Ben Folds Visits Students

12 February, 2015

Ben Folds is one of the most recognisable singer-songwriters of the last 30 years, and when the US Embassy suggested he visit BIMM Dublin for a Masterclass, we leapt at the chance!

Ben’s unique voice and piano-driven pop songs have seen him carve out a dedicated international following. With his eponymous band, Ben Folds Five, he broke through to a mainstream audience in 1995 with a series of punchy, quirky songs like ‘Underground’, ‘Brick’ and ‘Battle of Who Could Care Less’. In total, the band released three successful albums, and five UK Top 40 singles, before disbanding in 2000. Ben then continued to perform around the world as a solo artist, before the band reunited in 2011.

DJ and writer Donal Dineen did a great job of hosting the Masterclass for us and Jennifer McAndrew from the US Embassy was also in attendance.

Ben, who has spent over a quarter of a decade writing and performing, shared some of the wide experience he has gathered over the years, as well as some terrific words of advice.

Ben recounted how he got into music, how his career progressed and included some funny and insightful stories about how, as a young man, he lost his music school scholarship – and almost gave up music for good.

After speaking about the progression of his career, the assembled students had plenty of questions about songwriting, and Ben described the different techniques he uses to begin writing a song.

He also left us with some inspirational words about being confident in your own ability:

“You can’t be somebody else better than they can be – but they can’t do what you can do either.”

The students were left in no doubt of Ben’s talent and enthusiasm for music. Jessy Kalala on the CPD Songwriting course, said:

“Ben was really interesting and entertaining. He said so many inspirational things. I’m going home to download his album!”

It was a real pleasure to have such a talented songwriter visit us – thanks so much for coming Ben!

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