In this week's Mashup Monday, Britain meets Barbados and rock meets R&B as Gomez  singer/guitarist Ben Ottewell  takes on Rihanna 's "Only Girl (In The World)," armed with only an acoustic guitar.
Gomez's Ben Ottewell at Billboard
Covering "the Rihanna song came about because I thought, 'What would put me out of my comfort zone the most,' basically," the dusky-voiced Ottewell laughs about choosing the pop star's hit for his turn at the Mashup Mondays mic. "It's a very well written song, so I'm glad I did it and found that out."
Ottewell worked hard to find his own voice in the midst of Rihanna's pop. "I had to do the tune acoustic, but I had to convey the rhythm as well, so I just came up with a mellow little rif and put a little groove on it," he says.
Ottewell's usual sound and Rihanna's may be worlds apart, but both artists have spent time collecting awards and enjoying the upper reaches of the Billboard charts. Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)" reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 last December, while Gomez's "A New Tide" rose to No. 5 on the Independent Albums chart in 2009. Gomez kicked off its career in the late 90s, earning a coveted Mercury Music Prize for debut album "Bring It On," while just this month, Rihanna grabbed her share of Billboard Music Awards.
Covering Rihanna comes amidst a busy 2011 for Ottewell. Earlier this spring, he released his solo album "Shapes And Shadows," and now Gomez is prepping its next record, "Whatever's On Your Mind," which is due June 21.
MORE VIDEO FROM BEN OTTEWELL'S BILLBOARD VISIT:
- Mashup Mondays