“I’ve really been into music for a long time. I used to raid my brother’s music collection, and I was making up songs in my head for as long as I can remember,” shared Chicago-born, but Jerusalem resident, and singer-songwriter Ben Draiman.
“At thirteen, I took piano lessons for two years. I kept at them because my teacher was a long-haired, pierced keyboardist in a rock and roll band, and it was always fun for me. By the time I got to high school, I had an outlet and a way to get some attention…that normally the ‘jocks’ would have gotten. One of my prouder moments was my senior year. Some of my classmates came to appreciate what I did and one of my songs was used in the graduation slideshow and the yearbook.”
“But at the time,” he explained, “I didn’t really think of music as a career. It was therapeutic for me, an outlet,” so after high school he decided to travel to Israel, went to school there, and eventually moved there permanently.
Seven years ago, he started writing again. For Draiman, music has “a dual nature. It’s very personal, but it can be very public. My songs are about eternal themes – relationships and heartbreak. There are some ballads. I want to be authentic. I don’t write about abstract things very often because I have to feel very close to a subject. It can be intense and serious, but I’m also trying to explore a lighter side.”
And as these things go, when you write something and let it out into the world, sometimes, “suddenly, other people can relate to it. And I felt an incredible need to share it. I started playing shows and it became more of a regular thing. At first, friends would show up, which was great, but when your friends continue to show up, they become your fans.”
Eventually, he was invited to record some of his work. “Music is an expensive hobby, but once you record your first song, you can’t stop.”
He put some songs on YouTube and ended up gaining some fans that way too. With the industry being what it is, his advice is to “knock on every door. There’s going to be a lot of rejection, but eventually you’ll get to a door that opens.”
He’s since recorded an EP (listen below!), and is now in the market for a band for a more guitar-based project. “Things are continuing to evolve.” You can keep up with him and his U.S. shows over the next couple of weeks on his Twitter feed
“Taken for Granted”