Lucien Moon is the new name of Northampton singer-songwriter Jamie Benkert. Following the first single ‘Tainted’ comes the game-changer ‘Echoes’. New Boots had to delve a little deeper by speaking to the man himself.
How did you start on this musical journey?
When I was 10 my Mum bought me my first album [that I can remember], which was Craig David – Born To Do It. I used to have it on repeat, sat in my bedroom, and would sing along. It was the first time I really connected with music in a way; I analysed lyrics and melodies, and from there realised I wanted to do this too.
How would you describe the current sound?
Lucien Moon allows me to create music that lyrically comes from real experiences in my past life [as Jamie], crossing genres based on how I’m feeling that day. I keep saying my music is quite dark and ‘relationship experience’ based, and my influences are artists like Craig David, The Weeknd, Usher and Bazzi.
Why the shift from your birthname, and why now?
I started out doing music to see if it was for me. With that comes trial and error and years of discovering yourself; likes and dislikes and what I’m capable of. Through those stages a ‘name’ isn’t as important as what you want to achieve. However in the last few years I got to understand myself, I discovered where I wanted to take my music. I developed live performance skills as well as learning the studio life. I had a little experience on a singing TV show, and after that and being compared to a current singing star [in negative ways mainly], it made more hungry to show the real me. Lucien Moon was born as my outlet to do that. Lucien meaning “man of light”, and Moon being the polar opposite of darkness – which reflects my sound.
What was the reaction like to the first single, ‘Tainted‘?
Really good! I re-branded as Lucien Moon on January 1st 2019, but did not release anything until April 24th 2020, so I gained new followers between this time who only ever knew me as Lucien Moon. My long-lasting followers experience the change: some were confused and some embraced. So I took a year allowing people to understand me through posting plenty of stories to Instagram, filming when we went to Iceland and Los Angeles to shoot music videos to get people really curious about what was I up to. Then BAMM! we released ‘Tainted‘, which is the first of a series of songs I have ready to release this year and going forward.
Tell us everything about this new single, ‘Echoes’.
‘Echoes’ was written in 2017, and one that is the most highly anticipated song between other artists, producers and friends I have sent it to privately. They are all very excited for it, and feel it is the song to take it to higher levels. ‘Tainted’ had to be the bait and had the short straw of being my debut – to allow ‘Echoes’ to have a path to take the music higher [he says semi-awkwardly]. It is one of my favourite songs I have made, but again also the lyrics and message comes from a true past time of mine. I remember sitting in my old house. I always used to sit down nightly or when I could, and just let things flow with writing songs. I’ve never tried to force what I would come up with in a writing session, and this night I reflected on my past relationship that left me feeling a bit messed up mentally – and still did that night three years later.
I remember sending it to my friend and producer Mitchel White, who instantly phoned me and said “This is a hit, it’s BBC Radio 1 worthy. Don’t JUST release it, you need a plan for this song”. So we kept it back and kept it back as I was still in the midst of working out my sound. Then it dawned: this was my sound. Mitchel is still a great friend and ironically has had his music played now on Radio 1, 1Xtra, and played live at Wireless festival. He still believes in this song, so I hope I can follow in his footsteps now. Based on that I would say ‘Echoes’ best describes Lucien Moon. However there are a few songs coming that will show I’m not a one-trick pony, which I love.
Will there be live shows after covid-19?
Oh yes! I was meant to be supporting Leee John from the group Imagination at The Roadmender, and then lockdown was announced and it was cancelled. It’s set to be rescheduled for October 23rd, but I guess that depends when we come out of all of this.
How are you coping with lockdown? Is it helping or hindering your creativity?
Overall hindering. I speak to a lot of other artists and they’re the same. It’s just a blessing we have all of my new music and videos ready to go so I can actually be releasing content while we deal with these hard times.
What has been your favourite moment of the past year?
As Lucien Moon has only just begun since April I would have to say it’s the behind-the-scenes moments. I have been very lucky to work with Northampton/Ibiza videographer Harry Russell on shooting my music videos. Last year we went to Iceland to film one. We filmed another two days before Christmas, with a full video production team.But the best and also most unreal time was going to Los Angeles in April 2019 where we filmed a song that was meant to be my debut, got back after an amazing shoot and journey to find the harddrive had corrupted. It has been in recovery for 10 months and we only managed to retrieve it back one week ago, but the amount of enjoyment we got from that call makes releasing that song in a few months time so special…stressful but special, haha!
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was by Tori Kelly. I do pay for Spotify, but also believe in supporting the artist and I haven’t even took it out of the wrapping as I can stream it. The last album I streamed was Justin Timberlake, Justified.
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
To build a new and strong following for my music, one that I can then announce a tour for, and play out live with my band. Live music is where its at! So here’s to 2021 and a live tour coming your way…
‘Echoes’ is out now on all digital services