Writing new material while out on the road whilst also casually saving a man from a burning building in Germany, Ben McKelvey is not just a hero, but a personal trainer and extremely talented musician who's hoping his music can be heard across the globe.
Now returning to the music scene with his brand new single 'Sunday' lifted from his recent second EP, he's a guy who's been likened to Springsteen, Paul Weller and The Clash because of his passionate and lyrical storytelling, which has already captivated legions of fans.
Female First got the opportunity to chat to Ben about his career so far, his love for music and much more - read on to find out what he had to say.
For those who may not yet have heard your music, how best would you describe your sound?
I've always considered myself a folk singer. I like wiring and singing stories with an acoustic guitar. Sometimes the songs are loud, sometimes they are quiet. I guess I'd describe my sound as Folk/Rock.
When did you step into the world of music and what has the experience been like so far?
I started playing music seriously at the age of 14. I was a drummer in a pop-punk band through school and until the age of 21 before I went solo. The experience in music so far has been a lot of things. As any aspiring artist will tell you, there are a lot of ups and downs. You can play 10 bad gigs before you play a great one. But that great one makes it all worth while. I love every aspect of music. I love writing, performing, recording... I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it.
Has music always been a big passion of yours?
Absolutely. For as long as I can remember I've felt a connection with music. I always thought it was amazing how a song can alter your mood or bring you back to a place in the past. I've learnt to appreciate so many more different genres in the last few years.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your material?
I find life in general influences the songs I write at the time. I might be inspired by something I'm feeling or what someone I know is going through or a story I hear on the news. I try and keep it as real as possible. People can relate to real things and hopefully will feel something when they listen to it.
If you could work with anybody on new music going forward, who would you choose and why?
English song writers like Frank Turner and Paul Weller have been such an inspiration for me and my music, I'd love to work with them. To really mix things up, I'd love to work with Eminem. I've always been a big fan of his work and his last couple of albums I think have been incredible. To write a chorus with him rapping the verses would be fun.
Your new single 'Sunday' is released towards the end of the month, tell us about the creative process behind that track and the EP it comes from.
'Sunday' is from an EP called 'Everything You Were Meant To Be'. I'm very proud of that EP, it's taken me to some incredible places including a tour of the USA last year. The song itself was actually written very quickly. I wrote it on a sunny Sunday morning in my flat while my girlfriend was making me breakfast. I was thinking about what everyone would be doing on that day and the song wrote itself in about 20 minutes.
How important is it for you to maintain creative control over the work you produce?
I'm open to suggestions from anyone. If my producer, or a friend or whoever has an idea they think will work in a song I'll always hear them out. But the bottom line is if I don't love it, it doesn't go in. I'll never make music I don't love. In my opinion, if you write music you don't respect or don't think it's the best it can be, then there is no point.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
I do indeed. I have a white board in my office above my desk with a list. I make a list at the start of every year of what I want to achieve and make sure by December they are all ticked off. I find if I don't work to a list or a schedule it's easy to take your foot off the pedal and drift.
Ideally where would you like to be this time next year?
I've just finished my debut album and looking at how/who to release it with. This time next year I'd like to see my album on the shelves of HMV, play some big festivals and big touring support slots with good management. That's the plan.
Finally what should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months aside from the single release?
I have a few more festivals to play and then it's full concentration on the release of the album. You can expect a full album documentary and some great new music videos in the next few months.
Ben McKelvey's brilliant new single 'Sunday' impacts on July 24.