Ask Fryars, aka Benjamin Garrett, where he hopes to see himself in a few years and he’ll laugh prior to his reply of: “Healthy and not bankrupt.” Self-described as inconsistent and eclectic, the last two years have seen Fryars slowly build himself a fan-base, strengthened much by his EP ‘Radio PWR’ and having earned praise from the likes of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. “Support can mean the world or do me no good at all,” he says of how he feels about it. “But I’m thankful for every supporter – high profile or otherwise.”
He started out on MySpace. “I loved it,” he recalls. “That site was so invaluable to me. But social media is also a big distraction and I’d probably rather none of it existed now.” Despite having such a standing, would he agree that, in order to have a strong shot at success, artists have to be involved with the likes of Twitter and Facebook? He nods. “It’s practically essential, sadly.”
With a new album ‘Power’ due for release next month, how would be sum it up? He pauses. “As a beautiful, epic, modern classic.” Is it easy for him to choose a favourite track? It would appear so. “China Voyage, definitely,” he fires back. “There’s just something about it that gets me every-time.”
So how does it differ to his debut his ‘Radio PWR’ EP? “That EP, to sum it up, was like the radio station that plays in the world of the concept album a la GTA. It’s playful.” In regards to his continuing career therefore, how would he describe his musical evolution? “I’m getting better at music,” he says confidently. “I learned to self-censor a bit and now am trying to unlearn.”
Everyone has something that inspires them, and, in terms of his song-writing, there is one source for Benjamin that over-rides everything else. “The human condition. I try not to be inspired or take influence from other musicians.” Away from his own material, Fryers is building quite a reputation for his remixes which have seen the likes of Alt-J turn to him. “Working on the ‘Dissolve Me’ remix was a big moment for me” he admits.
Soon to head out on tour as support for Lily Allen, he’s about to seize the opportunity to perform to huge audiences and hopefully earn himself some new fans. “I had one of Lily’s original batch of MySpace era mix tapes,” he says about just how big of a fan of hers he is. “She heard my track ‘On My Own’ a couple of years ago and we’ve been working with each other since.” In terms of his own shows, which have seen him perform to crowds in various countries recently, has he found similarities or differences between them? “They’re all very positive and attentive,” he muses. “I would say that, and it sounds terrible, but most audiences pertain in some way to their national stereotypes. But people are all basically the same.” He adds, moments later: “Though I have found that if you play anything resembling EDM, things tend to go down better east of Paris.”
So if he could tour with anyone, who would it be? “Lorde,” he says, instantly. “Also, if I could put my dream line-up together it’d be me, Antony, Kanye, Flaming Lips and the London Symphony Orchestra.”
Finally then, with a busy few months ahead, what’s next for him? “I like to think I’ll go from strength to strength,” he declares. “I’d like a number one album – I know it doesn’t seem realistic right now, but MARK MY WORDS.”
Fryars supports Lily Allen on tour from November 22. Tickets are on sale now.