As a follow-up to his summer releases “Validation” and “Cruising Altitude”, singer/producer Ben Schuller releases his new music video “Engagement Party” today. What sounds at first like a celebration for a bride and groom to be, the hook “Congrats on the Engagement” instead sarcastically commends you for your likes and follows on social media. The third release from his self-directed visual album, “New Roaring 20s”, Ben sets the scene at a traditional backyard engagement party, but with everyone glued to their phones—taking selfies, live streaming, etc. By the end, it’s obvious no one is there to support the couple, but just to mooch off their popularity. Likewise, the bride and groom (equipped with their brand new ‘verified’ badges instead of rings) are only interested in keeping it.
On theme with the previous tracks from the project, “Engagement Party” is meant to confront the value we place on internet clout and our obsession with the approval of people we don’t know. Singing from the point of view of the devil-on-your-shoulder convincing you to post every thought and share every pic, the laid-back vibe of the beat paired with Ben’s casual vocal delivery add to the irony of the lyrics. “I started realizing how much ‘engagement’ mattered to everything I did. From YouTube videos to Instagram posts, I was constantly obsessing over it. The message of the song can be aimed at our generation as a whole, but really, it’s targeted at myself. It’s crazy how much we care about what strangers think of what we post online” says Ben.
Ben Schuller came up in the age of acoustic covers; while in school, he began building an online following for his simple piano/vocal reworkings of radio hits. Trading his small Michigan town for Nashville in 2014, he started to carve out his place as a pop-oriented electronic artist, mixing his festival-ready production with an emotive coffeeshop vocal style. As a solo artist and with his YouTube-based music group, NerdOut, Schuller’s blend of anthemic beats and bright melodies has been played over 500 million times across platforms and taken him to four continents. But with his current project, “New Roaring 20s,” he’s skipping the breakup songs and light-hearted pop tracks. The upcoming concept album takes a look at “the unique and often tragic social identity of our generation, while at the same time giving a deeply personal account of my own mental health struggles as an artist in the age of the Internet.”
Watch “Engagement Party” on YouTube here.