some amazing new triphop collaborations btwn BenOaks & 66notes Rachael Green Sings Circumstantial Saint @the_Griot_Giant @androideddie @kalamitye @realpinkeyes Sir Dominique Jordan Sean Hogan W.O.N.E. Adam Kissinger Alexandria Lee Wise Todd B Stevens JW Nielsen Gentle Jones Ren Thomas Official Jefferson Ambrose Music got SO MANY more for this year! follow BenOaks to stay tuned! 😘
BenOaks LOVES the new Switchboard studio / gallery space in Columbia, PA SO MUCH he is going to share his ENTIRE life story for the 1st time EVER in public TONITE 6:30-9pm. He was invited by Miss Alison & Eric Tonzola to share his RECOVERY story. He enjoys the space & feels so comfortable & inspired that he will be sharing stories about being raised in a cult – Jehovah’s Witnesses – to childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, suicide survivor & now 5 years alcohol-free & an unhoused & mental health advocate 😍
The monthly 4th Friday Art Show from last month was rescheduled for tonite due to bad weather.
In 2006 & 2007 BenOaks had a teeshirt brand & a hiphop backing band (just him on bass & a drummer named Shorty) named Bones Culture. They backed up Philly based underground hiphop artists like The Knomadz, Android Eddie, Godhead the General, T.H.E. (& many others) @ cyphers like Lyrically Fit @ The Trocedero & Medusa Lounge.
By 2008 BenOaks has posted on Craigslist in every major US city looking to collaborate with indie rappers & singers. After searching through thousands of submissions, Ben began to travel from city to city producing dozens of independent artists.
In 2010 BenOaks was back in his high school hometown of West Chester, PA. He collaborated with other musicians, instead of just vocalists, for the first time. Bringing in guitarists mudbelly & Nick the Black, songwriters John Ciccone, 4T & Kenzie, bass players YBF & willy & more. This became the semi-popular ‘The Full Effect’ & launch Bones Culture to an international level- receiving a lot of press & bringing attention to Ben’s production work. This led to BenOaks working with some major label signed artists.
After stints in NYC & LA producing new pop stars, BenOaks had grown tired of the music business. He even quit playing guitar, writing songs & making beats. He no longer even had a home studio. He moved to Lancaster, PA for remodel work. There he happened upon an open mic at a local coffee house. The Rabbit & Dragonfly. There he saw two young musicians – sing/songwriter Jefferson Ambrose & drummer Clayton Stief. They inspired him to start writing & going to open mics again. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a very creative little city. The town has an active recovery community & an active art & music scene. Ben quit drinking on Christmas in 2017. He bought a new guitar “Jolene” shortly after & even restarted making beats.
When COVID hit in 2020 the first thing BenOaks did was buy an M-Audio recording interface & an Alesis USB controller & began collaborating with lyricists & musicians again. Bones Culture was reborn! It was a very successful year! After being a hermit & having poor mental health in 2021, BenOaks is back at it in 2022 & is looking at a very productive 2023. Hopefully planning a small tour & opening a new community studio focused on the underserved communities- especially the unhoused.
Please follow us on Facebook, Spotify, Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok etc to keep up with our projects & to help support indie artists 🙂 Thank you!
This time of year can be incredibly triggering for folks who had a difficult childhood. For those of you who were blessed with a loving family, cheers! please say a prayer for those of us who were traumatized by the holidays as kids.
BenOaks is almost done mixing his upcoming BEAT TAPE called ‘Hieronymus’. Named after his first favorite artist.
“My mom would sometimes have to drop us off at the library as kids. She was a single mother living in a new state. She didnt have many friends yet. So she would drop me and my little sister off at the library when i was like 10, 11. I devoured those books. I developed a life long live of learning.”
“The first book I can remember being obsessed with was this book about art. I am a huge fan of Escher, Rembrandt, Pollock, Duchamp, Basquiat, Warhol, Goya, Mondrain, all the moderns. But the first art work that I was really drawn to was The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. We have a piece of that in our restroom.”
‘Hieronymus’ is now available ONLY on Bandcamp until it hits all the streaming sites on 1/1/23
Since meeting a few weeks ago, Brother Ray & BenOaks have performed their favorite R&B classic, Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” a few times.
This is actually how they met too! BenOaks walked into Lancaster’s Penn Square (in the center of town) to busk like he usually does most Saturdays around noon. But someone was already in his favorite spot!
What a pleasant surprise when this person, Brother Ray, starts to sing Ben’s favorite song “Ain’t No Sunshine”! He then performs another of his faves- Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come” 🙂
Ben ran home & grabbed his guitar. They’ve been rockin together ever since! They have already started recording Brother Ray’s debut album! Stay tuned!
Beloved street performer Brother Ray is currently in rehab 🙂 BenOaks has been inspired to open a community studio serving unhoused artists & musicians.
Last nite, Sat Nov 26th, was such a vibe! Amazing musicians & even better People came out to the Moose in West Chester, PA. A chill, members only, dive bar in the basement of the Elks. Surrounded by a super friendly, Cheers type wrap-around bar & pool tables & shuffle board. Comfy chairs & chess tables. We felt comfortable immediately. Warmly greeted by the booking agent / sound guy. We really dug deep & brought out our best ever performances! We will be doing another event this in Jan 2023. This will include afternoon songwriting, recording, artist development, drawing, painting, beat making & poetry workshops in the afternoon. Follwed by an open mic / cypher & finished by an early Variety / showcase performance- like 7pm – 10pm. Where we have 4, 5 acts – 20-30mins each. Hiphop lyricists, R&B/soul singers, singer/songwriters, poets / affirmations & standup comedy!