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February/March 2014

by Anna Loveys

Fresh Talent: Ben Prestidge

by Anna Loveys

Fresh Talent: Ben Prestidge

Prior to moving north from Wellington to Auckland eight years ago, Ben Prestidge was searching out his calling, selling men’’s suits and watching the clock. A welcome epiphany brought him to where he is now, having graduated from MAINZ and the University of Auckland, and currently gearing up for the release of his debut EP ‘Faded Age’’.
“Really, a quiet room is best,”” he says of his ideal creative setting, whilst in the middle of explaining the artistic processes behind the EP. What makes this debut release even more special is the fact that everything was recorded at home, by Ben himself. Written and recorded over the past year, this debut opus presents a tangible extract of his soul-search for satisfaction as a songwriter and artist.

“I wanted to find out what I wanted,”” he explains simply, “which is self-exploratory.””

The result, mastered by Ben King [Grand Rapids, Goldenhorse], exposes the songwriter’s preference for dreamy layers of reverberated guitar, lush chords, well-versed prose and melancholic overtones in a focused set of five songs.

“I had five songs ready this time a year ago, then realised I needed to go back and refine a bit more.””

This spurred on a new series of songs written in, what he describes as waves’, since the beginning in the winter of last year. Incited by his vision to create things that sound a little bit different”, Ben’’s songs go through multiple processes of development before reaching the final product. The skeleton of each is put together with the aid of his acoustic guitar, then developed further with instrumentation and subtleties of ambient guitar parts.

“You are cycling [the songs],”” he explains, adding these new layers morph,” creating an almost unrecognisable song from first conception. His sound, carefully crafted in this loving process, is further expanded with experimental safaris inside Logic Pro.
“You learn to work with a palette of tones and synths… I even often favour Logic Pro guitar tones and will plug my guitar into the computer as opposed to miking up my amp. I’’ll get a better tone half the time, it’’s just got to be blended in properly.””With an exciting debut soon to be released, Ben is an honest testimony to the bedroom artists, the solitary, and the artists of a self-sufficient age.

soundcloud.com/ben-prestidge