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Strumming his way to success

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Music and profession go hand in hand for Ben Sam Jones, a leading bass guitarist

Being born into a family of musicians, it was natural for Ben Sam Jones to turn to music. Today, this unassuming artiste, working as Operations Engineer with the company Flytext in Technopark, has a commendable track record as a bass guitarist. He plays for leading bands, has worked in films and music albums, runs a band, and, is a prominent member of Naadam, the musical band of Natana, a cultural hub of Technopark.

He turned pro at a very young age – when he was in Class VIII. “I, along with my friend Yakzin, have had some wonderful music sessions since our younger days. I used to take part in school youth festivals,” says Ben, an alumnus of St Mary's School, Pattom. He came second in guitar (Western) at the State-level school youth festival in 2005. A self-taught guitarist, thanks to his musical family (his father is a pianist and uncle Edwin Samuel has played the guitar in many films), Ben has had a great association with Daksha Sheth Dance Company.

“I have played for many of their programmes and have worked with the band comprising Daksha's son Tao – Asima. There was this huge event in Coimbatore that featured Asima alongside artistes such as Hariprasad Chaurasia, Vikku Vinayakram, and Stephen Devassy,” Ben says.

Moments to cherish

It was indeed a great moment when he was asked to play for Avial band in Mumbai, since the band's bass guitarist was stuck in another programme. He was part of ‘Outcast Vocals,' the jamming session on Rosebowl, along with Rex Vijayan (of Avial band), Neha Nair (playback singer and a member of Avial band), Sreenath, Yakzin, and Tao.

“I've worked on the background score of Mohanlal's Kandahar and in City of God (in the song Kaalangal ),” says Ben. He has played acoustic guitar for four songs in the Tamil movie Kozhi , set to release in March.

Ben runs a band, Vidwan, which he calls “a folk electronic band,” featuring Yakzin, Arpith, Anoop, Neha, and Vivek. “We plan to release an album soon. All the eight songs are ready,” he says. Also, he is working with Neha “to develop a new sound design.”

Rex Vijayan has been more than an inspiration for Ben, who also looks up to artistes like Imogen Heap (Grammy Award-winning English musician) and Susheela Raman (British Tamil musician).

His ambition is to develop a “band which experiments with new sounds.” For the time being, he would like to balance his work and music, “so that I become financially stable before I fulfil my dream.”

Athira M.

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