Anthony interviews Ben Ofoedu, talks new band Boyz On Block

Not letting lockdown get in the way of his ‘catch ups’ with UK celebs, Anthony chatted to Ben Ofoedo for our sister magazine, Queer Forty, about his new band Boyz On Block.

In a lockdown live interview, Ben and I talked about, surviving the pandemic, internet trolls, the music industry, and Ben’s latest venture with Boyz On Block — his new band with Shane Lynch (Boyzone), Dane Bowers (Another Level), and ‘Abz’ (five).

The well-known pop superstar famed for his time with the group Phats and Small is probably most remembered for his chart-topping dance floor filling hit “Turn Around”. Ben Spoke of his route to success having been in a band that was dropped by the record label they had signed with and then fortuitously being asked to record lyrics for a song Phats and Small were recording -– this saw the success he hankered after (and deserved) become a reality.

Ben shared his highs and lows of finding fame: “Whatever you think it is [fame] it is more, I discovered that I loved performing live, and I loved traveling and meeting people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet in my life”.

The lows he said were “the people who are making money out of you, they will push, and push and cause divides”; he also spoke about internet trolls: “The great thing is that now- trolling is so uncool, people who troll have nothing going on there in their lives and they feel the shame”.

Ben formed his new band with his friends from other boybands (Westlife, Another Level, and five), when they were booked to perform at Bournemouth PRIDE. “We hadn’t seen each other for a few years, and it was just like the old days hanging out backstage at a Smash Hits party, or something… We were all booked separately but ended up on stage together and it was amazing, the next day we said, ‘We have got to do something with this.’ ”

Speaking about the music industry and his age he said, “The people we know in the industry back in the day, are now the managers and directors of the labels, we can call them up and things are good — we haven’t had any problem with our age being a factor thankfully”.

On the topic of vaccines, and people being afraid to take a vaccine, in particular members of the BAME community, he advised that they should he advised: “There are people who watch videos online and the conspiracy theorists who spread fear, question what you are watching, they aren’t qualified to be advising you.”

Coming up for Ben and Boyz on Block is a new single with Heather Small (MPeople). “Heather is a good friend of mine, we gym it together, her voice is amazing, I am really excited about the track”.

I must say, I too am very excited to hear it! Chatting with Ben was a joy, he is a charming, HANDSOME, and articulate individual. I hope you enjoy watching our chat in the video below.

Get Boyz On Block on YOUR playlist by downloading here. To follow Ben and Boyz On Block: @Boyzonblockofficial @BigBenofoedu

BWM Staff

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