Interview: Benjamin Jaffe Talks About Going Solo

Benjamin Jaffe of Americana duo band HoneyHoney has decided to go back and focus on his own music and is currently on tour promoting his upcoming album which will be out next year. Although he’s been part of a band for the past years, he is ready to get back to his solo career with his full-length release, Oh, Wild Ocean of Life. He also released his first single, ‘Dominator’, which has a new feel to his music with a soulful vibe. I got the chance to ask Benjamin a couple of questions where he shares more of his thoughts and goals towards his solo career. 

You’ve been in the music industry for a long time now, what made you decide to get back to working on your solo career?     

Man, it HAS been a long ass time!  I think I’ve avoided doing solo work for a while, the pressure made me anxious, it took me a while to be comfortable with my singing; mainly a boatload of insecurities paired with a band that’s been doing well and building.  My other band HONEYHONEY has been so busy for so long that it was easy to push the solo stuff to the side.  Then my partner Suzanne, wisely, started to work on a solo project which saved us from destroying each other and pushed me to do my own thing.

How is working solo different from HoneyHoney? How does making new music as a soloist differentiate from working with a partner?

Oh it’s a totally different process being able to make all the decisions by yourself.  I’m an experimenter naturally and that inherently brings some unpredictability to whatever I’m working on.  With Suzanne I try and dial that back so she’s not say, in the lab when it explodes.  With my stuff I just go for it.  

Your upcoming album is due out next year, what can people expect from your new music?

Hopefully some surprises?  I dunno, the music is a little less lyrically focused than HONEYHONEY but I still want it to feel like you’re going on a journey when you listen to each song.

What are some of the goals you’d like to accomplish as a solo artist?

I just want to find that middle ground between music that represents my values and stuff that people actually want to listen to. A lot of people.  

What do you like listening to when you’re not working on your own music? Any artists/musicians you look up to?

Ah sheesh.  So much stuff.  The last pop record I got into was Lianne La Havas’ “blood”. I saw a metal show a few weeks ago with a band called Converge that blew my mind.  There’s a song by the Bulgarian State Television Female Choir called “Kalimankou Denkou” that’s just gorgeous.  It’s pretty stunning how much great stuff there is out there.

Anything else you’d like to share about your new music/album?

I’m proud of the artwork for it.  I’ve been working with a great artist named Ryan Dilmore on the cover and the singles.  The visuals are important to me, we’ve shooting a lot of video as well.