When Ben was 5 he discovered The Beatles in his parents’ music collection and by his early teens he’d picked up his first guitar to follow inspiration from songwriting greats including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. In 2017, Ben released his second album, Put It On Ice, and since then has been busy playing gigs and stripping back his sound to record a new acoustic album titled Minimum of Fuss which is set for release on 5 April 2019.
After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Popular music, Ben began busking with his good friend Kristyna Myles. The duo were spotted by The Manchester Evening News who featured them on their front page, and were the winners of a national busking competition on BBC5 Live. Ben can still be found busking on the streets of Manchester from time to time and he maintains that it is the best place to hone new songs – the ever- changing audience gives him the opportunity to repeat and perfect new material throughout the day.
As a guitarist Ben has worked with Grammy award winning producers and has played concerts supporting the likes of Nile Rodgers and Chic, Mick Hucknall, Will Young and Lisa Stansfield. Having worked for years on other peoples’ projects, refining his songwriting craft and supporting artists on tours and at festivals around the world including South By South West Festival, Ben woke up one day and randomly wrote a song by and for himself. The song, Change It, opened the floodgates to writing many more and encouraged him to pursue his solo endeavours as a singer-songwriter. It later featured on his debut album, Who Do You Think You Are? (2015) which received airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Introducing Manchester.
Stripped back album Minimum of Fuss to be released this April
With tracks ranging from intimate to playful, Minimum of Fuss is the perfect album for a Sunday morning with a nice cup of tea. It’s the third album from Manchester based singer-songwriter Ben Williams, set for release on Friday 5th April 2019. The title is apt in terms of both approach and process. The album features 10 new and original songs stripped back to their acoustic core which Ben recorded live over just 3 days with renowned producer John Ellis. After the simple addition of some backing vocals here and a sprinkling of piano there, the album was ready; pushing Ben’s performing and song-writing talents to the forefront.
In his solo endeavours, Ben’s self-produced debut album Who Do You Think You Are? (2015) was described by R2 magazine as “guaranteed to bring a smile to your face”, and by Janice Long as “so beautiful”. Liam Bradford, BBC Radio Manchester, declared the title track to be his “favourite song of the year so far” and Ron Sexsmith recognised Hold Your Fire as “a really lovely song”. Ben released his second album Put It On Ice in February 2017, and his busy touring and busking schedule has seen him open shows as the support act for artists such as Nell Bryden, Ben Montague, and Baskery. Moulding the classic song-writing sound of Paul Simon with the laid-back nature of Jack Johnson, Ben is a difficult artist to pigeonhole and is all the better for it.
Having started out as a busker, his rise to prominence in the music industry has been impressive. As a session guitarist he has worked with Grammy award winning producers, appeared on BBC 1, ITV and Channel 5, and played concerts supporting major artists such as Nile Rodgers and Chic, Will Young, Mick Hucknall and Lisa Stansfield. Ben has supported artists on stages at South By South West Festival in Texas, at festivals in Italy, on tours of France, and for UK gigs at venues including the Liverpool Echo arena, Indigo2 and Bridgewater Hall.
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