Australian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ben Walsh is the brains behind Velshur, his pop music project. Walsh is a rare kind of musician these days; his music, his story and his artistic ambitions are refreshingly simple: ‘Really I just want to create music that makes anyone who listens to it feel great,’ he says. ‘Music that’s uplifting, that let’s people be in a room and look at each other and hug each other and go ‘fuck yeah’.
With hugging out of bounds at the moment, live music completely shut down and gigs cancelled, Ben had more time to write and write he did. He’d been writing music for fashion ads and found working outside his comfort zone surprisingly enjoyable. He also missed dancing a lot, so set out to create a song perfect for kitchen discos and after dinner dancing with housemates. Other Side also looks forward to coming out of isolation and the prospect of better days, when we will literally be on the other side of the pandemic and can look back on it and see things differently.
Ben has been described as the busiest Aussie in the music business, having played over 1,500 gigs on his own and with his band. He took the old fashioned route to catching a break, buying a guitar, driving from Byron Bay to Sydney and walking into a country hotel looking for a cleaning job; the manager spotted the guitar and the long sun-bleached hair and offered him a job as cover musician in a bar where within weeks he’d gone from six to sixteen shows a week. He honed his live skills delighting audiences with covers, but felt the urge to create original music though he didn’t really know where to begin.
A meeting with San Francisco based producer James Nagel changed all that; Walsh put together the roughest of demos after a glass of red wine and they worked together to organically shape melody, lyrics and instrumentation into “She Gives Me Love’, an uplifting blues-rock track which felt to Walsh like the validation of his artistic intentions; to create music that people would love.
Ben is now looking forward to getting back to gigging and also to the future with Velshur; he hopes to have an album out by the end of the year and to make music that will be ‘super fun to play live as a band’.