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Ben Cox

Young jazz vocalist Ben Cox is being tipped for the top by many of the scene’s key players. We get to know him ahead of the release of his hotly anticipated debut album This Waiting Game…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 25 Mar 2015
  • min read
Ben Cox is a composer, instrumentalist and highly praised UK jazz vocalist.

At the age of 21, he’s still a student at London’s Guildhall School of music but has already been tipped for the top by both Jamie Cullum and jazz vocalist Ian Shaw.

The latter is so infatuated with Ben’s talents, he’s taken the unofficial role of mentor and official role as producer on the forthcoming debut album, This Waiting Game.

Ben and his co-writer, up and coming pianist Jamie Safiruddin, have opened up their hearts across the album’s songs with the former’s arresting voice at the centre of their sound. Taking their pointers from the classic songwriting styles of James Taylor and Carole King, it's a sound which goes beyond jazz and should have a far more widespread appeal. Catch Ben and his band on tour in April and help them celebrate the release of their debut…

We first started writing music because…
There wasn't really a certain day or reason when I decided to start writing songs. It just naturally happened - but I love songwriters such as James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and wanted to give it a go myself.

We have been making music since…
Professionally over the last couple of years. But personally I've been trying things out for ages on my own. I'm afraid that singing in my bedroom with the curtains closed trying to sound like Michael Buble did happen when I was younger!

Our music is…
I write what I hope is good music! I suppose if you were going to put us in a genre, jazz would be the closest as we've all studied it.

You'll like our music if you listen to...
James Taylor, Carole King, Steely Dan, to name a few...

Our favourite venue is…
Ronnie Scott's. Without a doubt. Best sound on stage we've ever had!

Music is important because…
It brings people together. It brings back memories. It creates new memories. It’s a universal language that everyone can respond to.

Our biggest inspiration is…
That's a difficult one. Ask me next week and it will be a different answer ... I'm going to have to say James Taylor though!

Our dream collaboration would be…
James Taylor!

To try us out, listen to my song…
Of mine I'd say This Waiting Game - it was the first song I'd ever written, and it's become the album's single. Of Jamie's (pianist in band a co-writer), I'd say either Slumber or Blessed are the Bleak.

If we weren’t making music we’d be…
Panicking ... I can't do anything else.

In 10 years time we want to be...
Ask me in 10 years! But hopefully still working with the same band and still working with my collaborator and musical director Jamie Safiruddin.

Ben’s debut LP This Waiting Game will be released on 13 April. Check out his list of forthcoming tour dates below…

12 April 2015 - Pizza Express Jazz Club, London
13 April 2015 - Pizza Express Jaz Club, London
17 April 2015 - The Cinnamon Club, Manchester
29 April/4 May 2015 - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
25 September 2015 - Scarborough Jazz Festival

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