interviews

Ben Lee: From Songwriting to Self-Awareness

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Aussie muso/entrepreneur/philanthropist Ben Lee is heading back to Aussie shores this month for a run of shows and workshops, culminating in a headline set at the Bleach Festival on the Gold Coast on 20 March.
Girl caught up with Lee for a quick chat as he prepared to fly out from his home in the US.

You started your music career as a young teen. What was your goal at that point in time?
“There was definitely an egoic agenda of getting attention, and being cool and things like that.
There was also a higher agenda that would peek its head through periodically, of creating real present moments for myself and the audience – moments that would be surprising and awakening in their authenticity.”

A bunch of albums, amazing tours, ARIA awards and accolades later, would you say you’ve achieved what you set out to do in music?
“I have not yet found the music that I seek to express. I am working towards it.
It’s about receptivity. It might be something that occurs in a later part of my life.”

What about your acting career? Was that something you chose not to focus too much on?
“I have never had an acting career. 🙂 I got asked to be in one movie (The Rage in Placid Lake) and I said yes. That was really the extent of it.”

2015’s Love is the Great Rebellion was your first release on a major label. What made you avoid the majors for so long?
“I put out some records on indies with major distribution. Grand Royal was through Capital, Modular was through Universal.
But I never had a direct release. It was not a conscious choice, it’s just the way things aligned.”

You’re a dad now. So, what advice would you give your daughter if she decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry in this day and age?
“Make music for God. The rest is out of your control.”

How has the internet affected the way you work?
“There is a more direct and immediate communication with fans. They are almost more like friends now rather than anonymous adoring masses.
There is an opportunity to collaborate with them in more profound ways, potentially.”

Your work and your ethos in recent years has turned more towards spirituality and ‘new age’ awareness. What sparked that transition for you?
“I got bored of lies.”

What’s the single-most important life lesson for anyone to learn, in your opinion?
“Your own self-realisation is the most important gift you can offer the world. If you want to change the world, first conquer the evil that you see outside within your own psyche. From there, you will know what to do.”

Tell us a little about your work with the Qollari Essentials Project?
“This is a health and wellness/business project within a culture of charity. The goal is to help educate and empower people and their families about the safe and healing use of essential oil plant medicines, and thereby create financial independence that supports both the young.”

Ben Lee will be appearing at the following shows/workshops in Australia in March:
– Saturday 12th: *workshop Pneuma Breathwork, Sydney
– Sunday 13th: Coogee Pavillion, Coogee
– Monday 14th: *workshop How To Die & Other Aspects Of Being An Artist, Sydney
– Tuesday 15th: *workshop The Qollari Project: Philanthropy, Entrepreneurialism & Essential Oils
– Wednesday 16th: Brass Monkey, Cronulla
– Thursday 17th: Lizotte’s Restaurant, Newcastle
– Friday 18th: Lizotte’s Restaurant, Newcastle
– Saturday 19th: *keynote address Art & The Awakening of Consciousness, Bleach Festival, Gold Coast
– Saturday 19th: *workshop Introduction to Qollari Essentials, Gold Coast
– Sunday 20th: *songwriting workshop Songwriting Towards Virtue, Bleach Festival, Gold Coast
– Sunday 20th: Bleach Festival, Gold Coast
For more information/ticket info visit the web site.

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