Caribbean-American songwriter Benjamin Carter has shared his music video for “Black Boys on the Radio,” available to stream now on YouTube. The song is the title track from Carter’s poignant new EP, which dropped this spring. The EP focuses on how our culture perceives black Americans outside celebrities, athletes, and musicians.
“For me BBOTR music video personifies the exact juxtaposition I felt when writing the words and singing the song,” says Benjamin. “The song melody and cadence resembles a traditional rock song that many of my peers when I was kid would have called ‘white people music.’ So when I put it in video form I wanted to showcase visuals that wouldn’t have ordinarily gone with these melodies – I wanted the video to feel almost like a Kendrick or J. Cole video performing a rock song.”
What inspired “Black Boys on the Radio?”
The inspiration for the song began first with me just trying to blow off some steam, I felt like I was in a rut for my r&b songwriting it wasn’t coming as easy and I figured I’d write some music that my highschool self wished he could’ve done. I never felt free in highschool to truly play rock music cause everytime I would share the songs I was listening to eventually someone would call me an “oreo” or say i’m not “black enough” . Naturally writing a song from the emotions of my highschool perspective meant subconsciously I was still wanting to address some of the racial issues I had been bottling up which led me to pick up a guitar and the first words that came out of my mouth were “she said black boys always play on the radio”
What is something you can’t live without?
To be honest, my family. My wife and daughter. I don’t know what I would do without either of them, they’re the reason I do everything I do.
Any funny anecdotes from the time you were recording or writing this?
Nothing like “haha funny” but – I’d say that the funniest thing is that I had no idea this song would resonate with as many people as it has. It was the first song I wrote on the project and the first rock song I had written in probably 10 or more years
What’s your favorite thing to do besides music?
Make money and build a business. I love playing music, but I love playing the entrepreneur game as an independent artist building with my incredible team, that excites me everyday.
Who is an artist or band you look up to today?
Tyler the creator for sure. I love watching how far he has come and proving that growth and evolving is part of life – his artistry has developed as well as his art and style and it inspires me a lot.
What excites you the most about releasing music?
The other day someone commented on my lyrics under my instagram video from BBOTR and said “I wrote this song hoping for an apology” – that shit hit me. I’m a lyrics guy first so when I see people resonate with the words I wrote in whatever way that means to them it really excites me.