Tiny town musician with big dreams
A YOUNG man from Drillham is making his mark in the music scene by entering into the Western Downs Regional Council’s Groovin’ in the Garage initiative.
Ben Slater was stoked to find out he had made it to the finals of the competition with his original song So Long, July.
“It was pretty cool to look on their Facebook page and see myself there,” he said.
“I think songwriting competitions in general are great for creativity.”
Mr Slater has been playing guitar since he was around seven years old and has practised for hours almost every week since.
“For the last few years, I’ve played guitar for maybe an hour every day and it’s still so fun,” he said.
“I learn something new every time I pick up the guitar, whether it be a whole song or new technique.”
He has started to learn drums and saxophone and has taken inspiration from the different techniques used by other instruments to help develop his guitar skills.
But Mr Slater has faced some obstacles over the years, such as overcoming perfectionism.
“That's caused me to scrap so many ideas because I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to my music,” he said.
“I have to step back and tell myself that what I’ve done is at least good enough, otherwise I’ll spend way too long trying to get it right.”
There have been plenty of ups and downs with coming from the tiny town of Drillham, west of Miles.
“It’s great having such supportive neighbours,” he said.
“They don't seem to mind all the noise I make playing music well into the night.
“Otherwise, it’s kind of difficult for me to connect and organise jam sessions with others in the region.
“A lot of travel and organising needs to be dealt with.”
After he finishes school, Mr Slater wishes to study music at university and be able to produce songs for local artists.
And he can always find ways to stay motivated.
“Motivation for me is just the abundance of different musical cultures, ideas and techniques there is to learn,” he said.
“There is always something new to learn, there are always new inspirations and breakthroughs.
“I think following that is what keeps me so interested in music.”
Twelve other finalists were chosen, and all performances will be shared on the Western Downs Invites You Facebook page.
Voting will open Monday, June 15 with the public able to choose their favourite via a Facebook poll and help pick a winner.