On the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina

On the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina

Ben​ ​Phantom ​is​ a​ ​​songwriter, videographer, multi instrumentalist, music producer, traveler, and long distance hiker. His path, carved by music, has taken him from the North American wilderness to Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Central America, and finally to his mountain home in Asheville, North Carolina.  Phantom ​is​ ​a passionate​ ​and​ ​captivating​ performer​ ​who​ ​writes​ ​from​ ​the​ ​heart​, ​speaks ​to​ ​the​ ​soul, and never forgets to find the humor in life. He believes that we heal each other through building community, developing deep relationships, and being of service.

On the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam

On the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam

His father's family escaped the Vietnam War, and his mother's family survived the Holocaust.  As a Vietnamese Jewish American, Phantom uses his music to bridge cultural barriers, honor the past, and create a better future.  He carries a strong message of hope and resilience; his mission is to tell stories that heal and create sustainable community.

On Black Balsam Knob, where the video for "Close" was filmed

On Black Balsam Knob, where the video for "Close" was filmed

In 2014, Phantom walked from Mexico to Canada with a guitar and all his belongings on his back.  The 2,668 mile journey transformed his relationship with music; he began​ ​writing​ ​songs​ ​drawn from​ ​his​ ​experiences​ ​on​ ​the​ ​trail​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​his​ ​struggles​ ​with​ ​depression,​ ​addiction,​ ​loss and​ ​love.​ ​The​ ​music​ ​offered​ ​hope​ ​and​ ​solace,​ ​to​ ​him​ ​and​ ​to​ ​his​ ​audiences.  By sharing his music, videos, and personal story, he has inspired and connected with people all over the world.

In the studio with producer Matt Williams, standing underneath his 3 Grammys!

In the studio with producer Matt Williams, standing underneath his 3 Grammys!

One of the definitions of “phantom” is “a figment of the imagination.” Typically this has a negative connotation, but Phantom (from his birth name, Phan) sees it instead as an opportunity to create a better reality by using our imagination creatively and positively, in every area of our lives.  His commitment to creative risk taking led to confronting his fear of technology and taking ownership of his artistic process. Embracing risk, he asked for help (a vital and often overlooked part of the creative process) and established a home studio, where he records, edits, and films much of his own work.  

at Phantom Studios

at Phantom Studios

 

Phantom has a rich and diverse history of musical experience.  After studying jazz and classical music in college, ​Phantom​ ​began​ ​his​ ​professional​ ​career​ ​as​ ​a​ ​founding​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Richmond​ ​Afrobeat Movement,​ ​a​ ​blend​ ​of​ ​jazz,​ ​funk​ ​and​ ​African​ ​dance​ ​music​. He​ ​then​ ​joined​ ​a​ ​bluegrass​ ​and​ ​folk​ ​band,​ ​the​ ​Rusty​ ​Strings,​ ​and​ ​discovered​ ​the​ ​joy​ ​in​ ​sitting on​ ​a​ ​porch​ ​and​ ​singing​ ​together​ ​with​ ​others,​ ​simply​ ​for​ ​the​ ​love​ ​of​ ​music.   

After ​recording​ ​his​ ​first​ ​solo​ ​EP,​ ​“Hold​ ​On,​ ​Let​ ​Go,”​ he assembled​ ​a​ ​band,​ the Soul Symphony, ​made​ ​up​ ​of​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​musicians​ ​in​ ​Asheville.​ ​The​ ​band’s​ ​debut​ ​album,​ ​“Dreams​ ​in​ ​Modern​ ​Folk,”​ ​premiered to​ ​a​ ​sold​-​out​ ​crowd​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Altamont Theatre,​ ​one​ ​of​ ​Asheville's​ ​finest​ ​listening​ ​rooms.​ ​The​ ​popularity of the band​’s high​ ​energy​ ​sound,​ ​which​ ​combines​ ​fiery improvisation​ ​with​ ​rich​ ​composition,​ ​led​ ​to​ ​a​ ​successful​ ​kickstarter​ ​campaign​ ​to​ ​fund​ ​their next​ ​album,​ ​“Fear​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Teacher,”​ ​which​ ​the​ ​band​ ​recorded​ ​with​ ​three-​time​ ​Grammy​ Award-​winning producer​ ​Matt​ ​Williams.​ ​​

 

at Isis Music Hall after the CD Release Party for "Fear Is The Teacher"

at Isis Music Hall after the CD Release Party for "Fear Is The Teacher"