is a singer-songwriter and composer from Sweden. Benjamin’s musical output spans both acoustic folk songs (in English and Swedish) and instrumental compositions for the piano. He produces his own recordings from his small home studio in the solitude of the Swedish countryside.
The internal simulates the external. Our personal thoughts, emotions, and feelings reflect the whims and revolutions of our environment and the world around us. Swedish musician Benjamin Gustafsson alchemizes this natural energy into eloquent songcraft underlined by artful composition, stirring piano, serene soundscapes, and introspective lyricism. Based in Malmö, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer remains intrinsically attuned to his surroundings and the world at large on his new full-length offering, the aptly titled The Nature Within via Decca Records.
“I had a huge desire to plunge into the human psyche and the general shape and foundation of what we are,” he explains. “I spend a lot of time outside, and I feel like the way nature acts is reminiscent of what’s going on inside of me. Sometimes, it’s stormy. Other times, it’s gentle. It can be either dark or light. I believe that’s The Nature Within.”
In the same spirit, Benjamin’s music has consistently calmed and captivated ever-growing audiences. He introduced himself with Presomnal back in 2017 followed by Rest This Worried Heart , Dear Earth, I’m Lost , and Jaget? . Along the way, “Dormiveglia” accumulated 32.4 million Spotify streams as the likes of “Heaven Knows, Right?,” “I Heard You From Afar,” and “I Thought About Death, I Thought About Time” maintained his momentum, bringing his total streams beyond the 100 million-mark and averaging over half-a-million monthly listeners on Spotify. But this music shouldn’t be judged by random numbers which lack all the necessary context. It’s what it does and evokes for the listener that truly matters. An emotion is worth an infinite number of streams.
But to look forward, it makes sense for us to take a look back. Benjamin, a sensitive and considered young soul, recalls discovering an emotional connection with music via a chance encounter with a Coldplay song on the television.
“I remember very vividly back when I was either twelve or thirteen that the TV was on in the living room where I grew up and the music video for ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay came on. That was a moment when music became something more for me and something I became quite obsessed about. I started to play piano more intensively and write down my own ideas.”
Rather than his discovery of Coldplay being a simple moment in time, the British band became instrumental in his formative years. Chris Martin, a musician who often operates either on the cusp of the overwrought or the emotionally resonant, painted musical pictures Ben had never known.
“From when I first discovered Coldplay, I listened to them quite predominantly for a good few years. ‘X&Y’ and ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ were the first records I ever bought out of choice, and I played them a lot.”
From this somewhat entry-level euphoria (but no less important), the Swede’s attention soon turned to Sigur Ros, The Album Leaf, Ef, Olafur Arnalds, and the broad church of dramatic post-rock. A genre filled with artists pressing emotional buttons with the sleight of hand that Benjamin yearned for.
“I loved creating harmonic clusters on the piano. To push down the sustain pedal and letting notes flow with each other was very therapeutic. It was like painting with sound. I guess that’s why I gravitated towards Coldplay because I liked the way they painted the sounds. Colorful and harmonious yet with some kind of sadness to it.
“I especially loved the very first part of the intro to Coldplay’s ‘Life in Technicolor’ and the small little instrumental parts that came on throughout playing the album track by track. There was a sense of innocent exploration that I felt connected to.”
Benjamin soon started writing for himself, mostly sweeping soundscapes and instrumentals that flowed from his hands to the piano and guitar. Lyrics were of less importance to him initially, invested purely in the emotion that the keys and chords inspired. He recorded these introductory records himself with no great expectation or plan. He soon started playing with his voice too, albeit not second nature to him. It became an extra ingredient, a further layer of instrumentation to add to the mix. It seemed to resonate outside the confines of his studio, and however the dark arts of the algorithm work, they started to become heard in greater numbers. Encouraging. ...