Listening to a song from Benedict Cork feels like escaping into the pages of his journal. With every bold crescendo and poetic lyric, Cork exposes some of his most personal thoughts and experiences.
That pure honesty can be heard on his sophomore EP ‘Secrets I’ll Never Tell,’ the follow up to his equally raw debut EP. Across all five songs, Cork opens up about finding himself in a world consumed by social media and provides relatability and comfort through topics including mental health, sexuality, and identity.
We chatted with Cork about the EP, its companion podcast, and more!
Congratulations on the release of your EP ‘Secrets I’ll Never Tell’! What was the writing process like for the project?
Thanks a lot, it’s wicked to have it out in the world. These songs were written between 2019 and 2020 and are all centered around the concept of vulnerability. I wanted to explore loads of taboo subjects that we often shy away from in real life situations on this EP.
You worked with Tim Bran (London Grammar, Birdy, Rae Morris) on this EP. How did you get connected and what has it been like working together?
Yes, he’s a legend. I heard Tim’s work on a project last year and fell in love with his production style. He really helped to flesh out these songs and build a bit of a sonic world around the whole EP. I got to work with Thomas Rawle on the closing two tracks as well, and I can’t wait to work with them both again more in the future.
What inspired the lead single “Have a Good Life (See You Never)”?
At the end of 2019, I was supporting Duncan Laurence on his tour, playing loads of shows just me and the piano which I love doing because it’s so freeing. But one afternoon I had some time off and went into the studio with my friends Hannah and Mack and remember just thinking I really want to write something loud and brash and angsty that’s so far removed from this sad piano world I’d been living in. A couple of hours later, ‘Have A Good Life’ was born and it was so fun throwing all these concepts and ideas around, that you’d maybe never say out loud during a break-up.
Do you have a favorite lyric from the song?
I think my favourite line is ‘yeah I never really liked your mama.’ It came from a conversation with the tour manager on Duncan’s tour who, on his last day, shouted across the carpark ‘have a good life Ben,’ and I shouted back ‘see you never.’ I remember parking that in my brain and thinking, ‘wait a second this is a wicked break-up line.’ And then we basically formulated the whole song around that concept – all the things you wish you could have said in the moment but didn’t, until now.
Where did the concept for the video come from?
I really wanted to do something with a two-sided personality. It starts with me making a DIY music video where I’m giving off that I’m doing completely fine, singing really confidently and arrogantly into the camera. But then it cuts to me breaking down in tears, setting our belongings on fire and trashing a car on a scrapyard. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to film that part of the video.
This was your first ever music video. What was that experience like?
Ahh it was so much fun. Now I’ve got the taste for it, I want to do it all the time, that’s the only problem. But it’s so fun creating a visual world around a song, and I can’t wait to do more of that for future projects.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to your new EP, what do you imagine it looking like?
A bath, some incense, an episode of ‘Planet Earth’ on mute, a couple of bouji candles, maybe one of those weird charcoal face masks, and a whiskey on ice.
You launched a new podcast mini-series to go along with this EP. What inspired you to start that?
Yes, it was so much fun, and a lot of work I’m not going to lie. When we were locked down for a third time here in London, I wanted to find a way to pass the time that wasn’t just taking more ‘Planet Earth’ baths and binge-watching movies. I’ve always loved podcasts, but even more so over the past year. There’s something so comforting about having a few people chatting away in your ear, putting the world to rights. So I wanted to make a companion piece to the EP by putting together a podcast miniseries also called ‘Secrets I’ll Never Tell,’ where I could chat to other creatives about stories in their lives, and some of the themes of this project.
What can fans look forward to next?
Well there’s still a few more episodes of the podcast miniseries to come, which I’m super excited about. I think because we were all locked down I managed to snag some really fun guests. I’m also playing my first headline show in over a year and a half at The Jazz Café next month, which I can’t wait for. And we’re about to announce some more live stuff for later in the year too if all goes to plan. Fingers crossed. Plus more new music of course, I’ve actually just finished writing the next project.
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
Ooof good question. Justin Bieber once said, ‘never say never’ and that one really got me. I think we all just need to be a bit more open to whatever life throws at us. Love you JB.