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LOCAL SINGER LOOKS FOR SUCCESS IN U.S.

4/28/2021, noon
Singer Matt Benson, who goes by the name Matt B, has released “Eden” this year. It is his United States ...
Matt Benson is a singer who goes by Matt B. He has been successful in Japan and China, now he wants to be successful in the United States with his album, “Eden.” Photos taken by Angela Benson
 Local singer looks for success in U.S.

BY TIA CAROL JONES
     Singer Matt Benson, who goes by the name Matt B, has released “Eden” this year. It is his United States debut and
while Matt B has had success in Japan, he is looking to have success here.
     Matt B grew up in the Lutheran church and was singing there with his siblings. In high school, he started to write songs and began to record.
     He was in a group with his brothers called, Trend. After that, he went solo. In July 2014, Benson signed to StarBase Records, in Japan, and released his debut album “LOVE & WAR” there in September. It went to No. 1 on the iTunes R&B Charts. A single from that album, “Plain Girl,” went to No. 1 on iTunes R&B
Charts. In 2016, he released “DIVE” in Japan. Two singles from that, “Tokyo Girl” and “My Dreams” charted on iTunes R&B
at No. 3 and No. 8. Benson’s song “Color Blind” went viral in China.
     Benson signed to Priority Records in 2017 and released a four-track EP titled, “RISE,” in 2018. The EP was produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, who is known for working with Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Usher. In 2019, Matt B performed at the BMO Harris
Bank Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights.
     Benson said he would describe his music as feel good music. He said he wants his music to invoke a feeling in its listeners and spark conversations. Benson, who has a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, considers himself an architect of music.
     The 31-year-old Chicago native, who’s also a member of the Recording Academy, was up for Grammy consideration, something he said is difficult to get into. “Even when you submit to be a part of Grammy consideration, there’s no guarantee your
record will be considered in the Recording Academy for it to even be recorded on to even be up for a Grammy, so that was an honor in itself,” he said.
     Benson said the album is stacked to the hilt with creative people such as Cox and Tricky Stewart, who produced the album,
and includes Grammy award winning sound engineers as well as Grammy nominated co-writers.
     He added, naming the album “Eden” is a play on words, like the Garden of Eden, the beginning of something — further explaining it as: “The beginning of me branching here into the US market and kind of like God giving his blessing to me. Like, hey, this is my little homie and he’s going to do his thing here inside the US market,” he said.
     “And, even though it’s not a Gospel album or anything like that, me being so deeply rooted in my faith, I wanted to show that in some way, shape or form, and what better way of showing that than to name my album something that directly pertains to the Bible.”
     Benson said artists from the Motown era such as Smoky Robinson, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Usher, Ne-yo and
others from the 1990s and early 2000’s inspire him. He said “Eden” reflects those inspirations and influences.
     “I feel like with my album “Eden” I have a little bit of both, the traditional R&B feel, but then I switched it up and gave some of that Hip-Hop/R&B feel, which is really popular today because I wanted to show how diverse I was as an artist in general,” he said.
     Benson said while COVID-19 has stopped live, in-person performances, he has partnered with a company called
Sessions, a live-streaming music platform, to do virtual concerts. He also has started a podcast with his wife and manager,
Angela, called Beyond the Music.
     For more information on Matt B, visit www.mattbworld.com.