Interview: Benny Okoto, Speaks Inspiration & New Single “Ever Told”

Singer/songwritter/producer/rapper Benny Okoto presents the music video for “Ever Told”. Directed by Benjamin Coffey, “Ever Told” appears on Benny Okoto’s soon to be released album Lonely Hearts Club. Produced by Jahmal Gittens, the “Ever Told” clip comes on the heels of visuals for Benny Okoto’s previous single “Doubletree Doughboy Schemes” (Youtube).

Ghanaian-American Raleigh, North Carolina resident Benny says “‘Ever Told’ is about embracing the low points in life, and instead of self destruction or losing faith, choosing to instead take your time and exude patience. While I was dealing with a lot of life issues and responsibilities, I had remembered conversations with different women in my life. They all told me to take my time in one way or the other. This gave me a new perspective on where I was at and what I know I was blessed to look forward to. The last of those conversations was with my mother, who told me to take my time while I was eating. This repetition of the message became a metaphor for women’s influence in our lives in general.”

Who are you often compared to? why? How do you distinguish yourself from those artists?

I don’t get compared to anyone sound wise really. I am definitely influenced by a wide array of artists in Hip-Hop. I pick from many different places which allows me to distinguish myself.

How has growing up in North Carolina and being part Ghanaian influenced your style of music? 

NC is a versatile state with mountains and beaches on both sides and 2 somewhat major metropolitans that allows everything from alternative and indie rock, hip hop, both trap and more conscious boom-bap music. Being Ghanaian I used to go to a lot of functions as a kid where they would play African Highlife and Afrobeat so my ears got attuned to those sounds. I exist in the middle of all these sounds.

When did you realize rapping was the life for you?

Rapping for me was a way to escape reality. I didn’t really start listening to hip hop until I was a teenager. But I fell in love with the sounds and the cadences from there and wanted to see how far it could take me.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

 I pull from many places and experiences I go through or what other people around me are going through. Everything in life has a point of view from where it can be told. I just narrate these stories that come to me through song.

What are your thoughts on the industry today and the direction it’s going?

I think there are more opportunities for artists to flourish both inside and outside the particular music industry. I think artists are more aware of the business sides of things than they have ever been due to the surplus of information. I think you will see more independent artists achieving major label success in the next few years.

Twitter @bennyokoto @jahmalgittenss
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