Alec Benjamin is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his songs ‘Paper Crown’ and ‘The Water Fountain.’ Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Alec grew up listening to artists such as Paul Simon and Eminem. He grew up in an ordinary family, and none of his family members knew anything about music. He started developing a keen interest in music during his high-school years. He learned to play the guitar by watching videos on ‘YouTube’ and never attended any professional guitar classes. He grew up at a time when ‘YouTube’ was a major platform for young artists to showcase their talents. He debuted on ‘YouTube’ in 2016, with his single ‘Paper Crown.’ Earlier, in 2014, ‘Columbia Records’ had offered him a contract and had promised to produce his debut album. However, they had dropped him later. Nevertheless, Alec continued to work on his music. In the coming years, he earned a solid fan base on ‘YouTube’ and released quite a few successful singles, such as ‘End of the Summer,’ ‘The Boy in the Bubble,’ and ‘Let Me Down Slowly.’
Childhood & Early Life
Alec Benjamin was born on May 28, 1994, in Phoenix, Arizona. Nobody from his family was associated with music.
He was a loner in school and preferred not to make any friends. He did not think much about his career either. However, as he grew up and started listening to artists such as Paul Simon, Eminem, and Dr. Dre, he began gaining a marked interest in music.
By the time he was in high school, he had started practicing singing on his own. His father played music as a hobby. Alec once picked up his father’s old guitar and began learning to play it on his own. He did not attend any guitar classes. He would often watch ‘YouTube’ videos to teach himself to play the guitar.
He was 16 when many amateur musicians were moving to ‘YouTube’ to exhibit their skills. While most of them were producing covers of famous tracks, Alec had decided that he would create original music. He started writing his own songs and composed them by using computer software.
By the time he graduated high school, he had decided that he would pursue music as a career option. Soon, he started writing emails to artists he thought could help him in some way.
He also started moving around in search of better opportunities. He made several trips to Los Angeles to meet the right people, but that did not yield much. He started playing music in the parking lots of music concerts and played at some clubs and coffee houses, too. His music was being adored, and he started meeting the right people.
Following his high-school graduation, Alec enrolled at the ‘University of Southern California.’
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Alec met a songwriter named Sacha Skarbek through a common friend. Sacha had written songs for artists such as Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. Alec and Sacha started writing songs together, and Alec started performing at more venues. Sacha had her studio in London, and Alec flew across the Atlantic Ocean without any financial support from his parents.
While he was in Europe, he built a significant fan following. He opened several concerts and performed at the ‘Berlin Music Week’ and ‘The Reeperbahn Festival.’ There, he experienced popularity for the first time. Soon, people started coming to concerts to listen to his performances.
He eventually signed a deal with a small-time independent label named ‘White Rope’ and released his debut mixtape, ‘Mixtape 1: America, in 2013. It was a moderate hit. The same year, Alec moved back to the US and performed at a few venues in Los Angeles. Talent scouts from ‘Columbia Records’ located him and soon offered him a record deal.
Alec was 20 years old at that time. The deal with ‘Columbia’ seemed like a major opportunity. Although ‘Columbia Records’ had promised to produce his debut album, they canceled the deal 24 hours after the submission of his first album.
This was a major blow to Alec, and he decided to start his career from scratch. He avoided social-media promotion for a very long time. However, when his sister insisted, he decided to give it a shot. By then, he knew that creating a loyal online fan base was extremely beneficial for a struggling artist such as him.
He had written the entire album that was pitched to ‘Columbia Records,’ and he planned to post it online. He started with ‘YouTube’ in August 2016. His first upload, ‘Paper Crown,’ became a major hit almost immediately. The emotional song made it to the hearts of his listeners and garnered a million “views” soon. Currently, the song has more than 4 million “views” on ‘YouTube.’
This successful beginning boosted Alec’s confidence. A few weeks later, he uploaded another single, ‘The Water Fountain,’ and it earned more popularity than ‘Paper Crown.’ The single has earned more than 10 million “views” on ‘YouTube.’
Alec’s style resonated with the listeners because he wrote songs about the mundane things of life that anybody could relate to. Most of his songs have heartbreak and friendship as their central themes. In 2017, he released a track titled ‘I Built a Friend.’ It earned more than 4 million “views” on ‘Spotify’ in less than 12 months.
In November 2018, Alec released the mixtape ‘Narrated for You.’ The tape revolved around themes of love, friendship, and parents. It showed how several phases in his life had worked together in harmony to create Alec, the musician.
The mixtape was a big hit and featured 12 tracks. Some of the most popular tracks from the album were ‘The Boy in the Bubble’ and ‘Let Me Down Slowly.’ The latter is his most popular song on ‘YouTube’ and has earned more than 16 million “views.”
Apart from writing and composing his songs, Alec also creates animations to accompany his music on ‘YouTube.’ His style of showcasing his lyrics on the videos has also become quite popular.
He made his biggest career achievement in 2017, when his song ‘I Built a Friend’ made its way to national TV via the 12th season of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ A contestant named Merrick Hanna performed a dance sequence on the song in the first episode of the season.
Alec had also found success in collaboration with artists such as Jon Bellion. He was featured in the song ‘New York Soul Pt ii’ from Jon’s album ‘The Human Condition.’
Alec Benjamin is highly secretive about his personal life.
He admits that he is a camera-shy person and avoids facing the camera as much as he can.