Date of Birth: 1st December, 1997
Location: St Paul’s Bay
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Media-related occupation: Musician
After catching the musician bug off Guitar Hero III at the age of ten, a teacher at Ben Bailey’s school offered him guitar lessons, and his parents bought him the real McCoy to replace the video game substitute. Ben picked it up quickly after that thanks to the sheer enjoyment he got from playing for hours on end.
He made his first public appearance at the age of twelve, and became addicted to performance and the feeling of being up on stage. He’d also play guitar and sing for school events, and even started a rock band called Burning Ice with a few friends, playing a few little gigs with AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses in their repertoire.
For the next few years, he also took up studying and teaching guitar and music, until he eventually got to a point where he was meeting and jamming with some of the top names in Malta and their bands, which he’s now become part of. He’s had the honour of playing at countless venues and events, including Earth Garden, Farsons Beer Fest, The Marsovin Wine Festival, Swieqi Fest, Mellieħa Fest, and Notte Bianca.
Image credit: JJ Chircop
What are your musical collaborations here in Malta?
I’m involved with a couple of acts here. Other than investing time into my solo career, mainly through songwriting, session work, and my own YouTube channel, I form part of The Creepers and Brooke Borg’s band. I sing and play guitar for my solo material, and am the sole and lead guitarist to both bands. I also make appearances with other acts, such as with Sandrina and her band Skarlet. Regardless of whether we’re playing blues, funk, pop, or rock, I simply love my job.
You’re a guitarist, singer and performer. But what is it that makes you feel most alive as a person?
Well to start, playing guitar, singing, and performing! There’s simply nothing I enjoy more than being involved in music. Whether I’m rehearsing, playing in a bar, playing a massive stage, teaching, filming videos, editing videos, or even just hanging out with my band mates, I seriously feel so good that I just don’t want to stop. But what I find most rewarding is seeing people enjoy the music; no better feeling than someone telling you they had a great time.
You spent your childhood in a number of different countries including England, Australia and Malta. Now you’re based back here. Do you feel you have enough space and opportunities to spread your artistic wings in this country?
Yes, I definitely think Malta has a wealth of opportunities when it comes to music. After all, my personal music career has kicked off in my time over here. In such a short time, I’ve taken myself from playing guitar in my room to a point where I’m being interviewed! Many Maltese people may see this place as not having many musical opportunities, but for such a small island, you certainly have a vast and well-populated music scene. Malta’s a great place to spread my musical wings, and I believe it’ll provide the opportunities necessary to take flight on the international stage.
Image credit: JJ Chircop
When did you start taking music seriously?
I started to see music as a serious career about a year ago, when a good friend of mine introduced me to The Creepers, who then invited me to jam with them. This led to an invite to play a gig with them, which was a dream come true. Long story short, I became a permanent member of the band. This encouraged me to really hit the music scene full swing, so I created a YouTube channel and a Facebook page to advertise myself. Now, with some hard work and commitment to music, I feel like I’m really climbing the ladder.
How do you usually combine your music with your daily routine?
Some people need a coffee in the morning. I need to play my guitar. I have a crazy schedule now, trying to juggle university and a list of music bookings which isn’t slowing down, so I tend to play music in between other things when I have a spare moment, unless of course it’s a weekend, because then my daily routine stuff is music!