Born in the small town of Ninety-Six, South Carolina, Arvie Bennett Jr. started from humble beginnings. Money was tight but Arvie inherited things more precious than money... A strong faith in God, undying resilience in the face of pain, and a passion for life’s possibilities. The country singer/songwriter started out singing in the choir which led to his journey into the music industry. He traveled to Nashville, Tennessee where he experienced the highs and lows of the industry, as every musician does. In October 2018, Arvie, now a solo artist, signed a recording contract with Winter Records-Nashville. He immediately went into Yellow Hammer Studios and recorded “Just A Cowboy”, a six-song EP of original music.
“Just A Cowboy” was released early 2019 and continues to garner streams to this day. Throughout this year, Arvie Bennett Jr. has been making his name and sound known throughout Nashville and beyond. Along with his captivating EP, Arvie went on to release a music video for his title track “Just A Cowboy”. More recently, Arvie and Bunny Bennett teamed up and released a live acoustic performance of “Where He Found Me”, an absolute treat to experience beginning to end. The video truly highlights Arvie’s raw talent and passion for the art form. We’re always looking forward to hearing more from this artist ad we highly recommend you check out his EP and the rest of his impressive catalog! Listen to Arvie Bennett Jr’s music here and keep scrolling for more in our exclusive interview.
Welcome back once again Arvie Bennett Jr! It’s always a pleasure to chat with you. The EP “Just a Cowboy” is admirably versatile but holds an impactful message through the lyrics. How long has this project been in the making? What does it mean to you to have it released to the public?
Thank you for your kind words about “Just A Cowboy.” It is always an honor to work with Buzz-Music and to share more about my music. The “Just A Cowboy” EP is a culmination of many years of writing, touring, and performing. The title track “Just A Cowboy” was written twelve years ago and has been recorded and released on two other projects. However, I feel like this EP is unique because I was better able to convey the emotions of my “live” performances on a studio album.
Each and every project release is special and I always pray that it will touch the hearts of the people who listen. Yet, the “Just A Cowboy” EP is unique because it came after a two-year break from performing and questioning my purpose. Those two years allowed me to rest and recuperate from years of constant touring but more importantly, those two years allowed me to grow closer to Jesus and it was because of that closeness that my music became better. It’s more heartfelt now.
The music video for “Where He Found Me” is incredible! It gives the essence of a live performance for those who haven’t seen you on stage. What was the overall concept of releasing this video?
In all honesty, “Where He Found Me” was never intended to be released to radio as a single. My initial plan was to release “Mad At You” or “Going Outlaw” as my next single to radio. My radio promoter and I had never even discussed the possibility of releasing “Where He Found Me.” However, God has a funny way of changing our plans at any moment. With that being said, the video is from a live television performance on NiteLine that was recorded earlier this year. I thought about producing a “real” music video for the song, but the positive response that I received from Buzz-Music and my fans helped me to that its simplicity moves hearts.
We were absolutely captivated by your vocals on this project as usual! Can you dive into the meaning of the lyrics within “Where He Found Me?
Thank you! Over the years, I have had the opportunity to pursue multiple career paths. I have made my living as a baseball player, coach, public school teacher, musician, and pastor. In each of these, I have been able to grow as a person and have unique experiences that make me who I am today. Honestly, I believe Christians and especially pastors, have given Jesus a “black-eye,” so to speak. “Where He Found Me” simply chronicles my personal relationship with a God who wants nothing more than to love me, care for me, and meet me exactly where I am. You see, though I am a Christian, I am far from perfect and I make mistakes each and every day. “Where He Found Me” stems from a time where I was angry at everything, including God. The path I was on was destroying me and many of my closest relationships. I remember it like it was yesterday; I was scheduled to play shows in Myrtle Beach, SC and then make the eight-hour drive to Georgia and play another show to close out my weekend. At the time I was traveling with a full-band and money was tight. The shows in Myrtle Beach were outside. All week I had kept an eye on the weather, and it looked questionable for the weekend. I was anxious because I had already paid for our hotel rooms and other expenses. When we arrived in Myrtle Beach, the weather took a turn for the worst. If the shows were “rained- out,” I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to Georgia or cover the expenses the trip had already incurred. Needless to say, I was in a state of panic! Then, my wife Bunny suggested that I pray about the situation and ask God to ease up on the rain so we could perform. At the time, I hadn’t prayed in years and I wasn’t even sure if I still believed in God. Yet, I took my wife’s advice and said this prayer, “If there is a God and you are Him, prove it by making the rain stop for my show.” It was half-hearted, to say the least, and I had no belief that it was going to work. Even though the prayer was not the most sincere, I think God was so happy to hear from me, He decided to change the forecast. The sun came out and that ended up being one of our best shows of the year. Even with all that, my prayer answered, I still wasn’t convinced. However, over the next couple of months, God would continue to perform miracles in my life and in my heart. As I slowly began to trust God again, the song “Where He Found Me” started to take form and eventually I would write the lyrics and compose the music. In the end, “Where He Found Me” is a song of second chances and redemption. It is my hope that “Where He Found Me” will help all of us understand that God loves us and will chase after us and find us wherever we may find ourselves.
Did your initial vision for the EP “Just a Cowboy” end up executing as you thought it would?!
In modern music culture and business, it is often difficult to measure a song or an EP’s success. When I speak with young artists, I always share my philosophy and motives for creating music. I believe that music is a gift that is meant to be shared with others. My motive for producing and performing is to make a positive impact on everyone who comes in contact with me or my songs. Financially, I have lost money on every project I have ever created but that is not why I do make music. Once an artist realizes that it’s about impacting people, everything else will fall into place. So, yes, my initial vision for “Just A Cowboy” has been exceeded and continues to change lives.
Since you’ve been making music for several years, how would you compare some of the earlier material you’ve written to your newest release?
As I have aged and matured, my songwriting has become more precise and to the point. I try to listen and accept feedback from others. I have also learned how to translate my emotions onto a studio recording. I believe that I learned and grew with each and every project and I hope that I continue to grow in the future. The point is, each of us possesses intrinsic gifts. It is our job to discover it, practice it and hone it! Then, share it!
Thank you so much for talking to us once again! What can fans expect from a live show from Arvie Bennett Jr?
Over the years, I have tried different performance techniques in my live shows. However, I have come to realize that I am first and foremost, a storyteller. When you come to my show, you will find me sitting on a stool, just me and my guitar, attempting to personally connect with each member of the audience through my songs and stories. I like to think that when you walk away from my show that you are not just a fan but a friend.