Finding the right balance between school and a social life is the crux of the college experience. How do we achieve the exact right mix of fun and work to get the most out of these four years? While most of us are busy having our hands full with this, there are others who have their own creative endeavors that could further complicate this issue. Meet Adam Benamram ’22, who, simultaneously on the pre-med track, wrote, sang and produced his very own album “In the Dead of Night.” An admirable feat in itself, the high quality of said work makes such an endeavor that much more impressive and worthy of recognition. After listening to the album, I decided to sit down with Benamram and talk through his project, his process and his connection to music as a whole.
Benamram’s music is the embodiment of deeply personal production, manifesting itself as a bedroom-pop style sound. While he takes influence from genres like R&B and pop, he explained, “There’s definitely a lot of bedroom in there because I do it all in my bedroom.” Since beginning to perform in musicals at an early age, Benamram has been honing his singing ability, later teaching himself to play guitar. Putting these skills together allowed Adam the creative freedom to explore many varying styles of production to see what he felt best captures his vision. Benamram said, “At the end of the day, being able to make the music I want to listen to, rather than making as much music as possible, is really beneficial to me.”
So what does this translate to regarding “In the Dead of Night”? Benamram stated that his central idea he wished to communicate with this project was nocturnalism. “The big theme that runs throughout the album is just thinking, lying awake at night. Trying to sleep, and not being able to.” Benamram accomplishes this through his euphoric, hysteria-esque production. The spaced-out, upbeat production on songs such as “Anything You Know” or “Part III” perfectly captures the restless, hopeful energy that can consume oneself during a long, sleepless night. However, Benamram contrasts this with the equally applicable sensation of melancholic overthinking that can also occur. On the relatively somber “Firefly,” Bemamram croons, “And I’m staying up until it’s light / And I don’t wanna be by myself tonight.”
Perhaps no song captures the sanguine ponderings of listless nights better than the titular track “In the Dead of Night.” The song’s subdued, resigned production, coupled with Benamram’s repeated “I don’t know if you’re still in love with me,” convey the album’s emphasis on the telling nature of late-night thoughts. This track also exemplifies many other strengths of the project, notably the vocal effects that Benamram uses. While some songs feature more raw, pared-down performances, others fully utilize vocal editing to convey a grander, more full sound. On how he was inspired to make tracks with such messages, Benamram stated, “Accessing [my] own experiences is, I think, the best method I have ever used for songwriting.” This groundedness shines through in this project, as the listener feels like they can truly empathize.
Crafting an album up to the standards that one sets for oneself is not an easy accomplishment. Benmamram described how he would sometimes go months without feeling inspired to create new music. Additionally, countless biology and chemistry classes on top of that only serve to potentially heighten the stress of such an endeavor. Benamram, however, does not think that it has to be that way. “I’m really appreciative of [making music] being a hobby and not my job … Inspiration hits when I’m not expecting it. I don’t necessarily feel inspired all the time.” To Benamram, having music serve as an outlet, rather than his singular focus, fosters the healthiest relationship with it. Not feeling pressured to constantly be creating is what allows for his most truthful, meaningful story-telling.
The last of my questions for Adam was how he wanted his listeners to view and interact with his album. And so, Adam concluded his interview by leaving me and other listeners alike with a statement of intent; “I would want [my listeners] to think of it as a means to process their own lives…I would love [it] if other people connected with it in that way.”
“In the Dead of Night” is available for streaming on all platforms.