[Herald Interview] ‘S. Korea my all-time favorite place on earth’: American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin

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[Herald Interview] ‘S. Korea my all-time favorite place on earth’: American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin (Private Curve)

Since in-person festivals and concerts resumed after a two-year pandemic break, big-name global pop artists have returned to South Korea to meet local fans.

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin is gearing up to please local listeners’ ears once again by throwing a concert in Seoul next month. While the upcoming event will mark the Arizona-bred musician’s third time visiting the country, he still could not hide his excitement.

“South Korea is my favorite place on the earth. Seoul is the most awesome city that I’ve ever visited. Including its culture, food and people, I just like everything about it,” the singer-songwriter said in an email.

Benjamin released his debut single “Paper Crown” in November 2014 and signed with Columbia Records in the same year. The 28-year-old musician is known for the hit songs “Paper Crown,” “The Water Fountain,” “End of the Summer,” “Boy in the Bubble” and “Let Me Down Slowly.”

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin performs onstage at Seoul Jazz Festival at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, in May. (Private Curve)

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin performs onstage at Seoul Jazz Festival at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, in May. (Private Curve)

With a growing number of fans here, the singer-songwriter held his first concert in Korea in August 2019, which BTS’ Jimin attended as a concertgoer. In May this year, Benjamin performed as one of the headliners at the Seoul Jazz Festival. As part of the “Love in Seoul 2022” concert series, he will host an in-person concert on Nov. 25 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.

When asked about the ways he would build a stronger bond with the fans through the November concert, he said, “Songs that were released in the previous albums but had no chance to perform onstage and several new songs will likely be included in the setlist. I’ll also perform the songs that Korean fans have loved.”

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin (Private Curve)

American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin (Private Curve)

Although he doesn’t speak Korean, the artist said he was able to find common ground between his music and K-pop. “Although we sing in different languages, both my songs and K-pop are based on similar subjects such as love and broken heart that young listeners can easily relate to.”

He has also learned things from K-pop and the local musicians.

“Unlike myself focusing mainly on the music itself when making new songs, K-pop artists seem to put everything together a total picture to make superior content,” Benjamin said. “The fandom is amazing, too. The way how K-pop forms a strong connection with the audience is so peerless.”

While the artist’s dream of collaborating with BTS’ Jimin has yet to materalize, Benjamin said he is looking forward to and open to collaborating with any K-pop artists.

By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])


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