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Future Sound of Nottingham Finalists: Ben Haynes

29 June 18 interview: Sam Nahirny

We grabbed a few words with Ben Haynes ahead of the Future Sound of Nottingham final at Rock City on Monday 1 July...

How would you describe your music?
I don't write in any specific genre really. I know that hinders you when trying to build a fan base but I just enjoy writing. I'll listen to a song or an album and then ask myself, "could I write something like that?"

That's how 'Only You Make This World Right' came about. After listening to Paul Simon's, Graceland, for the millionth time, I decided to just go for it and see what I could come up with. Now I'm not saying the song is worthy of Graceland status. Just that I wanted to write something in that style. I guess I predominantly lean towards singer songwriter, acoustic driven pop. Whatever that is!

What was your reaction to the news you’d be playing the FSN final?
Well chuffed! I just got home from work to a message from my friend, Craig, telling me I got through. Craig is the guitarist from Pretty Babs by the way.

What can the City crowd expect from your performance?
Those that have seen me play before have only ever seen me play acoustic so I'm really excited to play with the band. We did a gig at Jam Cafe a few weeks back but that's all I've done with the band.

Why did you enter FSN?
To be honest, I've been out the loop for a few years with regards to the Notts music scene and I thought this would be a great opportunity to promote myself. Nusic has been good to me in the past and I really value their hard work in supporting Notts music. I'm proud to be part of it.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
Ray Lamontagne, Paul Simon, Ryan Adams, John Mayer, David Gray.

Nusic has been good to me in the past and I really value their hard work in supporting Notts music.

What Nottingham artists are you loving at the minute?
I've always loved listening to Georgie. My favourite song of hers is This Ain't Heaven.

What are your biggest non-musical influences?
My parents, my wife and TV series. One of the tracks I'll be performing on the night is influenced by the great Stranger Things.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
My proudest moment as a solo artist was releasing my first EP Whisper In My Ear in 2014. The launch night took place at The Guitar Bar and we managed to squeeze about fifty or sixty people in an intimate space. I've got plenty of new material so I'm planning to release an album in the near future.

Any last words for LeftLion?
Thank you for supporting Notts music and having a positive impact on the community.

Nusic’s Future Sound of Nottingham takes place at Rock City on Sunday 1 July, free entry

Nusic website 

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