As many are aware, Don Benjamin is the most highly sought out models around but beyond modeling, he’s extremely musically talented. Rapping for a while now, Don Benjamin is preparing to show the world his flow. His most recent tracks, “Doin’ It Well,” and “Enough” have been on fire and fans can’t wait to get another hit! In the midst of preparing for his EP, Don sat down with RESPECT. Mag to discuss what he is working on, transitioning into music and much more. Check out the interview below.
RESPECT.: I know you have been modeling for a while but you have always been interested in music. When did you decide to make the full transition?
I’ve actually been doing music for the last ten years but recently started to do modeling. Music was like my passion and modeling is kind of took off. Now that I have a bigger following and more eyes on me I been offering a lot more to my fans.
Were you nervous when you decided to make this transition?
I’m more confident than nervous. I mean there isn’t many model turned rappers so I have my own perspective of things. I’m not a gangster rapper but I still tell good stories. I make the music that doesn’t confuse my fans like what is this guy doing.
I know the track,”Doin’ It Well,” was produced by MIDI Mafia. How does it feel to be on one of their tracks?
They produced “21 Questions” by 50 cent. I mean they are legends so it feels good. I’m not so big on the name dropping or what they have done but if you produce quality that’s what really matters.
You started a Kickstarter to raise money for your next project. How has the feedback been now that it has launched?
The Kickstarter thing is different. I don’t like handouts; I take my own modeling money to fund my music. The Kickstarter is also to get my fans more involved; you know like dinner date giveaways, Skype chats. I’m trying to incorporate all of that together. I think that’s a bit more special than them just going and buying the album. My manager gave me the idea because lot of independent artists were doing it and I wanted to stay independent today instead of signing a deal with a big label and handing over all my rights.
I know you are using your new track “Enough” as part of the launch. How did that track come about?
I was working with my boy, DeCarlo, who’s like this song writer that I’ve worked with. We were in the studio kind of just talking about life and relationships. Then he was like man thats a good song. He started harmonizing the song and I put in some words and we laid the hook down. Then I was like, “Man I gotta go in,” and then I just sat down and wrote the verse. I wanted to talk about relationships and fighting with somebody which always leads to make-up sex because really thats how actual relationships end one day you’re cool then the next day same process again.
Why did you use that track for the Kickstarter?
Because I feel like that in todays age and time, it’s just something everyone can relate to and I thought it would be a good follow up to “Doin’ it Well.”
These two songs “Doin’ it Well” and “Enough” set the tone for your project. But of course you know better than we do about this project, it’s vibe and it’s concept. So tell us a bit more about the project and what it would be like.
My EP is like story telling. Things that everyone kind of can relate to or someone around them can relate to. That’s kind of like my music. This is just something you can relate to.
Do you have any features on there?
A lot of stuff I’ve been doing I’ve been partnering with singers like I got Elijah Blake on there. I just linked with Justin Bieber yesterday and if I can get him on there, that would be crazy. Jeremiah is the homeboy so I’m trying to get him and maybe couple of female singers like Jhene Aiko. I’m just really trying to make it like RnB/Rap project. I would also like to build like cross promotion; their fans my fans come together.
Are their any rappers you would work with?
I haven’t worked with too many rappers but yeah there are a lot of rappers that I would love to work with like Fabolous, Pusha T, J.Cole. Anybody that could be lyrical and can blend into storytelling. In the meantime we are focusing on me doing the verses and singers doing the hook and then we’ll take it from there.
When are you looking for your project to come out?
I want it to drop by the new year hopefully not later than the new year. Gotta buckle down these next few months.
Will be you doing shows afterwards or in-between now till then?
Yeah I’ve been performing every week and now I plan to incorporate couple of new tracks to make it bigger so by the time the EP drops we’re doing like a full set. Last couple of months, I’ve been doing appearance tours so I’ve been moving city to city doing appearances. I’m just looking forward to releasing my project so I can perform a full set of songs and be on the road with some of the top artists.
Tell us something about you that fans could only get from this interview.
I definitely want my fans to know that I’m not just trying to be a rapper. I also want them to know that you don’t have to sell yourself short. If you’re a model don’t sell yourself short or if you’re an actor don’t sell yourself short. If you have the talent or the drive and focus to do it all then why not combine it all and do it.
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