In this week’s episode of “You Should Know,” Billboard caught up with singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin to find out what his first-ever job was, what the inspiration behind his hit song “’Let Me Down Slowly” was, and much more.
Benjamin tells Billboard that his very first job was working as an instructor at a karate studio in Phoenix, Ariz. Despite being successful in karate and earning himself a black belt, he ended up quitting because a girl he liked at the time walked past the studio, saw him, and “didn’t think it was cool.”
“Word got back to me and then I was like, man maybe I shouldn’t do it anymore,” Benjamin says. “And then I stopped. But I learned a lot of very valuable skills so it’s okay.”
Asked what his biggest accomplishment has been, Benjamin says that it would be making his grandmother smile. “When she was 90, before she passed away, she saw me perform at this venue called Room 5 in L.A. and she walked up a full flight of stairs to see me play,” he explains.
“Just seeing that smile on her face was really cool, ’cause like it’s like, two generations of people, my mom and my grandma that were proud of me and that’s a big accomplishment,” he adds. “Especially at the time, I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to make music into a career, so for me, that was enough.”
As for what inspired his track “Let Me Down Slowly,” Benjamin reveals that it was influenced by his first relationship. “It’s just about feeling like you’re at somebody else’s mercy where you really still care about somebody but they kind of hold all the cards and it was kind of like a helpless feeling,” he states. “So it’s about asking for somebody to be gracious if they’re gonna leave.”
You can learn much more about Alec Benjamin by watching the video above, and listen to “Let Me Down Slowly” below. A new version of the song featuring Alessia Cara is due to premiere later today (Jan. 7).