by Sean Stroh
While Ben de la Cour’s path to music may have not been a traditional route, it certainly was a fascinating one.
After growing up in Brooklyn, he traveled the world while working a series of odd jobs ranging from bartender to amateur boxer. Although de la Cour has since hung up his gloves in the ring, he has no plans to stop making music anytime soon.
On his latest single, “Down to the Water’s Edge,” de la Cour toes the fine line between love and obsession in what the singer-songwriter describes as a “creepshow manifesto.”
We a had moment to chat with Ben recently and asked a few questions about his time as a boxer and his time growing up in Brooklyn and on the road.
You don’t hear about a lot of “boxers-turned-musicians.” What was that experience like as an amateur boxer?
It was intense. Getting pummeled half unconscious on a regular basis really puts things in perspective.
After growing up in Brooklyn, you set out to see the world. What gave you the urge to travel and how did it shape your music? Do you think the music you’ve written wouldn’t have been possible without the travel experiences you had?
Well basically I dropped out of high school and left home. My dad has family who lived on a farm in England so I just kind of went over there and lived with them for a while and that was the start. Been running around ever since.
When did you tell yourself “I’m going to be a musician.” Was it a dream growing up as a kid or did it come to fruition later in life?
Ever since I was 5. My mom played me a Jimi Hendrix record and it just felt like the whole world burst into technicolor and I was shot off my feet straight into the ether. There’s no going back from that. Other than wanting to maybe become a professional boxer one day, music is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do
Do you feel that being in a city like Nashville–where there are an endless amount of talented musicians–improves the quality of your music?
Absolutely. I think it was disheartening when I first got here because everyone I met at writers rounds were singing these god awful songs about painted on blue jeans, moonbeams, John Deere tractor beams… and I wanted to pull my hair out and go back to New Orleans. But then I started finding other more like minded people and I realized there are some great writers and great people here. I feel really lucky and privileged to be here and have the friends I have. Also, if Guy Clark and John Prine live in your town then you can say it’s a pretty good bet that the water is safe to drink.
Have a listen “Down to the Water’s Edge” and you will know instantly why we feel Ben de la Cour is definitely on the Come Up.
Coming Up Shows
Mad Donnas w/ Jon Chambers, Becky…
Chapel Hill, NC
Gypsy Sally’s Vinyl Lounge
New York, NY
Bourbon And Branch
The 5 Spot
w/ Chris Watts
Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House
St Louis, MO
The Warming House
Smoke Stack BBQ
Fort Atkinson, WI
Des Moines Social Club
Des Moines, IA
The Family Wash
Uptown Arts Bar
Kansas City, MO
Johnson City, TN