We have all been slaves to the grind. At least at some point, for some varied amount of time and some more than others. Often, it’s staying that extra hour at work to make a few bucks to put towards groceries or your kid’s soccer uniform. Maybe it’s picking up a second or even third gig just to pay your skyrocketing rent, all just to survive.
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Ben Wylen knows this all too well. He’s lived it and seen it first hand.
“Most of my family and friends work jobs they don’t enjoy. They kill themselves day in and day out and they never give themselves a chance to find out who they really are and who they want to be,” he told American Songwriter.
“‘People Say’ is about the struggle of self-discovery,” he added. “We don’t have much time on this earth, so we ought to make the most of the time we do have. There is more to life, than working all the time.”
Wylen has crafted the perfect and most appropriate song to address this ‘dying just to get by’ feeling many people live every day. “People Say,” the title track from his debut record, is a four-minute escape, a reprieve from the monotonous 9-to-5 grind so many are enthralled in.
The lyrics in “People Say” narrate a clear and divisive plot, while the piano foundation it stands on grants a driving, chug-along pattern, perpetuating the repetitiveness of the songs concept, while also acting as a powerhouse for the music. At first listen, “People Say” designs images of a morning cup of coffee filled with dread and exhaustion that starts with the alarm clock. It’s an incredibly easy-to-relate-to track and the pop style, sing-along vocals contribute to its fervor.
People Say was produced during a trip to London with a spontaneous opportunity to work alongside producer Danton Supple, who has collaborated with Morrisey, U2 and Coldplay. Into the trip, the duo opted to record the songs at The Ark Studios in London. The studio roster that helped realize the songs included drummer Richard Jupp, bassist James Steflox and string composer Audrey Riley. With an impressive backline of musicians, Grammy winning engineer Steve Fitzmaurice mixed and glossed the record, bringing it to its complete potential.
To celebrate the record and bow to a life well-lived, Wylen is making his debut performance at Austin, Texas’ SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival in March, following with shows in Los Angeles and New York.