Ben Day, a local singer/songwriter and freshman majoring in general studies, self-organized a benefit concert to help provide relief to victims of recent natural disasters in Texas and Florida. The concert was held Saturday, Sept. 16 at Smith park, and will feature performances from other BYU-Idaho students and local musicians, including Johnny Lott, Bo Brusco, Joe Stay and Ben Day. The event will be free admission, but any and all donations will go towards the relief of hurricane victims.
Q: Talk to me a little bit about music. I saw your music video for Ghost Town, how did that come to be?
A: I went down to Utah one weekend to visit my brother and he was like, “Alright, we’re gonna record a song and shoot a music video,” and that was about it really. I wasn’t planning on doing anything like that that weekend; I was just gonna go see him and his girlfriend and spend the weekend with them but he was like, “Yeah, let’s do this,” and it turned out awesome.
Q: Tell me about how you got into music. How long have you been playing, performing and writing songs, and how long have you been into that?
A: I’ve been pretty musical most of my life — most of my family is musical, all my siblings did choir in high school, I did choir in high school — but it wasn’t really until right before my mission, kind of on my mission, and since then that I’ve started pursuing music by myself like playing, performing and writing. I started on the ukulele and knew a little bit of piano, but I mostly stuck with that until earlier this year when I started learning the guitar, and the guitar has been a lot of fun. It has really opened up a lot more musically; the ukulele is not quite as versatile. So just for probably three years I’ve been doing music more seriously and really just the last seven or eight months it’s been a lot more in focus.
Q: How did the idea to put on a benefit concert get conceived and come to be?
A: I had my first official concert last semester at Shelbourne. I just put it together myself and got a couple guys to play with me and put on a concert, and it went really well. Attendance was really high, and I just knew that I wanted to perform more because right now I have a lot of material but I need to get it out there and start performing more and get a following. Then I think, like, two or three weeks ago, I just called up the city and said, “Hey, can I reserve this gazebo at this park and at this time?” I was gonna do a concert, and I asked a couple guys to perform with me just so there would be a little bit more material there. Originally, it was just going to be a concert and I was just going to perform and that was about it. Then the hurricanes and stuff started going on and I thought, “Why not use this as an opportunity to raise some money?” I mean, the concert is free and I don’t know how we would charge tickets for an outdoor event anyways, so I just thought, “Hey, we’ll just promote it and ask for donations and kind of use that as, like, the headline, as a benefit concert.” It may or may not have been originally to impress a girl (laughs), but since then, my motives have become a little more righteous, and it’s not just to impress the girl. So that’s kind of how it started.
Q: Awesome. What are your plans to use the money for? Are you planning to send it to a non-profit organization or what are your next steps?
A: Well, I’m not really expecting a lot, but I mean whatever we get I’m just gonna send straight to, like, the Red Cross or maybe just on the tithing slip, just like the humanitarian aid or something like that. Either one. I haven’t decided yet, but either way all the money is gonna go somewhere non-profit to where they’ll use it — Florida or Texas.
Q: What are your future plans or goals for the music scene here in Rexburg?
A: I am still definitely trying to figure it all out and figure out what my goals are, and recently that’s been a little bit more of a focus. I think for me, writing and performing music is something that I know I want to pursue. Not necessarily to make it big or do it full time, but it’s something I want to use a lot of my time for. As far as Rexburg goes, I don’t know that I have a lot of plans for that, but I will be here for the rest of the semester, and I’ve thought about moving down to Provo, working full time and just focusing on my music on the side just ’cause there’s more of a scene for it there. I think I can get a little bit more of a following, more performance opportunities and see where it goes from there. I mean, an album is in the future sometime. I just have to figure it out and things like that, but I have the material, so I’m just taking it a step at the time.
Updates on future shows organized by or featuring Ben Day can be found on Instagram @ben.day.music