#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Ben Haenow


   

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Ben Haenow is probably best known for winning X Factor back in 2014. From there, he released his self-titled, debut album, the lead single from which (Second Hand Heart), featured the singing sensation that is Kelly Clarkson. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second studio album, Alive. We thought it was a good time to catch up with Ben about everything he’s been up to and more! Check out what he had to say, in this interview…


Hey Ben, how’s it going?
Great thanks! Thanks for having me.

So you are about to release your second album, ‘Alive’, how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
Yeah, a bit of both. I’m anxious but really can’t wait for people to hear the new tracks so bring it oooon!

Where did the idea for the title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
The lead track is called ‘Alive’. It was basically written as a thank you to the fans for keeping my dream alive, so we went with that for the album too.

What’s the track you’re most excited for people to hear? What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
The process can vary, sometimes it starts with a vocal melody, or maybe a just a lyric idea or guitar lick. Then it develops from there. It might take a day, a week or longer before it’s all done but that’s the beauty of it. You can take a bit more time writing and playing with sounds until you’re happy. I’d say ‘Give Me Your Love’ is one I want to see reactions too.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
I guess for this album, the inspiration came from my experiences between X Factor and now. I try to draw on personal experiences when writing as I feel people connect more with something if there is truth/reality in a lyric.

Collaborating with Kelly Clarkson must’ve been pretty cool, how was it?
It was great! She is obviously a very talented lady and boy can she siiiiiing! She was a true professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.

If you could collaborate with anyone else, who would it be and why?
Gary Clarke Jr
– I think the bluesy vibe is really cool and he has a pretty awesome voice too. I love his musical style.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder recently so I’m on a soul trip at the moment.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Selena Gomez
’s ‘Wolves’ – I love the song and have an idea I’d like to try.

That’d be pretty cool…you should do it! So, do you have any pre or post-gig rituals? Or have any of you got any weird habits?
Lots of weird habits if you ask my wife… but we (me and the band) have a ritual which we call ‘Ukla’… I cannot tell you what it is but we UKLAA before every show.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
I love to cook… and eat.

What really grinds your gears (winds you up)?
The song ‘Jellicle Cats’ from Cats the Musical… I like real cats but that song, and those cats REALLY grind my gears!!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
I was 14, at a motorway service station, whilst en route to Devon with my dad and brother. I was wearing the Kappa tracksuit trousers with the poppers all the way down the legs… my brother thought it would be funny to pull my trousers completely off leaving me in my pants and a t-shirt in the middle of Little Chef!

Oh dear; that’s pretty embarrassing! So, what’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2… they’re great films.

If, in say 10 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Danny DeVito or Morgan Freeman… that would be fantastic.

If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
I’d probably be a KitKat… chunky.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t eat yellow snow… or brown snow… or snow in general!

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat!
No problem and thank you for having me!!! Hope to speak soon.


Ben Haenow‘s latest album, Alive, is available:


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other interviews here:

Muzik Speaks Interviews


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#Playlist: Cassettemix + Chill

We felt it was time to create the ultimate chillout playlist, combining as many different genres as possible into one, super-relaxing, easy-listening place. This playlist has been lovingly crafted to include a variety of chilled songs we love as well as suggestions from you guys!

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Cassettemix + Chill

Cassettemix + Chill Playlist

This genre-spanning playlist includes the following chilled-out tracks:

  1. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
  2. Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
  3. DJ Snake – Let Me Love You featuring Justin Bieber (Andrew Watt Acoustic Remix)
  4. Aquilo – Sorry
  5. Years & Years – Eyes Shut
  6. The 1975 – Paris
  7. The Japanese House – Swim Against The Tide
  8. MUNA – So Special
  9. Zara Larsson – Lush Life (Acoustic Version)
  10. The Beach – Geronimo (Acoustic Version)
  11. Years & Years – Without
  12. George Ezra – Budapest
  13. Amy Winehouse – Tears Dry (Original Version)
  14. Simply Red – Holding Back The Years
  15. Timeflies – Stuck With Me
  16. John Mayer – Who You Love featuring Katy Perry
  17. One Direction – Perfect (Matoma Remix)
  18. X Ambassadors – Renegades
  19. Sons Of Maria – You & I
  20. Ella Eyre – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
  21. Alex Parks – Out Of Touch
  22. You+Me – Break The Cycle
  23. Freshlyground – I’d Like
  24. George Michael – Jesus To A Child
  25. Chicane – Poppiholla (5am Mix)
  26. Sia – Elastic Heart (Piano Version)
  27. Miley Cyrus – Adore You
  28. TIEKS – Sunshine featuring Dan Harkna (Acoustic Version)
  29. Echosmith – Cool Kids (Acoustic)
  30. Ben Haenow – Second Hand Heart featuring Kelly Clarkson (Acoustic)
  31. Ella Henderson – Missed
  32. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece (Idol Version)

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! Please share the link to this post, or the playlist itself and give it a follow on Spotify too – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/3V0deIVNCsaBTc6haHRFrk

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Muzik Speaks’ 1st Birthday Playlist

Here’s a playlist of all the #Two4Tunesday songs we’ve featured during our first year…enjoy!


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Muzik Speaks is 1 year old this week and to celebrate this milestone, we’re giving you a themed playlist, for each day this week. The playlist will contain all of the songs we’ve featured on our blog during the past year, all themed around the corresponding day.

Today, it’s #Two4Tunesday and our playlist includes:

  1. Dappy  – Beautiful Me
  2. Frankmusik – Stabilizher
  3. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
  4. Taylor Swift – Blank Space
  5. Conor Maynard – Talking About
  6. Marlon Roudette – When The Beat Drops Out
  7. Years & Years  – King
  8. Angels & Airwaves – Bullets In The Wind
  9. Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
  10. Lucy Spraggan – Unsinkable
  11. Nick Jonas – Jealous
  12. Luke Friend – Hole In The Heart
  13. TEAM* – I Like It
  14. New City Kings – Change
  15. Omi – Cheerleader
  16. Deorro – Five More Hours featuring Chris Brown
  17. Taio Cruz – Do What You Like
  18. Life Of Dillon – Overload
  19. Britney Spears – Pretty Girls featuring Iggy Azalea
  20. Prides – Higher Love
  21. Maroon 5 – This Summer
  22. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
  23. Ryn Weaver – The Fool
  24. Ella Eyre – Together
  25. Aston Merrygold – Get Stupid
  26. Little Mix – Black Magic
  27. Passion Pit – Lifted Up (1985)
  28. Owl City – Verge featuring Aloe Blacc
  29. LunchMoney Lewis – Bills
  30. Dappy – 100 (Built For This)
  31. Frankmusik – This
  32. Years & Years – Shine
  33. Blonde – All Cried Out featuring Alex Newell
  34. Sigma – Glitterball featuring Ella Henderson
  35. Conrad Sewell – Hold Me Up
  36. Tinie Tempah – Not Letting Go featuring Jess Glynne
  37. Trevor Guthrie – Summertime
  38. Jerry Orbach & Angela Lansbury – Be Our Guest (Beauty & The Beast)
  39. Robin Williams – Friend Like Me (Aladdin)
  40. Adriana Castelotti – With A Smile And A Song (Snow White)
  41. Tommy Luske & Bobby Driscoll – You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! (Peter Pan)
  42. John Newman – Come And Get It
  43. Stefano Pain & Maury Lobina – Take Me Back
  44. Flo Rida – I Don’t Like It, I Love It featuring Robin Thicke & Verdine White
  45. Cash Cash – Take Me Home featuring Bebe Rexha
  46. Prince Royce – Back It Up featuring Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull
  47. The Score – Oh My Love
  48. Prides – Little Danger
  49. Digital Farm Animals – True
  50. Robin Thicke – Back Together featuring Nicki Minaj
  51. Pia Mia – Do It Again featuring Chris Brown
  52. MOKS – Otherwise featuring James Arthur
  53. Dappy – Money Can’t Buy
  54. Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
  55. Pentatonix – Can’t Sleep Love
  56. Major Lazer – Lean On featuring MØ & DJ Snake
  57. Philip George – Alone No More
  58. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Downtown featuring Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee & Eric Nally
  59. KStewart – Ain’t Nobody
  60. Melissa Steel – You Love Me? featuring Wretch 32
  61. Aquilo – Good Girl
  62. Olly Murs – Kiss Me
  63. Sia – Alive
  64. Justin Bieber – Sorry
  65. Ben Haenow – Second Hand Heart featuring Kelly Clarkson
  66. David Guetta – Bang My Head featuring Sia & Fetty Wap
  67. LÉON – Treasure
  68. Good Charlotte – Makeshift Love
  69. Tinashe – Player featuring Chris Brown
  70. Fleur East – Sax
  71. St Lucia – Dancing On Glass
  72. Hailee Steinfield – Love Myself
  73. Craig David x Big Narstie – When The Bassline Drops
  74. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
  75. The Vamps – Wake Up
  76. The 1975 – UGH!
  77. Coasts – You
  78. Matoma – Running Out featuring Astrid S
  79. Zara Larsson – Lush Life
  80. MKTO – Classic
  81. Walking On Cars – Two Stones
  82. Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s
  83. Izzy Bizu – White Tiger
  84. ZAYN – PILLOWTALK
  85. NAO – Bad Blood
  86. Greyson Chance – Afterlife
  87. Fleur East – More And More
  88. KStewart – Be Without You
  89. Sigala – Say You Do featuring Imani & DJ Fresh
  90. Beyoncé – Formation
  91. Rihanna – Work featuring Drake
  92. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Kevin featuring Leon Bridges
  93. Halsey – Colors

If you want to download the songs and use a custom cover for them, here’s one we’ve made for you 🙂

Two4Tunesday Cover

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Playlist: October 2015


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Hey-hey fellow Speakerz!

It’s been another amazing month, full of wonderful music!

We’ve eased you into the week with songs by Chicane, The Japanese House, The Fray and Years & Years, brought you new music from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, K Stewart, Sia and Justin Bieber, thrown back your musical memories with Meat Loaf, Sweet Female Attitude, Bjork and Sam Sparro and brought you some unusual songs by INHEAVEN, V1BE and Låpsley.

Chicane shared our post and we’ve been lining up some interviews for November – it’s been an amazing month and I can’t wait for November to start!

We hope you have enjoyed our song choices throughout October and you can find the Spotify and YouTube playlists below!

Please keep sharing our posts and sharing songs with us!


OUR CONTINUED AIM

We’d like to ask you, to go ahead and ‘like’ our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks) and ‘follow’ us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks). Then if you could please post a status or send a tweet to your followers and friends to ask them to check us out, we’d be really grateful! We want to grow this community and we honestly can’t do it without your support!

Lastly, please, please respond to our posts on Facebook or leave comments on each of our blog posts with your own tracks for each of the daily themes – we want you to share what you’re listening to because we love music as much as you, and we really enjoy finding out about new tunes. Thanks so much!


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Justin Bieber – ‘Sorry’ & Ben Haenow – ‘Second Hand Heart’ featuring Kelly Clarkson


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Justin Bieber – ‘Sorry’

Oh my god! This song is just immense! I loved Justin Bieber‘s Believe album, but I think his newest one, Purpose, is going to blow its socks off!

Bieber has really embraced the current musical trends of Tropical House and Dancehall, which is putting him really on point. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like What Do You Mean?‘ and I think ‘Sorry’ is going to be the same. This song is a collaboration with Where Are Ü Now collaborator, Skrillex and that, in my opinion, is part of the key to his success.

I can’t get enough of this song and his latest singles have definitely let me anticipating his new album. I personally can’t wait!


‘Sorry’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sorry/id1049359399?i=1049359405



Ben Haenow – ‘Second Hand Heart‘ featuring Kelly Clarkson

There’s no doubt about it, this is straight-up, pure pop music, but it’s a good song! I’ll readily admit, I didn’t really give two hoots about Ben Haenow winning X Factor last year, but this song has impressed me! I am also quite a Kelly Clarkson fan, so that probably helps, but I like the subtle country/folk undertones coursing through the pop melodies and think it makes for an interesting pop song.

The video matches the song well too and it’s filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, giving it that extra country feel.

Interestingly, the song was co-written by members of the pop rock band Artist vs. Poet.


‘Second Hand Heart’ can be downloaded from iTunes right now! Show your support – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/second-hand-heart-feat.-kelly/id1043081452?i=1043081453


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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