You may have heard us playing out a fantastic version of Wellerman from German musician/songwriter Andreas Bensch – and we caught up with Andreas to find out a little bit more about his life and music.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a musician from a small village near Dresden, Germany. For my “day job”, I work as a high school teacher, but music actually isn’t one of the subjects I teach!
Being in my late 20s, I belong to the generation that was given a voice by artists like Ed Sheeran.
When did you first start to develop a passion for music?
Growing up, there were vastly different musical influences around me, but to be honest, a strong fascination for simply singing emerged when I was around 12 years old and first heard those old, mystic, a capella Gregorian chants from the 7th and 8th century.
When I was in high school myself, I got very lucky in having the best music teacher I could have imagined. Not only did he recognise and foster my passion for singing and music in general to the point of inviting me in the school band, he also gave me tons of records from, what seemed at the time to me, every genre imaginable.
Most of it was Metal and Rock, which might explain why I’m a frequent visitor of Wacken Open Air even if this is not the music I’m making myself – despite the fact that many people’s first impression is that it would fit me. I’m sure that this teacher massively shaped my future in music, and strive to encourage my students in the same way, whatever their interests may be.
The only problem was that I played the trumpet back then, and you can’t really sing simultaneously! So I quit the lessons, learned a few chords on the guitar. With still knowing only those few I spent most of my savings on my first really awesome guitar, a red Ovation Custom Legend.
I got lucky in finding a U.S. music store that dropped the manufacturer from its product range and therefore offered a huge discount. They always say that without the skills you won’t sound better on a more expensive instrument, and while this is probably true, I imagined I did and was so excited about the “singing guitarist” road that I began to really put the hours in.
Which artists do you enjoy listening to at the moment – and do they influence your work?
I started diving deeper into learning the songwriting craft during my time at university by openmindedly listening to a lot of international giants. To name a few: Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Jamie Lawson, Taylor Swift, and a bunch of German singer-songwriters as well as medieval folk rock bands like Schandmaul or Subway to Sally. My goal is to find out what exactly they are doing right while finding my own, distinctive style.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
I think the crew around Ed Sheeran, Jamie Lawson, James Blunt and Lewis Capaldi are about the best guys you could possibly be spending your time with writing and recording a song as well as
getting a beer afterwards.
What music have you recorded and released to date and what are your plans for the future?
Before I start releasing my own work I want to gain some traction and reach by growing my YouTube channel first, so my plan for the near future is to continue releasing my own takes of my
all-time favourite songs and achieve at least 10,000 subscribers.
Where can we find out more about you?