In today's world it seems nearly everyone has some connection to music, and many teens are making it a serious hobby. Whether sitting on a bed strumming a guitar or grabbing a microphone and hitting the stage, each musically inspired teen wants people to hear his or her music. Ben Alessi, 16, a junior at St. Francis High School, is taking that dream and holding onto it.
A talented musician, Ben only started to enjoy music a few years ago, "just playing guitar and piano here and there," he says.
However, he soon started playing and even writing music, falling in love with each note even more than the last. Ben, of East Aurora, created a Facebook page for his music and soon started playing gigs.
"I've played two big live shows at Xtreme Wheels in Buffalo, and then a bunch of coffee shops here and there for my acoustic stuff," Ben said.
Friends turned into fans and often go to support him and help spread his music, too.
"Inspiration to me is listening to other artists and people around me," Ben said about writing music. "I analyze and shape what they create, and attempt to make it better. My music is dependent upon a focus toward catchy synth lines, glitchy vocals and even dub step elements. I usually write and record music during an intense emotion or feeling, so I get inspired naturally from the reality of my everyday life."
Ben's evolving music has kept his fans captivated, and he is planning an album release for early 2012, with a teaser EP being released in just a few weeks.
"My new album is just completely different from the old Ben Anthony [Ben's stage name]. Now I added the whole element of synths, beats and effects," he said. "The cool thing is that I can captivate my old fans and interest new ones as well, with my fresh ideas and newly established style. I'm excited for the reaction of all my listeners to hear the final product."
Ben's excitement will have to build for a few more weeks though; the first time he gets to showcase his new sound is at a show on Dec. 23 at Club Infinity, 8166 Main St., Clarence.
"This show in a few weeks will be my first electro show, so I'm pretty stoked about that!" he said.
His fans seems "pretty stoked," too.
Allison Drozda, a junior at Immaculata Academy, has been a longtime friend and fan of Ben and his music. She is even featured on Ben's album.
When asked about her anticipation for the album's release, Allison said, "Ben has been a great friend of mine for years and I've always been interested in his musical development. It's been great to see how far he's come, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to work with him on his upcoming album."
Allison isn't the only extra feature on Ben's new album. He did various collaborations with a vocalist and hip-hop artist on the tracks but he's trying to keep most of them under wraps until the release of his album.
Through all Ben's hard work, he's had a lot of help and support.
"I'd like to give a huge thanks to all my fans, the crew at After Dark [Entertainment], and, of course, my family that supported me along the way," Ben said.
He even had a few words for teens with the same dream: "For any other aspiring artists, I believe it is best to stay confident through it all. Honestly, if you do what you love, it never feels like work."
Music is unquestionably in the cards for Ben's future.
"I definitely want to do something with music or film in the future. If it doesn't work out as a performer, I really want to get into the whole production and management behind it all."
To listen to Ben's music and follow where he'll be performing, go to facebook.com/benanthonymusic.
Hannah Gordon is a junior at Immaculata Academy.