Benson Boone, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter who has earned a sizable TikTok following and the attention of Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, has signed a label deal with Reynolds’ Night Street Records label in a partnership with Warner Records, Billboard can exclusively announce. Today, Boone has released “Ghost Town,” a soaring ballad that kicks off the deal.
The Monroe, Wash. native accrued 1.7 million TikTok followers after appearing on the most recent season of American Idol. Over the past few months, Boone has worked closely with Reynolds, who will have a hand in the young singer-songwriter’s visual and sonic approach.
“We sign artists so rarely at Night Street – it was one of those moments where you know you have no choice,” says Reynolds, who formed Night Street Records in 2016, in a statement to Billboard. “That’s how I felt when I first sat in a recording booth with Benson. I’m excited for the world to get to know him the way I have these last months.”
Boone adds, “Signing to the Night Street and Warner Records combo feels perfect. Right after hearing about the possibility of working with Dan and [his brother] Mac Reynolds, I flew to Vegas and Dan let me stay in his house to write songs every day, and Warner Records seems to have someone for everything that I need.”
“Ghost Town” is an impressive debut, with the type of accessible pop balladry that could cross over to top 40 radio. Boone says that he wrote the song “at a turning point in my life. I was just getting my first apartment, away from friends and family, and it’s less about a fading relationship than me realizing it’s time to grow up and move on from my teenage years. It’s a song that represents my emotional maturity in saying, ‘Maybe you’d be happier with someone else.’ It’s a grownup way of breaking up with someone. And it’s not about a person, it’s a thing – my childhood.”
As Boone continues working with Reynolds, the Warner Records team is high on his artistic and commercial prospects. Jeff Sosnow, executive vp of A&R at Warner, heralds Boone’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist who also creates his own single art and can connect with listeners online in a dynamic way.
“Benson is the whole package and there isn’t anything that he can’t achieve,” says Sosnow. “[Warner Records co-chairman/CEO] Aaron [Bay-Schuck], [co-chairman/COO] Tom [Corson] and I couldn’t be happier to welcome Benson to the Warner Records family in partnership with Night Street and look forward to working with him on what is sure to be a very promising and long career.”