About Ben Watt
Benjamin Brian Thomas Watt is an award-winning British musician, singer, songwriter, author, DJ and radio presenter, best known as one half of the duo Everything but the Girl.
Watt was born in Marylebone, London and grew up in Barnes, the son of Scottish jazz bandleader and arranger Tommy Watt and showbusiness writer Romany Bain. He has four older half brothers and sisters.
Watt began recording in 1981 on the indie label Cherry Red. His first single 'Cant' was produced by folk-maverick Kevin Coyne and featured Richard Allen on viola and tambourine. His second release, 1982's 5-track EP Summer into Winter featured Robert Wyatt on backing vocals and piano. His debut album North Marine Drive was released in 1983 and reached UK Independent Album Charts Top 10. He then put his solo career on hold and joined forces with vocalist Tracey Thorn, with whom he wrote and recorded for 17 years—together they created nine studio albums as Everything but the Girl after signing to Blanco Y Negro through Warners in 1984, and then Virgin in 1995. EBTG have received eight gold, and one platinum album BPI Certifications in the UK, and one gold album RIAA Certification in the US. The song Missing reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1995.
Following EBTG's self-imposed hiatus in 2000, Watt immersed himself in the world of underground electronic music both as a DJ and recording artist/producer. His recorded output during this period includes club tracks such as Lone Cat , A Stronger Man featuring Sananda Maitreya , the Outspoken EP Part 1 including Pop A Cap in Yo' Ass featuring Estelle, Just a Blip and Guinea Pig.
In 2014 Watt returned to his folk-jazz roots and released Hendra, his first solo album since 1983, the content of which was recorded with a new band including Bernard Butler, formerly of the band Suede—Watt explained that he knew that Butler would be the "perfect counterpoint to bring some darkness to the light." Watt also worked with Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. The album is released on a new record label, Unmade Road, founded by Watt in 2014. Watt completed over sixty live shows in support of Hendra including tours of UK, North America, Japan and Australia. The album won the 'Best 'Difficult' Second Album' category at the AIM Independent Music Awards 2014. It was included at No 27 in Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2014. Rolling Stone made it their No 2 best album of 2014. Japan's Music Magazine made it their No 3 best album of 2014.
April 2016 saw the release of his third solo album Fever Dream. Self-produced at RAK Studios in London, it continued his relationship with Bernard Butler, and added guest cameos from MC Taylor of North Carolina folk-rock band, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Boston singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler. It received a 9/10 review in Uncut magazine. In a four-star review, The Guardian said: 'In his early 50s, he is making some of the best music of his career.'
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