Following his short-lived appearance on American Idol season 19, Benson Boone is making his own music. The Washington native released his debut solo single, “Ghost Town,” on Friday, October 15, and according to the 19-year-old singer, it’s “an expression of emotional maturity.”

“It’s the first song I’ve written,” Benson explains to J-14 exclusively ahead of the single’s release. “You may listen to the lyrics and think of a relationship, but that’s only part of it. One of my best friends was in a toxic relationship with a girl, and that’s how the idea of it started. However, it’s a very mature love song.”

Benson notes, “maturity is something I’m just addressing in my life,” but shares that his whole life had changed during the process of writing this song. “I was just moving away from my family, my friends and basically changing my whole life,” he adds. “‘Ghost Town’ is all that I had to go through: letting go of my childhood and embracing my new musical journey.”

Benson Exclusive
Jonathan Weiner

Along with the song, Benson released the “Ghost Town” music video, which he calls “an expression of my personality and childhood.”

Prior to his debut on the music scene, Benson referred to himself as a “big sports guy.” During his senior year of high school, he and a friend formed a band for their annual “Battle of the Bands” competition. At the time, Benson only played the piano, but his friend convinced him to sing as well.

“We only practiced three times, and in those practices, I didn’t feel super confident, but my voice was sounding alright. When it came time for our real performance, it was like a movie. We were the last band to perform, the pressure was on and my whole entire school was watching me. That’s when it clicked. I don’t know what exactly happened in my head, but my voice came out like it had always been there,” the musician recalls. “It was an unexpected event that led me to begin my musical career. I will add, the feeling of performing in front of everyone and being able to change the mood of a whole school with just my voice was the most incredible feeling and that feeling is what drove me to start singing.”

Then, he auditioned for American Idol right before college finals and made headlines when withdrawing early from the competition.

“There’s really not much to say,” he tells J-14 about his journey. “I made it on the show, to my surprise, and had a blast meeting everyone and performing. As the rounds went on, I realized I didn’t quite fully understand what I wanted for myself musically. That’s when I chose to step down and was given the opportunity to come to [Las] Vegas and begin working with Dan Reynolds.”

Benson goes on to say that working with the Imagine Dragons singer has been “the most incredible opportunity in my life,” calling the music industry veteran “an amazing person.”

“The fact that he’s even taking the time to work with me and mentor me through the beginning steps of my artistry is amazing,” Benson gushes. “He has taught me countless important lessons and things about the music industry through this own personal experience. But the thing I love most about him is he always wants me to make my own decisions, but more importantly to follow what makes me happy.”

All in all, the young performer is ready for the future of his music career.

“It’s a mixture of excitement and a little bit of nerves as the whole world is about to hear a song that relates to me personally,” Benson explains. “It can be scary to show people that emotional side of you, but I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with people.”

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