Ben Deignan
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Ben Deignan

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ben Deignan: Artist on the Rise"

by Chris Hassiotis
Flagpole Magazine
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The last time Ben Deignan came through town he had the inauspicious gig of playing at Wild Wing Cafe. Now, that's a fine place if you want a wide selection of chicken wings, but if you're a musician looking for an attentive audience coming out solely to check out new music, well…

But Deignan's story is one of rapid ascent. The Atlanta-based musician returns to town just a few short months later to play the 40 Watt Club, opening for Benji Hughes (himself back in town only six weeks after playing with Man Man) and regional powerhouse Randall Bramblett at a show sponsored by well regarded Americana label New West Records. The following night he's at Nuçi's Space, playing a show set up by the University of Georgia's music business program.

Deignan, just barely into his 20s, has already spent a number of years refining his acoustic funk songwriting and smooth stage performance - he started playing music seven years ago, and it’s since been his main obsession. “It’s like when you’re a teenager and you get interested in something and get really into it for a week,” he says of how he first felt when he dove into songwriting. “Well, for me it was music, and I guess it’s just kept going since then. I started when I was 15 years old, and the interest just hasn’t faded since then.”

Originally from Griffin, Deignan moved to Atlanta in high school and has been situated there ever since. Though his family has moved to Macon - Deignan spent a little time there after high school - he says he’s eager to remain Atlanta-based. “I love Atlanta, and I love being here. There’s a place for us here, and it’s growing, but in the past couple of months we’ve received a lot of good feedback. People are coming out more; I feel comfortable here. It’s a big city, but I’m not overwhelmed, and it’s got that Southern feel which is so necessary.”

Deignan treads the same musical paths as other acts eager to bring an acoustic, family-friendly shine to soulful funk. Maroon 5 and John Mayer set the stage for any number of artists to write songs naughty enough to get college girls in a flirty mood but unthreatening enough to make moms feel college-age again, too, and balancing that tricky line is a specialty of Deignan, with songs like “Sexy Black Dress” and “Touch” being favorites among his audience. And if his music is a little derivative of past artists, well, Deignan’s okay with that.

“Honestly, I just realized at an early age that my heroes were musicians, artists and singers, and that was before I was making music,” he says. “It’s one of those things that’s as simple as seeing something and wanting to do that or be that. The aura of Stevie [Wonder] or Marvin [Gaye] is something that’s heroic to me, and it was something I wanted to emulate as I grew older. It just seems like the right thing to do, and it’s a cliché to say it’s the thing I was meant to do, but it’s one of those feeling things. I’m happiest when I’m onstage.”

Deignan has assembled a constant backing band to help him deliver his soulful performance. Guitarist Josh Graff, bassist Chris Price and new drummer Lance Tilton have experience in regional rock and cover bands like Suburban Soul. With a new album wrapped - recorded, mixed and mastered, but as of yet untitled - Deignan & Co. are still weighing their options in terms of when and how to release their album. Deignan says he’s happy with the way the 12-song album turned out. “It’s a good my-foot-in-the-door kind of record,” he says. “I don’t feel like it’ll be the landmark record of my career - and I hope to God and cross my fingers that I’ll have a long career! But at the same time I’m continuing to write and evolve and define myself as an artist.” - Flagpole Magazine: Athens GA

"Nine artists to look out for in 2009: Ben Deignan"

Nine artists to look out for in 2009: Ben Deignan
by Kelley Hagen
Metromix Atlanta
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The phrase, “it takes a village” applies to team Deignan. This young talent has converted music heavy weights, such as Matt Pinfield, Leslie Fram and Jan Smith, to help pave his way to stardom. By playing out constantly and having an uncanny ability to make the ladies swoon, Deignan has received local support reminiscent of Grammy winning predecessor John Mayer. The ground work he has laid in 2008 is sure to pay off in the new year. - Metromix Atlanta

"Atlanta's Ben Deignan celebrates his CD"

Atlanta's Ben Deignan celebrates his CD
Ben Deignan: "Ben Deignan"
By Kim Burdges
Special to Metromix
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On Saturday night, Ben Deignan will mark the release of his new self-titled CD with a party at the Hard Rock Cafe’s Velvet Underground. Deignan has plenty of reasons to celebrate, because his new full-length album is a great showcase of his sexy soulful voice. Many have compared Deignan to another young musician who once rocked Atlanta’s local music scene: John Mayer.

Although Deignan and Mayer both credit soul singers like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye as influences, Deignan does a better job of channeling those greats through his relaxed but powerful vocals and a full band backing his every note. Where Mayer might use his masterful blues guitar skills to invoke emotion, Deignan uses his well-honed pipes and a band full of Robert-Randolph-type riffs.

Deignan’s sound might be a little funkier than most, but it is remarkably fresh and mainstream. Whether you are a fan of pop, rock, soul or R&B, you will find a new favorite on this album. While “Oh” and “Sorry is Not Enough” infuse pop and funk, “Touch” shows off Deignan’s slower R&B side with an almost lazy beach-type quality. With the complete package of looks, stage presence and polished tracks, we will soon be lamenting about how we knew Deignan when. Be sure to catch this local star while you still can. - Metromix Atlanta

"Like it or not. Ben Deignan is walking in some big footsteps"

Like it or not. Ben Deignan is walking in some big footsteps
by Chris Welch
The Huntsville Times
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ben Deignan is probably not a name many around here are familiar with, unless you caught him and his band Suburban Soul at last year's Big Spring Jam or Humphrey's Bar & Grill.

But the folks in Atlanta are really high on this guy.

"The buzz about Ben Deignan is blanketing the metro area like sausage gravy on a big fluffy biscuit. John Mayer was getting this kind of chatter back when he played as a virtual unknown, so catch Deignan on the way up," is the way the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described him.

The Journal-Constitution continued to spew praise on him in its now-defunct Peach Buzz mag:

"Deignan's set took us back to the days when we piled into Eddie's Attic to watch a young John Mayer trying out his latest compositions."

Comparisons to John Mayer?

No pressure, right?

"Why the Constitution is giving me the John Mayer thing is because he jump-started his career in Atlanta," said Deignan, who is performing tonight at Crossroads and having a debut CD release party. "When he was 22, he was playing all the same clubs I am and I know a lot of the cats he knew and played with.

"So, whether I wanted to or not, I'm kind of walking in some of his footsteps. And Atlanta is looking for the next John Mayer. Atlanta is a very important urban market - look at all the guys who have hit it big here. But as far as singer-songwriter, other than Shawn Mullins, there hasn't really been anybody."

"Whatever triggers their curiosity, that's beautiful."

Deignan said he's the same age as Mayer when he started his rise in Atlanta, but that's really where the similarities end. Well, other than "I'm a white guy with dark hair," he said, laughing.

"We have a different sound," Deignan said. "Mine is more rock and soul driven and his is more the singer/songwriter spectrum."

Deignan grew up on heavy doses of soul and R&B by groups like The Temptations and Marvin Gaye, but it wasn't until he saw U2 in Philips Arena that he really knew what he wanted to do.

"I was 15 years old and had never seen a concert before," Deignan said. "My dad took me to this U2 concert and I'll never forget how the adrenaline was pumping through my body while I was watching the reaction of 20,000 people.

"It was one of the most moving experiences I'd ever had, and I decided then my goal: 'I've got to find a way to reach people with something of that magnitude.' "

Deignan got a break when he was discovered while playing a party for his dad's office. Vocal producer Jan Smith, who has worked with the likes of Usher, Rob Thomas and Ciara, signed him to a development and production deal. He opened for Blues Traveler two years ago and lead singer John Popper was impressed.

"He's mother truckin' awesome," Popper said. - The Huntsville Times

"Ben Deignan on the cover of Atlanta Journal-Constitution Living"

Young Atlanta singer earns respect by hard work
Ben Deignan’s first album didn’t come from ‘American Idol’
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, February 03, 2009

At age 8, Atlanta singer songwriter Ben Deignan unearthed his family’s record player. He dropped the needle on an aged album and listened to “Cool It Now” for the first time. A surge went through him.

“New Edition was my gateway drug to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye,” the 22-year-old says.

Ben Deignan says, ‘I realized that my life had been a little too peachy. So I went out and got myself banged up a little’ for better songs.

Although some of his peers see “American Idol” as their golden ticket to stardom, Deignan isn’t sold on the pop music processed cheese food.

“I don’t have a fascination with fame,” he explained over coffee last weekend, hours before his sold-out album-release party at the Hard Rock Café downtown.

“Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching ‘American Idol,’ ” Deignan said. “But success and respect are important to me. It’s tough for me to respect ‘American Idol.’ “

With a lot of old-fashioned hard work, Deignan and his band, Suburban Soul, are gaining that respect.

His self-titled debut is now available at iTunes and is on its way to online retailers and Decatur CD also plans to stock it. New York City’s WRXP-FM program director and former 99X exec Leslie Fram is a fan.

Atlanta vocal coach Jan Smith, who’s helped Usher and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas polish their pipes, began working with Deignan when he was 15.

Smith co-produced Deignan’s brand new album and, for the first time, has signed an artist to a production deal out of her Jan Smith Studios Inc. Growing up in the South, mesmerized by Ray Charles and Mahalia Jackson, Smith recognized something in Deignan early on.

“Ben brings the swagger,” Smith says. “He has a James Brown heart beating in that little itty bitty white body of his.”

In addition to voice and guitar work, Smith would also “beat down” Deignan’s early sub-par songs when he brought them in.

“And every time, Ben would come back and the next draft would be better.”

Smith pops in a copy of “Ben Deignan” and the opening notes of his bossa nova-tinged ballad “Touch” fills her office.

Deignan sings: “Lights go down in my room / I find myself alone and thinking of you / Your picture’s on my bed / It’s right beside your perfume / I keep your scent around / Too many games I played / I lost you but the feeling’s still the same / My heart bursts when I just speak your name.”

Smith turns off the song. She repeats the lines out loud and shakes her head.

“What woman wouldn’t want to feel that?” Smith says. “Ben wrote that when he was 17. When he brings in gems like that, it just sends me.”

Another female favorite in the Deignan catalog?

“Sexy Black Dress,” a slinky selection about seeing your ex out with a new boy and wearing the frock you bought her.

Just to make you crazy.

Deignan says a breakup inspired the song.

“I dig the character-building experiences,” he says laughingly. “Why not talk about it? You can get a lot of great material out of a bad breakup. When I first started writing, I had nothing to say. I realized that my life had been a little too peachy. So I went out and got myself banged up a little. My songs got a lot better.”

Collective Soul front man Ed Roland, an early fan, was at the Hard Rock on Saturday night to lend his support.

“There’s an energy that just pours out of him,” Roland reflected. “He has confidence without arrogance, which is a really difficult thing to balance. I saw a rock star up there tonight.”

As “Ben Deignan” arrives in stores, the singer and his band realize they have a lot of late nights ahead of them out on the road introducing folks to his music.

“I feel ready,” he says.

“Hopefully, we can live up to the hype and all the faith that people have put in us. I want us to get to the level where people in Atlanta are proud to say, ‘That’s our boy, Ben.’ “ - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Ben Deignan on FOX Rocks Sacramento"

Q&A Session: Ben Deignan
FOX 40 Sacramento, CA
Saturday, January 31, 2009

He's a 22-year-old singer/songwriter with a lot of soul.

From recording cover songs with his guitar using a webcam in his bedroom to releasing a self-titled album just last Tuesday, Ben Deignan has far to go. Inspired by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gay, U2 and The Temptations, Deignan's sound is truly unique -- filled with a combination of smooth tone and sexy lyrics, the Georgia-native will soon grace the pop charts (and we'd be very surprised if it took longer than "soon").

We caught up with Ben Deignan -- on his MySpace account, of all places -- to chat with him about his new album, where things go from here, and how YouTube played a role as catalyst for his career.

FOX Rocks Sacramento: Who or what inspired you to launch a career in music? What has been your catalyst for picking up a guitar day in and day out and performing?

Ben Deignan: I actually have the privilege to be able to say that I have a cheesy, clique moment in my life that I remember knowing that I was going to pursue a career in music. When I was 15, I went to my first concert. It was a U2 concert. My dad just came across the tickets; I really didn't know much about them. I was always the "white kid who listened to too much R&B." However, from the moment they took the stage, the eruption from the audience gave me chills, that I can still access by simply thinking of that show. It wasn't so much that I wanted to be the next U2, I just knew that I would kill to give people those same chills they gave me. 7 years later, that is still considered my big epiphany to do music...I guess all you need is one.

FRS: What kind of music speaks to you?

BD: I generally start my day with soul music. It's my musical vitamin. I get it honest, growing up in a home where my mother was always listening to Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder etc. I'm definitely a soul, R&B junky. Almost to the point to where I have a problem -- as a matter of fact, as I'm answering these questions, I'm listening to Brian McKnight. I'm always looking for new soul artists, but obviously these days I have don't have much luck. I listen to a lot of Marc Broussard. He somehow captures all the different sounds that I need in my life. Not to mention that his voice is the truth.

FRS: I first found your music browsing YouTube, and until the EP was released it seemed like YouTube was the definitive source for Ben Deignan music. How has YouTube played a role in shaping your up-and-coming musical career? What's the audience response been like?

BD: YouTube has definitely been the launch pad for me. I didn't expect to get too much attention with it to be honest. I just figured it would be a good way to pick up a few fans and get some feedback. For the most part the feedback has been positive, however, there are some early videos that get some mixed reviews. I have always been open to the criticism, that's how I learn. If you go look at some of my early videos in comparison to the ones I put out now, there are notable differences in how I am singing. I owe a lot of that to some of the negative comments I've received.

FRS: Some of your videos on YouTube are cover songs from other artists. Who is the artist or song you're most fond of covering?

BD: Well, I definitely enjoyed doing the Kanye West tune and other ones like it. That's what's fun to me, to take songs that you would never expect in the acoustic, stripped-down form an hit people with a left field version. In reality it's not that "left field," if it's a good, well-written, well-structured song, it should be able to survive in any style or version. I also enjoyed doing the Ne-Yo song. I think Ne-Yo is the new Babyface and that becomes very apparent in his lyrics. Sometimes I do videos just to plea my case to friends and whatnot. One friend of mine disagreed with me about my feeling that Ne-Yo is a great writer. So I decided that I would not only prove it to him, I would prove it to him for the world to see on my YouTube channel. He agrees with me now.

FRS: Tell me about your new self-titled album. What's this album say about you? What does this album mean to you?

BD: This record took about 3 years to complete. Mainly because I was still developing as an artist. The production company made it a slow process on purpose for that reason. I wrote, god knows how many songs during those three years. I also went through a lot through those years. This record is basically a summary of that time. There's a lot of songs I wrote, I wish could have made the record, but they just didn't fit the vibe of everything else. I think the record is a good introduction to my personality. Tracks 1-3 explores the playful side of my personality and tracks 4-12 are my confessions. So this record means the world to me. I've never created anything that I am more proud of. I hope I always keep that mentality for future projects.

FRS: The album feels very heavily inspired by girls, affection, love and sex, very much so a "ladies-man" kind of album. What would you say the inspiration behind this album was?

BD: I love women. What can I say. Also it goes back to what I grew up listening to. My mother listened to sultry love songs all day. I'm so great full for that, because it's not so much that it made me a sensitive singer/songwriter , it gave me an appreciation for women and love. I do write a great deal about sex and lust, but it's all with the undertone of respect and having passionate feelings.

FRS: I can see many of these songs appealing to a female crowd. Are you available? Have you had any fans propose to you in one way or another? What's the response like at the shows you play?

BD: I'm definitely single. Right now, I feel like I have to be. I'm way to busy to devote the kind of time it takes to nurturing a relationship. I'm enjoying being single, it's fun. Seems like I've always been the guy in relationships, but that's definitely not the case these days. Very liberating!

FRS: Finally, what do you look forward to most when it comes to the future of your music career?

BD: I look at this record as a "to be continued..." Times are changing in the industry. It's hard to foresee where things are shifting. All I can hope for is to be able to continue to make music that people want in their lives. I'm excited because, it looks as though the artists are going to have the power and I hope that I can be one of the first to capitalize. But regardless of the future, I'm extremely proud and excited about my debut effort. - FOX 40 Sacramento, CA

"Ben Deignan is Metromix’s Hottest Rocker"

Metromix panel pick: Ben Deignan

Ladies and gentlemen (well, mostly ladies) we would like to announce that the Metromix panel has selected Ben Deignan as Atlanta's Hottest Rocker. Maybe it was the boyish good looks or perhaps they are suckers for the red tie but he has earned the grand prize including a photo shoot with POParazzi Photography, press kit consultation with music publicist Michelle Roche, $200 towards gas or gear and a feature story on

When asked to comment about being selected Deignan said, "Thanks so much to everyone at Metromix, I'm honored to even be considered for the top ten and winning it is very cool. I'm glad I'm your choice for Atlanta's Hottest Rocker!"

If you want to see Atlanta's Hottest Rocker, as selected by Metromix, in person, be sure to check him out live on August 28 at Atkins Park, in Smyrna. It is a free show and a chance to see that this guy is much more than good looks. He certainly has the voice to match.

Source: - Metromix Atlanta

"Atlantis music festival: Acts to not miss"

By Shane Harrison
Monday, September 15, 2008

Going to the 11th annual Atlantis Music Conference & Festival to catch rising stars? Here are the acts to not miss.

BEN DEIGNAN: The buzz about talented singer-songwriter Ben Deignan is blanketing the metro area like sausage gravy on a big fluffy biscuit. John Mayer was getting this kind of chatter back when he played Atlantis as a virtual unknown, so catch Deignan on the way up. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution


By Richard L. Eldredge
Friday, August 8, 2008

"Opening the evening, was rising Atlanta singer-songwriter Ben Deignan, whose noisy quartet rocked arrivals at the VIP party. Deignan's impressive set took us back to the days when we piled into Eddie's Attic to watch a young John Mayer trying out his latest compositions. Only the scrappier Deignan and mates might well wipe the floor with Mayer's band in a bar fight.

Deignan wasn't fazed that most of the crowd was ignoring his set. The singer told us: "It's like being that cool band that has a cameo in a cocktail party scene on an episode of 'Sex and the City.' It's early, people are drinking and finding their hook up. We're just excited to be here."" - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Pulling Strings: Ben Deignan's "orgasmic" acoustic sound is poised for pop stardom"

Look Who's Talking
By Deanna Larson
October 2007

Heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye, Georgia native Ben Deignan grew up as a soul junky. It wasn't until seeing U2 in concert at the age of 15 that he began to dive into the world of rock, picking up the family’s six-string, forming various garage bands in junior high and blossoming into a 21-year-old funkster with a sound that’s turning heads in clubs around Atlanta and beyond. Since then, the singer/songwriter has spent the last 6 years crafting a southern, soulful pop/rock sound that is all his own. “A female friend of mine described my music as ‘orgasmic’ and I thought it was clever,” Deignan says. “I never really took it seriously, but for some reason it has stuck.” It was only a few years ago, while playing his dad’s company party at the Tin Roof Cantina in Atlanta, that Deignan was plucked from his own obscurity by an A&R rep for a major record label. That exposure led him to renowned Atlanta-based musician, arranger and multi-platinum certified vocal producer Jan Smith (Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty, Usher, Edwin McCain, Collective Soul, TLC, Sevendust, India Arie, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Diana DeGarmo, Los Lonely Boys), who signed Deignan to a development and production deal. Together with production partner Huston Singletary, Smith is helping the fresh-faced Deignan prep his pipes. Busy playing gigs and writing songs, Deignan has a blue-eyed soulful, skatty and softly cranky mood—he cites Bono, Stevie Wonder and The Police among his influences—that sounds like something you’d hear on the radio, only more interesting. He has recorded a four-song EP, available on iTunes, is finishing a twelve-song album, and generating a significant amount of major label interest. He’s gotten more than 1.2 Million views of his live music on YouTube, and over 55,000 plays on his MySpace player. Dealing with the inevitable comparisons, Deignan remains philosophical. “Guys like John Mayer were compared to other artists for a long time, too,” he says. “It’s a comfort thing. I find it interesting because a lot of people compare me to the sounds of Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz, but I don’t hear anyone compare either one of those artists to each other. Maybe I’m the link between them.” - The Atlantan Magazine


"Ben Deignan" L.P. January 2009
Radio Play: 99X Atlanta



Heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson, Georgia native Ben Deignan grew up as a soul junky. It wasn't until seeing U2 in concert at the age of 15 that he began to dive into the world of rock, picking up the family’s six-string, forming various garage bands in junior high and blossoming into a 22-year-old funkster with a sound that’s turning heads and winning fans around the world. The singer/songwriter has spent the last 6 years crafting a Southern, soulful pop/rock sound that’s all his own. “A female friend of mine described my music as ‘orgasmic’, and I thought it was clever,” Deignan says. “I never really took it seriously, but for some reason that label has stuck.”

It was only a few years ago, while playing his dad’s company party at the Tin Roof Cantina in Atlanta, that Deignan was discovered and connected with renowned Atlanta-based multi-platinum certified vocal coach Jan Smith, who has been responsible for developing the voices of Usher, Rob Thomas and matchbox twenty, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Keri Hilson, India.Arie, and Collective Soul, and has been helping the fresh-faced Deignan prep his pipes. In 2008, Deignan set out on an extensive touring schedule with his band, playing shows with the likes of Collective Soul, Jon McLaughlin, Ryan Cabrera, and Taylor Hicks, and with fans of the live shows including actress Katherine Heigl and her husband, singer/songwriter Josh Kelley.

Ben cites Bono, Stevie Wonder and The Police among his influences, and sounds like something you’d hear on the radio, only more interesting. Busy playing shows and writing songs, in 2009 he released a debut full-length album, and is continuing to push his music into new directions artistically. He’s also developed a worldwide fan base throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and South America with thousands of subscribers and more than 2.5 Million views of his live music on YouTube.

With his amazing vocals, clever songwriting, and high-energy performances, for Ben, everything is possible.