Hand a 9–year–old a guitar and he will become a star. This might not be reality for many individuals, but for the Brooklyn–born, Pennsylvania–raised freshman Ben Gendelman, it hits home. Since his father first gave him a guitar and inspired him with Russian folk songs he grew up hearing, Ben has learned to master the instrument as well as pick up the bass, piano, drums and alto saxophone. As of late, he has also been producing EDM, with the hopes of getting his music played at Penn parties and festivals. This has led him to establish an extensive fanbase—over 109,000 followers on Facebook, for example.
Back in his hometown, Hawley, PA, Ben has played numerous gigs, the most notable of which was an “End of the Summer” concert in front of over 400 people. At Penn, he has played at many open mics and also has performed at Harvest Bar & Grill. But Ben’s campus involvement is not solely limited to making music. He’s a member of Freaks of the Beat, Penn’s premier b–boy and funkstyles dance group, and he also works at the Annenberg Center box office. When he’s not breakdancing or breaking a sweat at Pottruck, you can find him in his Ware double listening to anything from The Beatles to Mozart to Avicii, three of his biggest musical inspirations.
Ben is not sure about his major yet, but at the moment he’s “really feeling psychology.” When asked about his goals as a musician, Ben says he wants to continue to create music all throughout college. He almost got signed by a record label in high school; however, he and his parents decided that college was the smarter move. Ben still aspires to find his way into the music business, as his dream job is to be a music producer for a big-time record label.
But if all that doesn’t work out, “psychiatry is always an option.”
Check out our video of him covering The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather"
Check out his SoundCloud here.
And his Facebook page here.