WHAT DO YOU DO after spending almost $100,000 on postsecondary education, obtaining a law degree, and receiving lucrative job offers from large law firms? You form a band. Why? Because unlike the vast majority of professions, music is a calling that cannot be ignored for long. "I tried!" says Ben Nissan, the frontman of the band Benhur, "I'd be at work and all I could think about all day was making music. It was a tough decision, but I had to do it. I developed into a music-making junky over the years and it just became too severe to stifle." Having received interest from the Los Angeles-based record label Bunim Murray helped with his decision as it made him realized that a career in music is a realistic and attainable goal rather than a fleeting fantasy. "Here I was just making music out of my bedroom with no intentions to pitch to anyone and these serious people call me. They got a hold of one of my demos because my uncle sent it to them without even telling me. I was really surprised when I got the call." Though he eventually turned down the deal to complete his degree, a cognitive switch had gone off in his mind and he set out to form a band. Finding the right musicians was difficult, but after over 100 auditions, the five- piece was officially formed in June 2008. A UNIQUE YET FAMILIAR SOUND: An Alternative Rock band with International world-fusion sensibilities. Every good band or artist wishes to create music that is different, new and refreshing, and to leave their mark on the history of music by pioneering, innovating, and perhaps even revolutionizing the face of music. The challenge, however, is to do all this in a manner that is relevant and relatable. When you listen to Benhur it becomes clear that musically they've been able to achieve just that. Their unique sound has humble beginnings; Ben, who is the main songwriter for the Band, is the first to admit that it's the outcome of sheer luck. "Most people often forget or never become aware of the fact that that the life they live is the consequence of an infinite series of coincidences. I set out to form a band and somehow I found all the right people, each with their own unique styles that melt together into a perfectly cohesive whole. We didn't intend to sound different, it just happened, naturally. I'm grateful for that." Benhur is made up of musicians who enjoy making music in an almost child-like manner. Consequently, their sound has evolved into a playful but coherent mix of Alternative Rock, Reggae, Dance, and World. The series of circumstances that brought the five piece Toronto-based band together is remarkable, especially considering the fact that none of the members are originally from Toronto. With three of the members being originally from different countries, and speaking seven languages between them, the band is a microcosm of Canadian diversity. Living in different parts of the world enabled them to gain experiences that are uncommon to the most Canadians, including three wars, two major natural disasters, gang violence, riots, and the oppression of totalitarian governments. All of these experiences have manifested themselves into their music, resulting in songs that contain an emotion and sincerity that only comes from having lived a difficult and interesting life. SOME QUICK ACHIEVEMENTS In very little time Benhur has been able to play at many major venues in Toronto, including the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in the summer of 2009, record a six-song EP, and garner a respectable following. The release of their EP, Tryst, was met with approval from a handful of radio stations in the GTA who played the first track from the EP, Start Again, a song slightly reminiscent of a lot of bands bands such as Snow Patrol and Coldplay but is uniquely Benhur. The band's instinctive drive to write and create music has landed them in the studio for the second time together to create and release four more songs as singles. The band has also allied themselves with Blackwool Inc., a national marketing and promotion company. Together they look to break into mainstream radio and establish a strong presence at Canada's leading music festivals. The combination of talent, drive, and unparalleled work ethic validates their desire to succeed as a new and uniquely Canadian band.
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