American Idol Alum Benson Boone Dishes on His Stunning Debut Single, 'Ghost Town'

Most musicians wouldn't drop out of American Idol after being pegged as a frontrunner in the competition by Katy Perry—but Benson Boone isn't most musicians.

The singer-songwriter and instrumentalist left the show when he was on top to pursue things on his own, and after hearing what he's created going solo, we know he made the right choice. Now, he's signed to Night Street Records, under Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons fame, and his first single "Ghost Town," out today, is a brilliant showcase of Benson's capabilities. For us, it was love at first listen, and we got the chance to ask Benson himself all about how the haunting and powerful track came to be and what it means to him.

Sweety High: What was the songwriting and recording process behind "Ghost Town"?

Benson Boone: This was my first official song/session. I was on my way to the actual session in an Uber, and the chorus of "Ghost Town" popped in my head and I immediately recorded it on my phone and started writing lyrics. The session was super fun, just me getting to know the guys, and then I showed them that idea and we started writing the verses!

 

SH: What does the song mean to you? Was it inspired by a real person?

BB: Again, because it was my first song, the emotions came from a lot of different places. I've never been in a real relationship, just a couple of almost-relationships. So I pulled some emotions from a girl I had just recently called things off with. I also used my friend Dawson as inspiration because he had recently been in a toxic relationship and kept talking to me about it. This song to me is basically a way to express maturity in saying that a relationship is hurting more than it's helping. The chorus being "maybe you'd be happier with someone else" isn't him or her trying to push someone away with ill intention, rather a form of showing love by saying they would be happier without you.

 

SH: Why did a "ghost town" feel like the perfect metaphor for a barren heart?

BB: Well, in real life, a ghost town is something that used to be alive—a city or town that used to be full of people, full of life, but is now an empty wasteland. That relates perfectly to the metaphor of love basically saying that what we used to have was amazing, full of passion in love. But now it's turned into a source of pain and anger. It's the exact opposite of what it used to be and that's why we move on.

 

SH: Do you have a favorite lyric from the track?

BB: "…But all this weight is getting heavy, been holding up what wasn't meant to stand."

 

SH: What do you think was the most important thing you learned on the set of American Idol? Why was it important to you to do your own thing?

BB: The most important thing I learned was the importance of finding out and understanding who I want to be as an artist. I think going into the show I was very unprepared to show who I was simply because I was so new to music. I knew the direction of where I wanted to go just not what I wanted my outcome to be. I think building my foundation on my own is extremely important for me personally because it will allow me to truly understand the artist I want the world to see me as.

 

If you discovered Benson on American IdolHERE to find out why fellow AI contestant Laci Kaye Booth was our Woman Crush Wednesday.