SLOWLY SLOWLY’S FRONTMAN
BEN STEWART SIDE PROJECT CONGRATS
REVEALS NEW SINGLE “RUSSIAN ROULETTE”
Slowly Slowly frontman Ben Stewart has revealed the next installment of his solo project Congrats, with a new single titled “Russian Roulette”, produced by ARIA Award nominee Konstantin Kersting (Mallrat, Tones & I, Jungle Giants). The single serves as the first taste of a larger body of work, set for release later this year. Inspired by the likes of The 1975, Joji and Post Malone, Congrats is an addictive foray into the pop world for Stewart, proving that he is a natural solo artist ready for the spotlight.
Stewart’s instantly recognizable and charismatic voice is at the forefront of “Russian Roulette”, floating effortlessly above trap beats and surrounded by sleek production. “Russian Roulette” is passionate and sincere, but also self-aware and slightly restrained.
“‘Russian Roulette’ is about running at self destruction while being dragged back by the collar of conscience. Every time I think I have figured myself out, I get thrown a curveball,” said Stewart. “Sonically, we wanted to capture the energy of a bender, but with a celebratory element. I wrote the lyric, ‘tell me what it means to be good’ & the rest flowed from there. The concept of playing Russian Roulette just tied it together perfectly. I wanted the performance to feel on edge.”
The music video for “Russian Roulette”, directed by Kyle Caulfield, reflects this darkness through a vintage, Quentin Tarantino-esque aesthetic.
“The video was heaps of fun and projected the exact mood I wanted for the song. I wanted it to be dark and brooding… I wanted it to feel dangerous,” said Stewart.
Congrats was born from what Stewart refers to as a self-awakening. After growing up a fan of punk, rock and hardcore, he found his tastes broadened as he matured; he began to fall in love with modern pop, hip-hop, and the big studio sounds that accompanied both.
“I wanted the songs to feel classic despite being suited up in modern production, but I didn’t know if it was possible,” said Stewart. “I didn’t know if my songs would work inside a pop housing. I was listening to artists who push the boundaries of rap and trap music like RoddyRicch, YungLean and PostMalone – I get the same feelings of excitement when I tap into the energy of their music as I did when I first found heavy music. I can feel the same pain and it has filled my sails for exploring new territory. I want to be uncomfortable again.”
Soon his skillset had completely re-developed from everything he’d learned in his already successful career as a DIY indie rocker, as this new approach opened up a world of possibilities. The result is the powerful, soaring debut single in “RussianRoulette” with an EP set to follow later in 2020 via new label partner and Australian indie stalwarts DewProcess – a prospect that Stewart is clearly primed for.
“Russian Roulette” is available on all streaming platforms now.
Praise for Congrats:
“‘Cut Down The Middle’’s lush electronic elements provide an entirely new context for Ben’s sparkling vocal delivery, and it’s evident that his production skills are going to be one to keep an eye on with this being his first dabble in the genre.”– Happy Mag
“Invisible confines of genre fall away when the metaphors and storytelling we know and love in (SlowlySlowly’s songs) are undeniably present, as is the beauty that moves me with each listen… It’s so clean and crisp and pop-tastic and yet rich with genuine emotion. The result is a stunning sweet spot of sound and I can’t get enough of it.” – Depth Magazine
“I’m very into what’s coming out of Ben’s songwriting explorations (in) Congrats… It feels like we’re expanding the map with these exciting new landscapes for him to express himself. Lucky us to get to go along for the ride.” – Dave Ruby Howe (triple j)