Draggin' me down
I've been writing music since I was 19, but I created a band in 2015 with two of my best friends called Nervous and Queer, and it had some really excellent covers come from it. This song, however was the love child of one of the members, Yo! The Moon!, and I.
We were sitting around one day practicing music and recording random stuff (as we do), and I started singing the (now infamous) chorus. We thought it should be a song about suicidal thoughts, but it turned into a love song because sometimes love is hard. Sometimes love is VERY hard, and you don't know how to process what you're feeling.
In the winter of 2015, Carly Northup (the third member of NaQ) shot the music video for us in one night, and I edited it together into this homemade, appropriate film that is described accurately (from the Youtube) below:
"Travis Love Benson and Yo! The Moon! try to understand how to be in love and grapple with the real emotion of hating the person you care the most about."
i'm not blue
Every year I audition for the Tiny Desk Contest. It's a fun little tradition and, even though it's a small chance to get noticed or accepted, it's so wonderful to think that I might get noticed and go on NPR funded tours!
This was recorded for something called the "Tiny Bronx Contest" where we submitted songs and 10 or so artists were chosen to come have semi-professional videos done live of their songs to submit to the Tiny Desk Contest.
I ended up choosing my recording of "Draggin' Me Down" from this night to submit, but the "I'm Not Blue" shown here is a very accurate and well recorded representation of how I perform live. I engage with the audience, I put all of my energy and soul out there, and when I meet the audience where they are and then move them musically and emotionally (through my set and different songs) to other places and feelings they didn't expect, I get a lot of feedback that I told my stories well.
It's all about engaging and letting the audience know that they aren't invisible. They are very much there, and I appreciate them. They help drive the stories forward.
So I wrote a children's album. Well I was more commissioned to. Let me explain!
I'd had several ideas of different kids songs I would write, but never had the time to put them down on pen and paper or even hack-record. I grew up with Red Grammar and he was a major inspiration to me. In my internship I got SUPER into the Wee Sing Series, as well as Peter, Paul, and Mary, and so I just had (and still have) SO MANY ideas for kids songs.
Then somebody commissioned me to write an entire album of children's music, and then they'd pick songs they like best and put them onto a mixed CD to give out as a gift for their child's birthday.
So I wrote Jungle Jams. The titular song you're listening to is called Jungle Jam, and I wrote it as the "art piece" for an audition process to live in a community housing project called The Genome Collective, which is where I lived during the course of my internship. It was an excellent experience, and I learned a lot about dumpster diving for food (what's safe and what's not), making a lot of food out of very little food, different recipes for sprouts and bread and cashew cheese and veganism, and really amazing yogurt that was homemade and stomach viruses.
I crowd sourced the items that I should sing about and I created Jungle Jam, and creating that song, and living in that community house in Binghamton, are some of the best memories from songwriting that I have. This song means the world to me, and I hope to go back with the rest of the kids songs I wrote (link below to that album), and make them sound as clean as this.