19-year-old Benson Boone makes his major label debut today on Night Street/Warner Records with a new single called “Ghost Town.”
The former American Idol contestant penned the poignant ballad based off emotions he felt observing a friend’s toxic relationship. “I saw that from an outside perspective and wondered what they could have done differently,” the Monroe, Washington native explains. “Love can hurt more than it can help. Sometimes the best way of showing someone you care is by letting them go.”
“Ghost Town” was one of the first songs Benson ever wrote. “I was in an Uber on the way to my first recording session in Los Angeles,” he remembers. For inspiration, the singer skimmed through texts from his unlucky-in-love friend. “The melody and lyrics just popped into my head.” Afraid to lose his train of thought, Benson sang the chorus into his phone in the back of the car. “It was a little embarrassing,” he laughs. “The driver wondered what I was doing.”
Why Benson quit American Idol: “I didn’t want to show the world someone I’m not.”
Benson auditioned for American Idol in 2021. Not only did he make it to Hollywood, but rumor had it he made the Top 24. “Social media is the biggest opportunity to get people to know you personally,” he says. “Hopefully, they will not only like my music, but they’ll understand and like me as a person, so I’m more than just a song to them.” That desire to connect with fans authentically is why he quit American Idol, the official press release states. “It was a very hard choice,” Benson admits. “I didn’t really know who I wanted to be as an artist yet, and I didn’t want to show the world someone I’m not.”
Benson is a newcomer to singing. After being asked to join a band for his school talent show, he impressed everyone in the audience including himself. Eventually, Benson became a breakout star on the social media platform Tik Tok, where he has over 1.7 million followers. “I started out posting funny videos and daredevil stuff,” Benson shares. Once he discovered his singing voice, he started using the platform differently.
Benson plays multiple musical instruments on Ghost Town
“I want people to see that I take music seriously,” Benson says. So much so that he plays multiple instruments on “Ghost Town” including the drums, guitar and piano, an instrument that he picked up by ear. He even drew the cover art. “I used white charcoal on black paper,” he says. “The drawing took about five hours.”
“I didn’t want to go with a typical love story,” he says of the black-and-white music video. Instead, Benson went back to his hometown and hung out with friends. “We went cliff jumping and hiking, we went to lookouts,” he says. “Just the normal things I did growing up.”
The singer/songwriter was signed and mentored by Imagine Dragons lead singer and founder of Night Street Records Dan Reynolds.