Ben Smith was born August 2001, lives in Cornwall, Ontario and is the sole member of Merci, Sir who combines indie pop rock and folk to give his listeners a nice relaxing listen. Teaching himself guitar in 2015 and broadening his skillset to other instruments he has recorded all his tracks and is singing all by himself with a lack of proper audio equipment. After deciding only to start releasing tracks when encouraged by his peers and community members, his debut album “Hippy Sunset” was released February 18th, 2019 and his nostalgic, indie vibes ensured a nice listening experience that generated a local buzz. Ben is currently working on his second album “Blanket on the Sun” and is expected to release it within the next few months.
“La Pierre” is the indie rock song we have been looking for! With a funky, earthy sound starting off you can really feel like you are out for a drive on a nice sunny day with the addition of that radio-like sound that makes you feel like you are listening through your car radio. With driving guitar riffs, and a mixture of instruments throughout this lively and meaningful track “La Pierre” is bound to get your hips and feet moving. This track sounds like it hits on a personal level with Ben, with lines like “I want you to know I’m here” and the limited amount of lyrics found in the song makes you feel like he really wanted his listeners to feel the emotion through the music not just the words. Merci, Sir is a band that makes down-to-earth beats that have that nostalgic vibe that makes you feel like you are in the 90’s and this albums name “Hippy Sunset” really gives listeners a real idea of what vibe Ben is trying to embed throughout his music.
Listen to “La Pierre” here and get to know more about Merci, Sir below!
Hey Merci, Sir! A pleasure to talk with you! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hiya, a pleasure to talk with you too. I’ve spent my life so far growing up in a semi rural area with not much to do so I’ve got a lot of free time which is all dedicated to writing songs now.
I first started on the ukulele (I know, not super special), and I had my first live performance at our little school talent show and I loved the energy from that. Something about that made me want to start going in the music industry.
What is the significance of your band name “Merci, Sir” and what made you first decide to create such a unique sound?
As of right now I can’t release the significance of the band name, but there are two different meanings, as there are for each and every one of my songs. I try to ensure that each song has at least two ways of interpretation so people can relate to it better based on their mood. The unique sound came from my wide variety of musical interests, but I find that some of the aspects come from artists like Buddy Holly and stuff from that era. Apart from that, it would take too long to get into all the different artists that unknowingly contributed to the creation of my sound. I was getting sick of the same over-produced sound of pop, and wanted to explore different sounds to add into the mix. The one thing that drives my songwriting process is making sure every song has something unique about it.
What is the meaning behind “La Pierre”?
La Pierre was originally written about a girl that knew she was different, and had to find herself. This song was the reason I wanted every other to have at least two meanings. When things end, you don’t want the song to be an overbearing reminder of it. La Pierre is a song about realization, and trying to move on with other things. It speaks about someone realizing all of the bullshit that surrounds them in every day life, understanding where they stand among others, and knowing they have to make the best out of their situation.
Have there been any challenges in recording and singing all of your own tracks and how have you over-come them?
Yeah, big time. The drums were a huge issue at the start because I’m not a huge fan of the sound of drum samples, they lack a lot of aspects of real drums that I love. But I have to work with what I have. As well, since I don’t really have a keyboard, I have to build the synth sounds, and place almost every note individually throughout the whole song. I kind of like it this way though, because it inspires me to adapt to my situation and get the most out of it.
What’s next for Merci, Sir in 2019?
I’ve got two albums under way. One of which, Blanket on the Sun, has a hip hop influence (mainly just on the drums) but I kept my sound throughout it. The other is more of a chill, reflection type of deal. Hopefully I can also get some more gear and influences down the line to expand my musical influences.
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