BenM (Ben Meiring) is a songwriter, producer, and film worker from Tulsa, OK. He jumped around in the music scene, accumulating gear and skills along the way. He applies these skills to helping others create music and also to create his own – keeping an approach of always continuing to learn, grow and stay passionate along the way. You can also find him on TikTok making fingerboarding videos – a fun hobby that he is quickly growing a following from.
Mike and BenM dig into the world of music on today’s episode. BenM breaks down some of his creative process, including brief explanations of what gear, software, and tools he’s using to create. They cover music monetization, side hustles and day jobs, and some of BenM’s favorite artists and musical influences. Mike also asks BenM to explain the growing viral trend of fingerboarding and how BenM carved out a little place in that world for himself.
“It all starts with the idea and then you branch out from there. With this fun little interlude piece that I made, I wanted it to build and tell a story without any lyrics or any singing but just to be purely instrumental and tell a story that way.” – BenM
“If you have a computer and you have a DAW that you learn inside and out, you don’t really need to come and see me. You can start making songs on your computer right now clicking around and dragging notes on the piano roll.” – BenM
“When an idea comes to you, you better be able to book it to an open project and be able to lay that shit out. Otherwise it’s going to be gone. When you open up your VoiceMemo app, a lot of the times you’re like where was this going? I know I had this idea. But it’s amazing how quickly that idea can slip away and not be as exciting as you first imagined it.” – BenM
“I’m trying to upload more TikToks because that seems to be where actually where I’m having a lot of fun too. You’ll have this idea and you’re like I don’t have to write any lyrics, I can just have some fun.” – BenM
“If people like it but you don’t, you’re not going to like making music. But if you like it and some people do, then you’re going to keep people happy. It doesn’t matter how many. If it’s a million, great. If it’s 100, you’re still going to feel good about putting out that same style of music.” – BenM
“I made a TikTok and Instagram account after I had accumulated what I thought were pretty sick looking slo-mo shots of me doing these tricks. And you can open up CapCut and set some key frames and I’m learning a decent amount actually about video editing in the process.” – BenM
“And as soon as you have a community that you’re tight with online, it’s a really nice feeling. And I’d like if I could deepen that in the music world and focus more on getting more involved in the music community through TikTok and Instagram.” – BenM
“I think working on developing a nice finished polished product that you’re proud of, if you can get there that’s the first step and hats off. I think the next step is either going broke investing into that or just taking it step by step and building that fame and that clout as you go and get better.” – BenM
Highlights This Week:
- Mike and BenM talk about what’s ahead for Ben in the short term including film jobs and future singles.
- BenM explains some of his process including the software he uses like Ableton and LogicPro with its drummer tool as well as how he uses prompts and a core idea to build a vibe and branch out from there.
- BenM breaks down what his rig looks like and what gear he’s working with when recording and creating.
- BenM talks about how a computer has become a key tool for BenM to create music and how learning the basics with a computer and a DAW is more important than “all the shiny toys.”
- Mike and BenM discuss how audiobooks are the future.
- Mike asks BenM about his recent work on a film in Hawaii as well as the day job grind while pursuing creative ventures.
- BenM gives his philosophy on how artists need to have their tools ready for when unexpected creative inspiration comes.
- Mike and BenM discuss the delicate balance between consistently putting out art and the perfectionism that goes hand-in-hand with creative pursuits.
- BenM lays out how and where he self-publishes his music from Soundcloud and other streaming platforms to TikTok.
- Mike asks BenM to explain how platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube allow musicians to monetize their work and how BenM navigates it himself with TuneCore.
- BenM shares some of his most played songs and artists of 2022.
- Mike and BenM discuss how important it is for artists to make music that they like rather than what they think will be popular or do well.
- BenM opens up about his hobby, and a new social media craze: fingerboarding. He explains how it grew from a middle school interest to a post-college hobby to a TikTok that helped him hone video editing skills.
- Mike and BenM talk about how embracing what can be fun and can be childish can actually help to build meaningful online communities.
- Mike suggests a way for BenM to merge his love of music and his love for fingerboarding into one awesome music video.
- Mike and BenM chew over the path to success in creative ventures, how difficult taking the first step can be, and how tough it can be to dedicate yourself completely towards your art.