Our founder O’Neil Dennis met Benjamin Haycock for the first time at an event in Stoke-on-Trent run by Extreme Tours called ‘The Objective’ this past weekend and was simply blown away by his performance. The raw skill, emotion and talent that Benjamin showed on stage with just an acoustic guitar and a mic was impossible to ignore. He blends melodic, percussive and finger-style acoustic work with honest, personal and accomplished lyricism that is up there with the best. He laces this with incredibly tight (often double-time) rap flows and raw, emotive and powerful singing vocals. This is all interwoven to create a truly unique sound with strong character that derives from his often difficult experiences growing up in inner city Birmingham.
While relatively unknown in the Christian scene, he has made some serious traction in his career thus far. Some of his successes include being commissioned to compose a song for COP26, having one of his songs feature in a film on Amazon Prime, being one of Fender’s ‘Undiscovered Artists of the Year’ and partnering with global acoustic guitar brand Maton as one of their prestigious artists with names such as Tash Sultana, Keith Urban and John Butler on their books. However, perhaps Benjamin’s biggest break to date was his appearance on The Voice UK last year, when he played his original song ‘Restlessness’ about his late father. Suffice to say, all four coaches turned around. This song topped the Singer-Songwriter charts and is on over 1.6 million streams to date.
Having said all of this, it isn’t necessarily Benjamin’s skills or recent successes that need to be known. It’s his heart. It’s his ability to convey a story about what he’s gone through and have every person in that room feel it and connect to their own pain. It’s his genuine love and care for the people that his songs are about and his audience. It’s his hard work that comes from a place of struggle. And above all, it’s his love for God. Benjamin has turned down many lucrative secular opportunities over the past year since appearing on The Voice. If you speak to him, you will understand that God is taking him in a new direction. After watching Benjamin perform and speaking with him over the past few days, Dennis believes that Benjamin could be proclaiming his love for Jesus to a much bigger audience sooner than maybe even he thinks.
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