Pay what you like for Petworth songwriter’s latest release

Ben Pryer
Ben Pryer

Petworth singer-songwriter Ben Pryer has just released his second single ‘All the Way For Ya’ – a release with a difference.

The 20-year-old has decided you need only pay if you decide you like it.

“I am offering my brand-new single free of charge to anyone that wants it with the option to donate whatever you think it’s worth. I thought this was a really awesome way of doing it!”

It is available via www.benpryer.com, an important step towards bigger releases: “I am trying to make up an EP, a little mini-album. It is gathering traction. Most of the songs are already recorded. It is about gathering the tracks together. I would like about five songs on the EP. I would definitely hope to have it out by the end of 2016.”

From an early age, Ben wrote and sung his own music and was playing live shows at the age of 11 and could often be seen busking to large crowds in Chichester. He recorded his first EP Again & Again with Tom Mills and was later asked to join the boy band M.A.D., which led to two top-40 singles (‘Fame & TV’ and ‘Shotgun’) and number-one album in the Record Store Charts. After diving in and out of the charts for a while, the boys all decided it wasn’t right for them and chose to go their separate ways.

“We had a lot of success. M.A.D. was at its peak the year before last (December 2013-December 2014), really recently, but I just felt that the band side of things wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t music that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

His preference was for acoustic, heart-felt songs.

“Leaving the band was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made because of the success we had had, but really I wasn’t happy with the music. Most definitely it has been looking like the right decision to have made. I don’t regret the band, and I don’t regret leaving the band.

“Every decision I have made has felt right.

“The music I am making at the moment I would say is generalised pop, a little bit of an indie feel, but mainly heavily towards the pop side… very different to the music that I play live. The tracks are a lot more produced. When I am playing live, it is just me.”

Lyrically, the songs are about relationships, Ben explains: “It’s the number-one thing I know most about! It’s difficult being a younger person and trying to gather influences when you have not actually lived through a lot. But there are lots of artists that I adore. I absolutely love Mumford & Sons and Oasis and Passenger…”

Ben is enjoying the advantages of no longer being part of a band.

“I know I that I love the sound that I get from when I play acoustic guitar, and I love the whole idea that I can carry around my own music. I can sing what I want to sing. I can set my own tempo. There is no one to tell me what to do!”

Ben was born in Petworth and has lived there all his life – and is likely to remain there even when success comes calling.

“I am not a big fan of London. There are times I have been there on business, but I love the countryside, and I love being in and around Petworth.”

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