Musician, producer, songwriter, lyrical poet: Big Ben Hillman the Professor of FUNK does it all! It’s been nearly four years since Big Ben and his group The Royal Family gave us their international dance hit “It Must Have Been the Music.” Since then Hillman has been steadily writing and recording new songs and further developing his own unique sound: a clever mix of funk, jazz, neo-soul and hip hop.
“I’m Sorry” is the first single from his upcoming album entitled “What’s My Name.” This dynamic recording features two very talented guest artists: rapper Fee from the hip hop group One Love and Meyer Statham, an outstanding vocalist who has worked with the band Chucklehead and jazz legend John Scofield. This blues-influenced hip hop jam takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a relationship gone sour. Also featured on the disc is vocalist Kourtni and hip-hop artist D-Tension.
Hillman got his start as a drummer, playing in local bands throughout his teens and early twenties. He would eventually learn to play the keyboards as his desire to write and arrange his own music grew stronger. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he studied both percussion and keyboards, and majored in music composition. Upon graduating, Hillman would cut his teeth on Boston’s hard core funk scene, playing with some of the biggest names in local music, such as Blacksnake, The Boston Horns, saxophonist Sam Kininger and hip hop artist D-Tension. He also has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in hip hop, including Method Man, De La Soul and Biz Markie to name but a few.
Having made a name for himself in the Boston music scene, Hillman has expanded his operation, reaching out and performing at a large variety of venues throughout the northeastern US and Canada. Recently, Hillman contributed four tracks to D-Tension’s latest album “Contacts and Contracts II” and in early 2007 did a month long residency in the Caribbean with the band Blacksnake.
Watch for the full length album coming soon, as well as a music video featuring the new hit single, “I’m Sorry.”