Being born into a family of six kids helps you develop certain qualities. One of those traits is the ability to articulate and be heard. For Ben Kolarcik, not even the din of six kids could ever keep him from being heard when he had something important to say or as it turned out more often something important to sing.
"That's what I do," Ben says. "I love people. I love listening to their stories and in turn sharing with them what I've experienced and what I've learned. It's in these simple moments that I can let people know, and remind myself, that "doing music" is much more than selling them a CD or t-shirt, or even furthering my own agendas. It's about facilitating an encounter, an experience, between an individual and their Creator. It's so much more than entertainment."
Ben's progressive pop/rock style goes beyond mere entertainment to what many describe as engaging and passionate. His distinctive voice captivates his listeners with the depth of emotion expressed and showcases an enthusiasm for a myriad of musical forms. As a 25 year old, Ben possesses a wealth of experience in performing at events around the globe.
He began singing and leading worship as early as middle school. Soon after graduating high school, Ben began pursuing a career in music from his hometown of Louisville, KY. "It was about a year and a half of working full time, recording in the evenings, and doing the occasional gig on a weekend," Ben recalls, "that I started feeling a sense to go "full time" with my music. It was a real turning point. It's when I realized that I didn't need a record deal to do what I loved or what I felt called to do. I just needed to do it. That's when things started to get interesting."
After releasing an independent record in 2001, Ben began receiving numerous opportunities to perform and lead worship nationwide. Additionally, he took part in international trips as he was invited to tour for three months in Australia and New Zealand. In 2002, after performing at the Parachute Festival in New Zealand, Ben recalls receiving a call from a record executive in Nashville requesting a meeting. "It was at this meeting I got introduced to Justin Unger and after a couple month journey of writing and recording, the two of us ultimately came together to form ACROSS THE SKY."
In July 2003, they released their national debut on Word/Curb/Warner Bros. Records. In three years this critically acclaimed duo performed all over the world, received a GMA Dove Award nomination, and toured alongside acts like Mark Schultz, MercyMe, and Michael W. Smith.
"At the end of last year, despite everything we had accomplished, we really felt like it was time to close that season of our lives. It was hard to do, but it was the right time," Ben comments. "Since then, I've really had the opportunity to focus on writing new songs, and getting back to my roots as a solo artist."
Ben enters a new and exciting time in his career. Along with a recent move to Los Angeles, California, his new solo material has already begun to catch the attention of industry executives and fans alike. One can't help but feel that this is surely just the beginning.