All photos: Haley Plotkin
Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a singer/songwriter whose melancholic brand of acoustic folk-pop has drawn comparisons with the likes of Jose Gonzalez and Iron & Wine. Born in York in 1989 to South African and Australian parents, Leftwich lived a nomadic childhood, spending just as much time in Sydney as in his native U.K.. Inspired by Elliott Smith and Bruce Springsteen, he taught himself to play the guitar at age ten, and fronted indie pop outfit the Nicoles in his teens before embarking on a solo career. After recording his first EP, A Million Miles Out, in Southern France, he supported I Am Kloot, Fionn Regan, and Lisa Mitchell on tour, and attracted attention for his cover version of Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion” on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC R2 Saturday Sessions show. In 2011, his first single, “Pictures,” taken from his second EP of the same name, was declared “The Hottest Record in the World Today” by influential R1 DJ Zane Lowe, with his debut album, Bleeps, produced by Ian Crimble (Mumford & Sons) scheduled to follow. In a departure from his usual sound, Leftwich also penned Euro trance-pop outfit Cascada’s “Hold Your Hands Up,” with former Fame Academy runner-up Alistair Griffin.