where the climate is harsh, the landscape is majestic, and the sun is hidden 6 months out of the year.
He grew up in a family as the eldest of six children where music was heard and practiced all the time. His parents were fans of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash and the kids grew up listening to and learning many of their songs. His mom remembers Ben as a different boy who would beg her to sing sad songs that would make him cry. She could see early on that her son was smitten by the music bug and thus encouraged his singing and performing when family and friends gathered.
Ben wrote his first song when he was eleven years old. His song, however, raised eyebrows of some teachers who were concerned for his well-being. The themes of aging and dying were seen as too heavy and dark for a little boy. Ben remember himself as "a serious 11 year old, often lost in thought", but he learned later on that his teachers contemplated contacting the social services.
Growing up in a strict religious environment, Ben often felt confine by it's rules and regulations. There were endless lists of do's and don't's. Music, however, was a blank canvas for creativity and expression. Music became his escape...a place of solace, a place where he could dream and breathe. He recalls, "having written my first song I was literally high for a week. It was something I had never experienced before. Over the years it became my religion, my gateway to the unknown, to the mysterious and to the spiritual.”
Ben Lorentzen’s first musical hero was Elvis Presley. Raw, energetic,and a little dangerous, Elvis embodied what a rock star should be. Ben was warned by his community, however, that Lucifer himself looked like Elvis... Nevertheless, Ben learned to appreciate rock, gospel, folk country & blues and developed a powerful appetite for everything american.Cars were one of those joys. He says, "there is nothing better than driving and listening to loud music. It is one of life’s ultimate high’s”.
Later on the discovery of Bob Dylan and his profound lyrical visions became Ben's mainstay and laid the foundation for further discoveries such as Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Soundgarden and Tool. Traces of these artist can be found in Lorentzen’s music. Exploring the outer rims of pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and loss, Ben takes his dark poetic sensibility and with a Nordic twist ads his distinct flavors of alternative americana.
Ben Lorentzen has toured the world since he formed his first band at sixteen and played on all continents except Australia.
Lorentzen was first recognized as a songwriter, and has written songs as a staff writer for EMI Publishing Norway. This led him to write and record songs with critically acclaimed artists such as Martin Hagfors(Homegroan, 1997) and Paal Flaata (Rain, 2006). He finally got a taste of mainstream recognition as a founding band member of Brent with a top 40 single “Need to Need you” (2002), off of their album “Here & There” (S2, Universal)
In 2015, he released his first solo album called “America” (Nordic Records), an acoustic album rooted in the indie-folk tradition. Ben embraces the most enduring American musical influences and weaves it all together with his haunting voice.
Lorentzen’s latest release “Pains & Pleasures of Intimacy” (2017) is much like his earlier work in that it strives to strike a balance between delicate reserve and brutal honesty. Difference is that now it builds to explode with bluesy rock'n roll on occasion.
He calls his music Suburban Noir.
Ben explains that Suburban Noir is taking the perfunctory in our daily life of suburbia, and juxtaposing it with the inner realities of the ugly and the beautiful, the fear and surrender, and the rage and compassion that races in all of us.
“Music is my redemption," says Ben. "Music has been the divine footsteps that I read in the darkest and in the brightest moments of my life. In my songs, I want to celebrate topics that disturb as well as uplift. I am singing about the beauty of death, how it frames our lives and gives it meaning. Not in a destructive sense, but how it points out what is really meaningful. I am singing about the importance of community, of forgiveness and of love. I want to remind myself and my listeners that despite the ugliness and difficulties of life, we need to stand together while we welcome the light and the darkness equally."