Torn may be the first release from Cassicus, the rising electro-pop star also known as Ben Scott, but the London based musician is certainly no stranger to the industry.
Over the past ten years Scott has played and recorded drums with a whole host of musicians, including the likes of Ed Sheeran and Tom Walker; accumulating masses of experience and understanding of what it takes to make a name for yourself in pop.
Now stepping into the spotlight himself, that experience takes centre stage. Torn combines the poignant lyrics of the likes of LANY with the vibrant and uplifting synths of Pale Waves; making for commercial and highly likeable pop with a hint of Ben's own individuality.
We caught up with Ben to learn more about his path into Cassicus, drawing influence from past musical experiences and handling rejection as a creative.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
I’ve been really lucky to work as a drummer for so many incredible artists in my career so far. Having written songs for as long as I’ve played drums, at 22 made the decision to dedicate my time to drumming (too much plate spinning was going on between drumming and being artist, and I didn’t feel like I was making any progress in either). I’m glad I did, but the urge to release my own music never left; I’d write / produce while on the road working for other artists, drawing on the highs and lows that come with the lifestyle. I’m stoked to finally reach a point in my career where I'm ready to step to the front of the stage.
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
Like a lot of musicians, it was never a question of deciding to work in music…it just happens, born out of something in you that makes you sit for 5 hours a day and practice. I went to music college and met a band (we were called Three Seeds In Paris), which is where I started to experience the music industry. Soon after I began working for an artist called Alex Winston as her drummer, and that was it - I was in for life.
What is the main source of influence for your songwriting?
I draw so much from my life lived as a musician, the heartache, the parties, the incredible high of gigging and the devastating low of an empty diary. As well as this, I draw a huge amount from the experiences of the people close to me, and prefer to create lyrical narratives based on a blend of my own life experience, and my friends.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
I love this question because it’s not often addressed. You honestly learn an incredible amount. Working in music, and writing music, is like one giant therapy session. You become so close with the musicians around you, especially on tour, and kinda become one another's therapists.
What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?
How to better handle the rejection - because there is a ton of it. Working in music comes with an unbelievable amount of pressure, and especially when you’re so young this can really throw you off the rails if don’t have the support (which I was super lucky to have).
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
So many. It’s an incredible time for new talent. I love a band called Kylypso; really fun psychedelic pop; also Kindness - amazing synth work and a hypnotic vocal; a solo artist called Cheriton - incredible melodic pop with a razor sharp lyrics; and I’m a sucker for UK Jazz too so Alfa Mist, Theon Cross, Ezra Collective, Yussef Dayes - all those cats are absolutely killer.
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
Dream tour would be heading out in support of my current favourite artist Christine and the Queens. Her whole show blows my mind; the way she fuses movement with music I find super inspiring. She’s a true innovator.
As for the rider, hit me with some super spicy food of any kind. A vocal coach would tell you that’s about the worst thing a singer can eat before a show but…well…worst comes to worst and I loose my voice I’ll just rip a drum solo.
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
I’m obsessed with a German show on Netflix called Dark. It’s so incredibly enticing and thought provoking, and the music supervision is absolutely on point. I would freak out if I had a song on there.
What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist?
If Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) ever said he liked a song I wrote I’d die happy. He’s the reason I started writing music.