Local artist Ben Chaverin joined the Kultivate podcast to play a couple of his Spotify singles and talk through the songwriting process.
Peter Loganbill, Collegian News Editor: “What does the songwriting process look like for you?”
Ben Chaverin, junior in operations and supply chain management: “Have you ever been in traffic for hours? It’s kind of like that. Sometimes you’re just bumping down the freeway and you’re just like screaming, hoping you don’t get arrested, but you’re feeling good man, you got the windows down.
“Then, sometimes, you’re just stuck in traffic and it’s like, ‘What?’ And then you almost bump into someone and you’re going a little too fast or a little too slow and you forget. So, it’s very much an up and down, speeding up and slowing down process of trying to feel it out and not get mad at yourself.”
Loganbill: “In the songwriting process, what would you equate to a car wreck?”
Chaverin: “When you really get frustrated with yourself. Well, actually, the worst thing you can do is blame something else. Being like, ‘Oh, it’s because someone hurt me or my circumstances right now, I can’t write.’ In that sense, you’re offloading your creativity and you’re selling yourself short of what you can actually still creatively accomplish.”
From a hobby to a record deal: One student’s road to making music
Loganbill: “Do you enjoy writing lyrics or music more? Or is it all just one thing to you?”
Chaverin: “I couldn’t pick. I couldn’t pick. Playing around on the guitar with like, fingerstyle stuff, doing that kind of stuff is so much fun, because it’s so rewarding when you find something that just clicks in your brain. But then also having lyrics that just fit and flow really well, it takes so much time, but it’s so rewarding when, again, when it clicks.”
Loganbill: “Which one is faster for you?”
Chaverin: “It depends on every song. You could ask me about one song. For [‘Shoulda Known Better,’] almost all the lyrics happened in like an hour, or something like that. The guitar part isn’t very complicated. For this, it was mainly production and recording and stuff that took the most time.”
Loganbill: “How often does it happen where you’re thinking about something and lyrics just kind of flow out of you and you just grab a pen and you’re like ‘Yep, this is how I feel,’ and it just comes out?”
Chaverin: “Maybe like once a month or so, when it just happens.”
Loganbill: “How often do you sing in the car? Is it constant?”
Chaverin: “A lot. Whether it’s singing along to a song that’s just on the radio. I listen to a lot of pop radio. It’s almost unhealthy, because I like about half of the songs on pop radio, and then a lot of them are like, ‘I just can’t do it man. I can’t.’ I’m not going to say which ones because people will get mad, but there’s some slappers on the radio these days.”
Want to hear Ben Chaverin play a couple of his original songs? Check out the “Collegian Kultivate” podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.