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LA artist EBEN talks charting on iTunes and new EP

EBEN is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. His debut single “LAMBO” is out now as well as his first mixtape, FINALLY, which hit #7 on the iTunes Pop Albums chart. Currently, EBEN is opening for the popular boy band, Why Don’t We on The Invitation Tour. The tour just made a stop in Boston and Voice writer Will Heffernan had the chance to interview EBEN before the show.

Q: How did you get into music?

A: I started out doing music when I was a little kid, like 5/6 years old. I would sing at my churches choir, then eventually as I started to grow up, I just kind of found it. I didn’t really love anything else as much as I love music. In high school I did professional musical theater and started to actually take it seriously as an actual job. When I was 15, I went out and did American Idol, and that’s kind of when I was introduced to the whole music industry as we know it today. That was the first time I went out to LA and just experienced that whole world. That’s what really was the icing on the cake.

Q: How would you describe music?

A: Music, to me, would be freedom, creativity and expression. What I love about music most is just the fact that I can shut myself in my bedroom and go in there for like three hours and come out with a full song. Nobody else has to hear it, I’m the only one who knows about it. There’s not a wrong way to do it, like you can literally create anything you want, and no one is going to tell you that it’s bad because it’s yours.

Q: What’s the meaning behind “LAMBO” and what was the process making the music video like?

A: The message behind the song, it was kind of born from just my everyday struggle. It’s a hard life being an artist on the come up. There’s so many obstacles and so many things that you have to go through to get to a point where people will want to listen to you your music. I would much rather deal with all these problems in a $400,000 car or in a mansion somewhere. I’d much rather deal with the issues that I have… with money. The video concept came from the director, Eli Sokhn, and he set me and my management up and said “Yo, I got this idea, it’s a bit crazy,” and he started to explain it. “It’s going to open up, you’re going to be sitting in a car, after your work, watching a movie. Then you’re going to be sucked into this movie that will have miniature police officers and the mini lambo.” I fell in love with the idea right away, just because no one has really done that before.

(Watch the “LAMBO” video)

Q: What was that moment when you found out your mixtape, FINALLY, made it to #6 on the iTunes Pop Album charts?

A: Honestly, it was so crazy to me. The EP released the night before, I was super excited. I was up until two in the morning that night, super hyped, listening to the songs over and over again. I went to bed and I woke up at nine in the morning and I looked at my phone and I had like over 200 text messages, from all sorts of family and stuff. I thought someone died or something with all those messages and when I opened up my phone they all read “You went number six! You’re top six on iTunes!!” That was the last thing I had expected. I was just so hyped to even be releasing music because it had been like four years since I was able to drop any records. I was just hyped to be able to put music out in general, let alone chart in the top ten on iTunes.

Q: Do you have a favorite song to perform on stage?

A: Definitely, from FINALLY, I think the most hype that I get from the crowd is “Tell Me.” For the live show, I did this little dubstep remix to it to add some beat to the drop and make it bang more. “Tell Me” is definitely one. It’s between “Tell Me” or “Do or Die.” “Do or Die,” is the first song I wrote off of the EP and “Do or Die” was the beginning of the FINALLY EP. So, just to be able to perform that live and have a song that I created from scratch and to be able to perform something that people actually sing along to is just a foreign feeling to me. I’m definitely appreciating every single moment I get up on stage and seeing people singing my music is such a blessing, I’m so thankful.

Q: What’s been one favorite moment for you on this tour?

A: One thing that has been a standout moment for me was the first show. I’m from Cincinnati, OH, I grew up in Cincinnati for my whole life. This tour started in Cincinnati and the last time I performed as a solo artist was in Cincinnati before this tour four years ago. I’m about to go on stage and it was ten minutes before my set and I hear the crowd chanting my name in my hometown. All those emotions of “I’m about to be on stage for the first time in four years,” plus I’m back in my hometown and everyone there is chanting my name. It couldn’t have been more for me, that moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

Q: How did you meet Why Don’t We?

A: I use to be in a group and my group ended so I was back in Cincinnati for three months. I was home and my management that managed my group also managed Why Don’t We? and I hit him up and I was like “yo, I’m going to the show, I’m going to go check out the boys and see what they’re up to.” So, I went there and I hung out with them and I got to know them a little bit and watch their show in Cincinnati. A few weeks later I ended up moving back to LA and I’ve been working with the boys ever since.

Q: As the year goes on, what’s one thing you hope to achieve?

A: One major goal of mine is to put out another EP by the years end. Also, I want to be at a point where I can maybe start planning a EBEN headlining tour. That is definitely a major goal of mine.

Make sure to check out EBEN’s mixtape FINALLY out now.


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