VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Ben Barnes Reveals How He Got Into Music
Ben Barnes revealed the story behind his 11:11 music video and how he got into music in part three of his uInterview.
Barnes admitted that the idea for the music video did not come to him right away. “I was chatting with a friend of mine and I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do for this video,'” Barnes told uInterview founder Erik Meers, “and my friend said ‘Oh you know you should do a performance, it’s very performative this song.’ And I was like ‘Yeah, but I want to tell stories, I don’t want to do performances.’ And then I thought about the idea of a performance in a sort of big old theater to one person, a performance for one person in a space. You know, that felt like the beginning of a story to me.
“So that was the image that I started with,” he said, “and then I sort of thought about what if that story is about seeing that one person everywhere and the different things that that person is or isn’t, and that’s how I kind of came up with that. And then I wrote a treatment for it, sort of almost shot for shot, and then went to Lee Krieger the Shadow and Bone director and said, ‘Can you help me make this?’ And then I went to Evan Rachel Wood and said ‘Can you please be my everything for a day?’ And she said ‘Of course I can.’ And then I drove to her house with a trumpet and said ‘Can you please learn this one bar? it’s very important.’ And she was so game and so brilliant. And then we got an amazing crew together and brilliant producers to help me make it a reality and shoot it in one day, which is nuts.”
According to Barnes, there were two moments where he knew he wanted to make music.
“One when I was about 18, 19, when I was signed to Simon Fuller and I was recording some jazz with a big band and I really thought that this would be my life,” he said, “and it sort of just it was right when the Pop Idol stuff was emerging and it felt like that dream sort of slipped through my fingers a bit. And I thought it was because I didn’t really know what I wanted to sound like or what I wanted to do or be or I wasn’t assertive enough or whatever, and it wasn’t any of those things of course, but it felt like it wasn’t the time.”
Barnes said that as a teen he sang at “Sinatra tribute concerts and Stevie Wonder soul nights,” and throughout his film career he’s played rock stars and musicians, but he never found his unique sound.
“I think the second moment was when I finished that ‘Rise Up’ song,” he said, “and I was like ‘I need to put this out there. I need to do it.’ And ‘If not now when?’ was what the pandemic taught me, and so I just reprioritized.”
Although Barnes said he’s prioritized music for now, he still feels like he’s an actor first. “I’m an actor and that’s what I know, and that’s what I love, and that’s what I’m good at, and there’s sort of people who think I’m not good at it, but that’s what I know and that’s what I love, storytelling,” he said.
“But I see it as part of the same thing,” he continued. “I’ve done so much singing as part of my, you know, it’s performance and it’s storytelling. So, those are the same thing, they kind of go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned.”
Songs For You is available for sale or streaming now!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!