Photo: Alex Currie
It is official; we here at Ones To Watch stan rising singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin. In the scope of under a year, Benjamin has gone from being dropped by his record label and playing parking lot shows outside Shawn Mendes and Troye Sivan concerts to releasing his acclaimed debut album and making his late-night television debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden. So, what is next for Benjamin? A trip down memory lane, as the Los Angeles - based songwriter revisits one of his earliest inspirations.
Following the Alessia Cara - assisted remix of Benjamin's breakout hit, "Let Me Down Slowly," he returns with a cover of the Eminem classic "Stan," released as part of a Spotify Singles collection. Originally released 19 years ago on The Marshall Mathers LP, "Stan" has defined Eminem's discography as one of his signature works and has found new cultural life as a term signifying an over-obsessive fan. A hallmark in modern-day rap, "Stan" may at first seem like an odd cover choice for Benjamin but a single listen to his cover says otherwise.
Benjamin's unique lyrical intonation is a distinctive trait that has set him far apart from his peers and lends itself particularly well to complex, poignant bouts of songwriting genius. It is this idiosyncratic lyrical prowess that both Eminem and Benjamin flex in their respective versions of "Stan." Yet, what is arguably most impressive about this striking cover is Benjamin's fluid flexibility, drifting between the explosive manic energy of "Stan" and the ethereal soft-spoken grace of Dido's verse, originally taken from the opening of "Thank You." This is how you cover a modern-day classic.
Listen to "Stan" below and catch Alec Benjamin on tour: