Canadian musician, Alexander Bent, is the type of artist whose work of self expression is set to inspire the best out of any listener. Hearing the passion lacing his voice throughout any track, it is evident that creating is akin to breathing for this star in the making. Growing into himself musically across his latest release, Vanilla Blue, Alex Bent dove into the emptiness stretching before him in the hopes of grasping the abyss… and he may very well do it.
Keep reading below to get to know this exciting young artist.
What attracted you to music to begin with and when did you start taking it seriously?
I don’t even know what attracted me to it. I have photos of me playing with toy guitars when I was 2 years old. I’ve just always loved it. Drums was my main instrument growing up and I switched over to vocals in high school. I think it became serious when I joined my first band at 12. It meant everything to me from that day forward.
Alex Bent + the Emptiness is a very catching name, what does that stand for to you?
I think it means a few things. In some ways it’s a reference to the fact that this is a solo project, but on more of an emotional level I feel like it describes how I’ve felt deep down for quite some time. I think it’s a theme in most of my music. There’s always going to be this kind of sadness behind it. Even the more positive songs of mine are rooted in that empty feeling. I think in some ways it’s from the pressures of figuring your life out as a young adult and longing for certain experiences while knowing you can’t have it all.
Do you see the emptiness as the negative balancing the positives in your life or is it more of a driving force for you?
I think it’s more of a driving force in all honesty. It definitely pushes me to continue to write and create and kind of fill that void.
You’ve worked with Jack Larsen multiple times, most recently on his newest track “Ugly” which you produced and co-wrote, how did your relationship start?
We actually met on Twitter haha. I had been a fan of his beforehand and we got acquainted by a mutual friend, Chris Hatam. I flew out to Chicago in May and again in August to meet up and work on music with him. It was probably some of the best weeks of my life out there. He’s one of my favourite people and I feel so fortunate to have developed this friendship with him.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
So you’re from Saskatchewan, can you tell us what growing up was like for you?
I think I had probably the most normal upbringing you could imagine. Although music has been a big part of my life since a young age and it has pretty much consumed my life since then.
How did you come into the unique sound you’ve developed?
I’ve experimented with a few different sounds in the past. My current music is something I’ve hoped to sound like since the beginning but didn’t quite have the right tools to make it happen until now. I’ve always been fairly diverse as a music listener so I feel like mashing up my influences comes fairly naturally.
I know you only met him shortly after the release of his EP, Push-Ups, what was that day like? And can we expect more work from the two of you anytime soon?
It was a little nerve wracking but it was amazing. Both of our EP’s actually came out on the same day so I think we were both riding the high. It was great to finally create music in person.
Yes, definitely going to be working more in the future. We both keep each other in the loop in regards to our current projects.
You released, Vanilla Blue, just over four months ago, what does the project mean to you and how did it come about?
It’s probably my greatest achievement thus far. It was a very emotional process for me. I feel like I spent a lot of time doubting myself while sorting through a lot of other personal issues that really influenced the project’s lyrical content. I wanted this to be something I could be proud of and still enjoy for a long time after its release.
Looking back now after some time has passed, what your favorite thing about Vanilla Blue?
I think my favourite thing about Vanilla Blue is that it represents a very interesting time in my life. I think being somewhat removed from it now just makes me appreciate it in a different way and inspires me to keep working on this next project.