INTERVIEW: Leif Bent

“O.K.” by visionary pop artist Leif Bent is a moving and honest single to feature the Berlin sensation’s wide range of musical talent. Dreamy vocals and vulnerable lyrics express Bent’s emotion as a confession of pain with beautiful piano interludes and stunning samples. What makes “O.K.” stand out as a pop anthem is the flawless transition from ethereal melodic verses to an almost angry dubstep hook that conveys the artist’s inner turmoil. A song of both sadness and envy, “O.K.” pays attention to the spectrum of human emotions with a relatable spirit that is sure to be played on repeat. 

Hi Leif, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great! So happy that the EP is finally out. I’ve been working on these songs during lockdown this winter and I’m happy to have them see the light of day.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “O.K.”?

A lot of people are dealing with mental health these days while most don’t have the courage to speak up about it and actually admit when they’re not doing well. “O.K.” encapsulates those feelings that just need to get out and encourages to open up and actually say “I am not ok!”.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I remember having a really bad day but I still tried to keep up a wall for those around me, because I didn’t wanna bother anyone with how I felt. And I was so sick of that. Sick of holding back and lying about my feelings that I wrote this song.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

I have released a music video for the track which I shot and directed together with a close friend of mine. We experimented with a lot of different things to find the right vibe for the message of the song. Just two guys with a camera being creative. So we shot rain scenes in the shower and dipped my head in an aquarium. Just regular every day stuff…

Why naming the album after this song in particular?

I feel like being honest about my most inner feelings is something that all of the songs on the album have in common. And “O.K.” presents being true to those feelings in such a blatant way that it had to be the title track. Whether it’s anxiety or heartbreak, each song showcases what I felt over the past year.

How was the recording and writing process?

“O.K.” started out with a voice note which I recorded in my bedroom on my phone. It was one of those songs that’s written in 15 minutes because the idea just has to get out. I then picked up that idea at my studio a couple of days later and build the production around that.

I wrote and produced all the songs on the EP myself and similar to “O.K.” they all capture different moments of what I felt over the past year.

What role does Berlin play in your music?

I’ve always been drawn to bigger cities. I’ve lived in London, Toronto and Hamburg for a bit before moving to Berlin. It’s that raw energy of so many different cultures and people mixed together in one place. It helps a lot to be in an environment that triggers so many different senses and inspires on so many different levels. Every artist needs stories to write about and there’s no better place to find them.

With the large reception your music has gotten – did that put any pressure on you as you work on this new material or rather the opposite?

I think having the support such an incredible fanbase only motivates me to make better music. The best things are made under a little bit of pressure. Every day that I step into a studio I want to make something that’s better than the day before. To see the project grow in such a way over the past years is incredible and I would have never imagined to reach so many people when I posted those first couple of Youtube videos in 2014. It’s been a long journey and I am really happy where it’s taking me at the moment.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I draw most of my inspiration from personal experience. Things that I’ve been through and stories I have to tell. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs over the past year and writing those songs helped me deal with it.

What else is happening next in Leif Bent’s world?

Next up is the acoustic version of “O.K.” coming out July 30. But I also got a lot of new music lined up for later this summer which I’m super exited to share.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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