Popdust Presents | EBEN Rises From the Ashes

The Pop Upstart Talks New EP, His Flow, Roots in Musical Theater & Where He's Headed Next

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EBEN won't go down without a fight.

September 12, 2018 | EBEN has put in his time in more ways than one. Fresh off the release of his well-chilled six-track snapshot, Past Hundred Days, which he proclaims as a "status update" to his fans. Across the expansive but personally-wrought release on Signature Entertainment, he reveals the heartbreak, the pain, and the loss that led him to full self-realizations about who he was and who he could be.

Produced with Grammy winner Troy Johnson (famously known as R8DIO and for his work with Jesse McCartney, Solange, Backstreet Boys, and Jennifer Lopez, among countless others) and Miguel's guitarist Josh J., songs like "That's Alright" and "Home" lay the beats and swag on thick, while "When Did You Know" strips all that way for an honest, intimate performance.

With host Brent Butler, EBEN talks his own flow, contemporary approach, throwing rap cadences into his music, theater background, and other hot topics. Watch the interview above.

EBEN

Before he was stricken with a bug for mainstream success, EBEN had ambitions and promise to carve out a musical theater career. And even within the framework of hip-hop, found on Past Hundred Days in heavy doses, he makes sure to hone his instincts on melodies that live far beyond the ground. "Freefall" sizzles in the starry sky, the production click and clapping beneath him, and when the beat drops, he gives himself permission to flex between rap and glistening pop.

Paired against his previous EP, Finally, the new release feels heavier in style, delivery and phrasing. "Back to Us" smolders, allowing the synths to burn at the ends until it explodes, and EBEN's vocals are starched but syrupy. Then, "Roll," the bookend to the record, leaves the listener energized and wondering exactly where he's headed next.

Earlier this year, EBEN hit the open road with boy band Why Don't We, striking out to impress and leave no concertgoer untouched by his charm. But that hopeful optimism doesn't come from nowhere. 2017 has an important moment for him. While struggling as a musician, his car was broken into, and it later caught on fire. Such moments instilled in him a resolve to never quit and hustle even harder than he did before. "My car just got burnt down last week / But that's alright," he croons on the opening fire-track to his EP, further confirming he is the kind of underdog we all want to win in the end.

EBEN

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Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.


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