Special to The Morning Star
Ben Click is an 18-year-old country singer/songwriter from West Kelowna. He was a finalist in the 2013 Our Kids Have Talent competition in Vernon, and has since been playing around the Okanagan. Besides performing, he builds guitars and built his first guitar, which he named “Blisters,” when he was 14 years old.
Q: How did you get your start in music?
A: “I got my start in music at an early age. I got my first guitar when I was five years old for Christmas. Over the past 12 years, the love I have for playing, performing, and writing music continues to grow. Last year, I involved myself with festivals, competitions, and various other gigs in and around the Okanagan. This year, I’m applying for opportunities outside of Kelowna and the Okanagan.”
Q: What is your favourite part of doing live performances?
A: “My favourite part about live performances is definitely the crowd. When I perform, I get a lot of my energy from crowd reaction and response. If a crowd starts clapping to the beat, or I see someone singing along with me, I feel my performance gets a lot stronger. When you can connect to an audience, by either telling stories, or singing a song that they recognize or means something to them, and having them approach you after and have a conversation, those are the things that drive me every time I perform.”
Q: If you were the CEO of a record label, what would you name the record label?
A: “I’d name the record label Big Break Records.”
Q: If we looked through your iPod, what songs might we find?
A: “On my iPod, I have a variety of music. I have myself on there from when I was 10 and recorded cover songs of Canadian folk band Great Big Sea, to now having recorded my first EP of original songs.
Q: I read that you sometimes build your own guitars. What is that experience like?
A: “Building guitars is a very long process Designing, the math component involved in fret spacing, computer work, then actually starting to build the instrument itself is very time consuming. I built my first guitar in my Grade 9 woodshop class in middle school. We were supposed to build a chair, table, and bowl, but instead of the table and bowl, I asked if I could build a guitar. From that, I just finished building my third guitar and I’m working on building a ukulele in my senior year of high school. At shows, having a custom, hand-built guitar is a great conversation starter and story. I’ve built a Stratocaster, semi-hollow body Les Paul, and a semi-hollow body Telecaster.”
Q: How many guitars do you own?
A: “I own four acoustic guitars and five electric guitars, one six-string banjo (banjitar), a bodhran, which is a Celtic style drum, and will own a ukulele by the end of the school year when I finish building it. So I currently own 10.”
Q: Is there any instrument that you don’t know how to play but you’d like to learn?
A: “I would love to learn how to play the drums, piano, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. Basically anything with strings.”
Q: Do you have any influences? Who are they?
A: “My influences are Great Big Sea, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.”
Q: If you had the opportunity to film a music video, what would it be about and what would be happening in it?
A: “In a music video, I would choose my song Play and the video would be about following your dreams. I would have a story line of my journey up until now, mimicking the lyrics of the song, and when the chorus comes, I’d have me on a stage looking out over a stadium full of people.”
Q: When do you feel completely satisfied with your work?
A: “I feel completely satisfied when I finish off a new song and play it for my family in my music room. Then at the next show, I’ll find a way to weave it into the set list and watch the crowd’s reaction. I always have a number of songs on the go. Right now, I have about five unfinished songs, multiple one-liners, and ideas all throughout my song book. My iPhone is filled with voice memos of music and lyrics, as well as the notes app. has tons of little pieces of songs. I just finished off a new song called Cliché Country Boy (Gettin’ Country Tonight), and I’ve played it for my family, at a few shows, as an audition, and sent it in to song writing competitions. It’s always a great feeling when you get recognized for one of your original songs and when I get a new like on my Facebook music page, or someone follows me on Twitter, or I get a phone call, email, or message from someone asking if I can play at their event.”
– Aniko Forgo is a graduate of Kalamalka Secondary School who has been interviewing Okanagan-based musicians for the past year.