Sounding out ideas brings solace during difficult times

September 28, 2020

Collage by Finn Souter with images from Pixabay

Ben Teeny channels his emotions and curiosity through songwriting and music production

Lockdown has been strange. Sometimes it’s been okay, but sometimes I find myself anxious and confused, and sometimes I just want things to go back to normal. I’d love to go to a gig at a pub with more than six people!

With more space for self-reflection, I’ve experienced a gamut of emotions: from joy to nostalgia to sorrow. Getting my thoughts and feelings down on paper and then shaping them into a tune, key and rhythm is a comforting and exciting process for me. It helps make sense of the world and myself.

At first, I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I began to create my song, ‘It’s A Personality’. I kind of just let my mind wander; exploring abstract stuff like a random place or person, a feeling, an experience, a moment, the changing of a season. I think I see things visually first, and then formulate the images in my head and start writing from there.

I sometimes have a phrase or key line as a starting point, then build my song around it. For this song I had the title first and everything kind of sprung from that.

There wasn’t any particular concept or profound idea really. The song developed into an expression of how I see myself, what I think about and what I find challenging.

For this track, which is part of my bedroom lockdown project, which consists of collaborations with friends and some solo stuff, I sing the vocals and arranged the music. I play the guitars (bass, lead and rhythm) and the drums are sampled from drummer tracks on GarageBand. I hope to share more as the year goes by.

The ability to use emotion in my work – positive or negative, pleasant or unpleasant, funny or dark – helps me better understand my experiences and thinking. It can only be a good thing, right? I recommend it.

I hope you enjoy my song.

It’s A Personality (lyrics)
Every time I think of you I lose the game that we’re all in
It’s much harder, than it seems.

Every single development is the same in my story
It’s all just, a boring sitcom.

I think I took risks that were unnecessary,
I may be hilarious but I’m still disgusting, oh!

I think personally
We’re all certainly
In need of clarity
For rhyming naturally
I think actually
We’re all naturally
Unaware of our
Beautiful stars.

Ben has recently graduated with a first from his Film and Television Production degree at University of Hertfordshire. He has enjoyed writing songs and making films since he was 14 years old.

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