May 2017 Featured Artist: Ben Whiting
Melting Pot puts the spotlight on artists within the community that are doing something special.
Growing up in coastal New South Wales, Ben Whiting was introduced to music at a particularly young age, both through the culture that surrounds music in the area and just through the need for self-expression. Ben was given his first guitar at age 11 and began writing songs immediately. By age 13 he was playing in rock bands in overage venues up and down the coast.
“I wasn’t really into sport or anything else as a kid, so that was kind of my outlet. I started my first band when I was 12 and I think that was the same year we had our first gig,” Whiting is able to reminisce in the rare autumn Melbourne sunshine. “It just kind of progressed; I spent my early teens just kind of touring around… I’m good friends with Buzz from The Angels and Gangajang,so he kind of took us under (his) wing when I was about fifteen years old.”
Having such prominent stage time at serious venues this early in Ben’s life would set him up for what was to come post teen band stage and plunging into his solo career after his move to Melbourne. You can see in his persona and vibe on stage that he feels that it is a place where he belongs, and is particularly comfortable.
“I just love the feeling of playing music and being able to perform and write, so, I’ve just been doing it ever since!”
Whiting and his grunge/rock band packed everything in a van and made the move to Melbourne in 2008 in an effort to ‘turn it into something’ and take their approach to music more seriously. He revels in the opportunities that Melbourne has brought him, and eventually led him to, and no doubt the fun that he has had along the way.
‘Private Island’ is the second EP from Whiting, and preparations are in full swing for its release on May 25th at The Toff in Town. When asked what fans can expect from the show, and his new recordings, Whiting describes a “fuller” sound;
“It’s been a while since I’ve been on stage with my full band, so it’s… a bit more of a fuller show… a bigger sound… I’m fooling around with some lighting and projectors as well for the show.”
Ben Whiting prepares to play ‘Private Island’ in full, from start to finish on the night. Listeners can expect the same crafty rawness mixed in with his unique ability to keep a sweet and dreamy vibe through both clever instrumentation and his stunning vocal delivery, which is particularly versatile and actually difficult to describe without having a sound bite.
After delving into the singer/songwriter scene following the demise of his band, Whiting recounts that he has always been working to get back into a group environment, and has been writing with a full sound in mind since day one. Eager to complete that transition from solo troubadour to band leader, front man and arranger, Ben Whiting invites you to join him with Davy Simony and Jack the Fox to celebrate the release of ‘Private Island’.
‘Private Island’ will be launched on Thursday, May 25th at The Toff in Town. You can find more information and secure your tickets here.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsJosh Forner
Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.
Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.
He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.
Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.