BY HAZEL REID

We caught up with local musician Benjamin Mack to chat about his new single release Up For Grabs, being involved in Parachute’s Artist Development Program, and the future music he’s cooking up. 

We spoke a bit about the inspiration behind his new tune Up For Grabs which was written in a session with his good friend Ngariki Muru and produced by Christian. Benjamin shared “I think usually you can take from other people’s lives as much as you can from your own life, and that song wasn’t about one specific girl in my life. As an artist, you hope to relate to other people’s lives and I’d heard people going through some similar stuff to what I was going through.” 

Around the single drop, a visualiser for the song was also released which stemmed from an idea via Benjamin’s friend Dexter who was keen to shoot a music video for Up For Grabs. “He pitched this whole storyboard – a girl and me, which is obviously what the song is about, me in this dream state of ‘I wonder what could happen’. A car rocks up, I steal the car and the car is ‘up for grabs’ kind of thing, it was a play on that and it wasn’t too specific to the song, it was nice.” 

Benjamin was one of the musicians involved in last year’s Parachute Artist Development Program and it was there at Parachute (in Studio 6 to be exact), that the Up For Grabs tune that we are listening to now came into fruition. “We had written this song and Christian came down as I think we were going to grab dinner and he was like ‘oh we should go record this’ – we ended up staying until 1am, 2am in the morning finishing the song.” Another highlight that Benjamin shared about his experience with the program was the ‘write week’ that they have each year, “where they get a bunch of artists from all around to collaborate which is super fun”. 

When he’s not working on his own music, the top artist on his ‘Spotify Pie’ is currently an artist called Kevin Morby. “I’ve been hammering This Is A Photograph by Kevin Morby, I wish I wrote that song, it’s a great song.” We also found out that Benjamin has been spinning Harry Styles’ new album (haven’t we all!) and local artist Matthew Young’s tunes. 

Talking about what’s next post this new release, Benjamin mentioned that there is a new single in the works (with hopefully a music video to boot) which will be followed by his EP with “hopefully four or five songs” and maybe even a live tour to celebrate that – it’s all in the works at the moment for Benjamin so we’ll just have to all keep an eye on his Instagram to see what’s next!

Up For Grabs is available to stream now.

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