In the spotlight – Benji [Benjamin] Shohet is a singer-songwriter from Israel, known to his friends as an engineer, a gamer, and a nature lover. He has a passion for delivering powerful messages through music. With his debut single ‘Greater’ he aimed to shed light on the warning signs of toxic environments. With his second single, ‘Without a Tear’ he’s hoping to comfort his listeners who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
How do you think living in Israel has affected you and your music?
“Living in Israel, with its rich and diverse musical culture and the constant tension in the area, has definitely influenced my music and the way I see life in general.”
Tell me about your journey with creating music. How did you get started, and was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
“My journey with creating music started at a young age, but it wasn’t until later in life that it became my passion. The creation of my first single ‘Greater’ together with ‘Without a Tear’, was a turning point for me, as it was the first time I poured myself into a project to make something truly special. It all pushed me to grow as a songwriter and a musician.”
What kind of music do you like to listen to? Are those artists/bands also your main influences?
“I enjoy listening to a wide range of music, from classic folk, Mozart, Bach, and Queen to modern-day pop icons like Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, and Thirty Seconds to Mars. These artists have all influenced my music to some extent.”
If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you most like yourself to?
“That would really depend on the song of course, but for ‘Without a Tear’ I would say, it’s for fans of artists like Foo Fighters, Linkin Park and Radiohead.”
Let’s talk about your single ‘Without a Tear’. What was the inspiration for this song?
“It started as a song about the doubts of the eternal search for something better, whether it’s a physical, emotional, or spiritual place. But sometimes, life has a way of redirecting our creative endeavors. Suddenly, the lyrics took on a new meaning when I lost my dear friend and beloved aunt and meaning, and I knew I had to rewrite the song in their honour. It became a tribute to those who have lost someone they love and a way to honor their memory through music.”
Are your songs autobiographical?
“Each of my songs could be easily interpreted as autobiographical for anyone who can relate to the emotions and thoughts expressed.”
What sparks your inspiration to write music?
“My inspiration to write music comes from various sources, such as personal experiences, the whole world around me, and the emotions that the most important situations evoke.”
What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
“The key elements in my music that should resonate with listeners include the relatable lyrics, the melodies, and the distinct sound that is both nostalgia and freshness.”
Do you have any particular habits or rituals when you create music?
“I often find that inspiration comes when I least expect it, in the most special occasions and places. This is when I stop everything I do, grab a pen, a notebook and start writing right away.”
What are you hoping to achieve when you sit down and write a song?
“When I sit down to write a song, in addition to creating something that resonates with people and helps them connect with their emotions, I hope to create a piece that represents a part of me. To be a lasting legacy for my future generations, so that when they wonder who their father or grandfather was, my music will be the answer, giving a glimpse of who I was and the emotions and experiences that shaped me.”
How do you decide when a song is finished? Do you find yourself forever wanting to tweak and re-record etc.?
“Deciding when a song is finished can be so challenging… but I always trust my instincts. It’s essential to find the right balance between tweaking and knowing when to let go.”
Do you have plans to release more new music soon? What should we expect from your next release?
“Absolutely! I have plans to release more new music soon. You can expect my next release to feature unique rock sounds and deep, meaningful lyrics. So excited about this upcoming project, and I can assure you that it’s going to be a game-changer! Stay tuned for something truly special!”
What does the rest of 2023 look like for you?
“I’ll be focusing on creating more music, finishing up the recording of my album, sharing as much as possible with my fans, and hopefully performing live to connect with my audience.”
What’s your favorite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?
“Tough question as there are so many talented artists on the Cool Top 20 playlist! After listening to the entire playlist multiple times, I have to say my favorite song would be ‘Snow In June’ by Filled to the Brim. It’s such a delicate and soft duet, but they’ve also managed to incorporate many rock elements into the mix. The blend of genres works really well, and I think they’ve done an excellent job.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?
“For the bonus track, I would like to add ‘Kill The Pain’ by Painted, who I also featured in one of my songs some time ago. I think the singer has done an incredible job in delivering her message, and the unique approach of counting backwards from 10 to 0 throughout the song is, in my opinion – genius. The creativity and emotion in the track deserve to be showcased, and I believe it would be an excellent addition to the Cool Top 20 chart.”