The Match that Kindles the Fire
Kristian Bent revels in the silence around him. Silence offers up the opportunity to listen, to learn, to ponder and to yearn. It is there, enveloped in that silence that he has been inspired, where he has spent some of his darkest days and also some amazing evenings and nights. Silence might be antithetic for who he is, a professional musician, but then the best music was created in the deepest recesses of our minds, springing up from a little seed planted there in the void.
Between those punctuated moments of silence though, have been delightful moments that will always echo long and loud. Kristian dropped out of college in Goa in 2008 to become a professional musician, formed his first band, The Streetlight People, two years later, then leaving the drum kit behind in 2012 to pick up the guitar and control his own trajectory in much better fashion. He then spent three years in the company of more amazing musicians as part of The Acoustic Road until 2016, leading from the front.
But it was the yearning to create that started to gnaw at him. He was not content at merely singing songs that others created. He may not remember when the first spark happened, but he does remember what it was like to sing in front of an audience for the first time. The nerves still get him, but he embraces these opportunities with the same delight and vigour that he always has. He just picks up his guitar and tells stories.
His first album, Campfire Stories, came to life thanks to the generosity of friends and even strangers, all those people who first contributed to his Wishberry campaign, far exceeding the amount initially required, those who helped put together and manage the album launch and those who played the album in their cars, at parties, introduced friends to Kristian’s music and indirectly and directly helped build the ardent following that he has today.
The love he shares with an audience from the stage far outweighs the pain he often feels at the sheer lack of empathy in this world. Campfire Stories was based on little snippets of his own life story, on muses and experiences, set to country and folk sounds. It charted a great course for him, filled with gigs, new fans and follows, and a sea of discerning yet content faces.
But life evolves, just as his music has. A year in the big city gave Kristian different perspectives on life and everything else in between. He moved back to Goa from Bangalore in 2018, and a year later started to record an EP that echoes that change in perspective, the evolution of his outlook on life. His sound has become more bluesy, more insightful, road weathered and matured.
Kristian Bent writes and sings about many things - love, infinite sadness, melancholy, loss and joy. He stands for sincere expression, in the hope that someday we can be open and authentic without the need to add more layers to fit in. He is inspired by John Prine and Bob Dylan, by Ray LaMontagne and Chris Stapleton, by nature, by the people around him and, of course, by the emphatic interludes of silence.