Music has always been in my life -- singing 4-part harmonies with the family as a small child, teaching myself guitar and piano, rocking in a teen band, playing and singing songs as the only way to get girls to notice me, some community and professional musical theatre, and then to my music major in College.
There I refined my general love of music into music direction, conducting, vocal coaching -- became pretty good too. That is when I did most of my collaborative work with Christopher Zemliauskas ( recordings with him are here and here ). He is still my best friend. We even wrote a musical that was performed off-broadway - life was incredible and the future seemed limitless.
After graduation - I let others guide me on their path instead of following my own. It led me away from my music, and eventually it led me away from who I am, and with that my music was no more.
Too many years later, I had a bold idea - to try to play some Radiohead songs acoustically. Being OCD, I got carried away -- learned a lot of them. It was an exercise, partly to unlearn my classical training, but also to re-learn who I am. I got noticed, and through it, I started to play more.
Soon I wrote my first song -- “Fall” -- this time the narrative was my own life and feelings, not a character in a script. And as I crawled up out of the muck and grasped for understanding and reason, I wrote more, which after a four-year process yielded my first album, “Start Again Tomorrow.”
After proving to myself that I could do that -- make something that is meaningful -- I wanted more. I was hungry for greater exposure, success, outreach, and connection. I spent years dreaming of a life where I could leave behind my web designer job and be a full time musician -- write, perform, and record.
I have always said “the success or failure of any thing in life is intrinsically linked to the expectations that you have for it.” Despite this, it took me a long time to realize that while I was dreaming of this other life, I was missing the one I was actually living -- the amazing people, listeners, and opportunities.
So, now I am in a new place. I have no faith in the music industry, and no faith in a world where artists don’t get paid unless they are turned into a product -- a commodity to people who have no appreciation for the art of it -- only for the profit. Maybe I am not good enough to “make it” -- maybe I’m too old, too overweight, too sentimental. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter anymore.
I am Benjamin Costello, and I make art and music, because it is who I am.
My dream now is to be genuine -- to play what feels right, to share generously and hope that through it, I can connect to wonderful people -- I don’t care if it’s 30 people or 30 million -- touching one person with my songs is more rewarding and meaningful than the number of followers I have on twitter, or whether Pandora Radio thinks I’m worthy of being included in their library.
Welcome to my site, and to my music. It is really nice to meet you :)