If there is one word to best describe recording artist Bo Benton it is this: FEARLESS. Her story is one that I think strikes at the heart of what it means to live a life of purpose, and appreciating the gifts that have been given to all of us. She's a beautiful woman both inside and out, but that is not what makes her a force. Bo Benton matters today because Bo Benton knows who she is, what she wants and what it takes to achieve the goals she has for herself. In other words, she is authentically herself through and through.
I was first introduced to her music in 2012 through her single INTIMIDATED, and it was obvious right away that this was a recording artist that was going to be with us for quite some time. In 2014 she is proving me right with the release of her music video MONEY.
The song and video highlight not only the excesses that some exploit, but how money is used to pacify, exploit and glorify things in life that don't bring meaning or purpose. "You are the best drug," she sings, referring to the extravagance. She then goes on to name things that money is used to splurge on. "You keep me high, so satisfied. You never left me sleep. You're the best drug in the world, there is no rehab, not for me..."
Bo Benton has tapped into something real that resonates with the hearts and minds of listeners, and she's just getting started.
Raised in Chicago, Bo Benton was born in a world full of music. Her grandmother was an opera singer, her mother a pianist and her father being a bass player. Early on she found herself intoxicated by the industry. "My parents always instilled the discipline of music in me," Bo shared. "They always told me to shine. Just shine! When it came to music they told me that if this is what you want to do go after it with all your heart."
I was curious if having so much talent in one family was intimidating for her when it came to her own career. Bo's response was a quick No. "I never felt any pressure at all," she told me. "The music I create is my music and that of my fans. It's like... we all breathe the same air, but it's our air that goes into our lungs. I always looked at it as an individual path that no one can go on but me."
That individual path has allowed Bo to find her own voice and be her own person. "I was born that way," she explained. "It's in me to stand out and be an individual, letting others see that they can be individuals too. God created us all individually and uniquely. That is what I hope to bring out through my artistry and my music."
What Bo said earlier in our conversation about creating music for herself and her fans was something I wanted to explore some more with her. How did it feel for her to know that there were individuals literally around the world who were connecting with her message and sound? "It's wonderful," she told me. "I love my fans so much. They know that I'm dedicated to produce good music. I'm an independent artist, so that means all I've done has been part of a grassroots movement. It's because of the fans, so it's very critical that I keep in touch with my them and continue making music that the fans love."
For some their idea of "making it" in the music business is about being signed. Bo is not waiting for that moment. She's taking advantage of each day and every opportunity. Her career is just that: her career. That's not something she can just give away.
"To be an artist, how can you put your career in someone else's hands," she says. On the other hand, she is quick to point out that this is not something you can do on your own, either. "There is no 'I' in team. There are a lot of components to getting your music out there. I make the music, but there are others involved in what you're getting."
Truly what you are getting with Bo Benton is the total package: beauty, brains and a commitment to excellence that is gaining respect from even those who might have just written her off as another pretty face. In our conversation she compared it to what some thought about the main character in Legally Blonde. "You can be beautiful and gorgeous and about your business," she says. "It's about discipline and determination." Over the past seven or eight years she has proven herself, and has the career to show for it. "You have to be assertive. We're all in this together. Don't underestimate my ability."
People are watching her, and since she has the spotlight and the platform, I asked Bo about being seen as a role model. She responded to me in a way that I have never heard before. "The term role model is an interesting one because it's not a role I'm playing. It's my life," she explained. "I don't have a problem with people looking at me. I take it very seriously."
Whether you are an artist yourself or making your mark in your own profession, Bo Benton shows that you can live your life and fulfill your purpose without selling out who you are.
"I stay in the moment. It's a beautiful experience."
Her advise to each of us? "Always stay prepared. Read. Stay organized. Stay ready. You should also stay current and know what's happening. Know about the technology that's out there, because it can enhance what you're doing. Most importantly stay humble and thankful for every milestone in your career. Remember you can't do this alone. you need other people in everything you do. Being kind and nice really does go a long way."
As the video for the single MONEY continues to gain momentum, look for the single to be released sometime in September. "For me, it's not about the money," Benton says. "It's about the message. Music has the power to create huge social movements that in turn can create huge social reform."
Bo Benton is yet another example that the good guys and girls can finish first and shine in the process. Keep up with her busy schedule at www.bobentonmusic.com. You can also like her fan page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bobentonfanpage and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bobenton.