In 2008, I took a trip to my city of dreams, New York City.  It was love at first sight.  I went there to finally see Ben Jelen play.  I had been a fan since 2004 and it was high time I actually got to see him face to face.  It was Earth Day and he was a spokesperson at the time for the Replay clothing store which specializes in clothing made from recycled materials, etc.  Ben did a small show in store that afternoon and then played a show that night. 

I tell that short story to get to this one….there were two opening acts that night.  One was called Standard of Living, the other was a young man named Ian Axel.  I remember he came on stage, nothing but himself and a piano.  He sat down and began to play and my friend and I just looked at each other in awe.  He had us singing along in no time and after he was finished, my friend just looked at me and said in all seriousness…”He’s going to go places.”  We talked to him for a bit after the show and he had a CD for sale.  I have listened to it often since then wondering when the world would finally recognize this unassuming talent for what he was. 

Well, the time has come.  His EP is available now on iTunes and his song “This is the New Year”, in which he duets with his fellow musician Chad Vaccarino, was chosen for the MTV show “I Used to be Fat”.  This is one of those songs that makes you feel like you can conquer the world.  If you are a person who sets resolutions for the new year, this is the song that will help you keep them.  “Another year you made a promise, another chance to turn it all around.  And do not save this for tomorrow.  Embrace the past and you can live for now. And I will give the world to you.  Speak louder than the words before you, and give them meaning no one else has foundThe role we play is so important.  We are the voices of the underground, and I will give the world to you.”  If that doesn’t inspire you, I contend you must be heartless or dead. The music itself starts rather quiet with a simple piano and ends with a heart pounding drum beat and the feeling that you could climb Mt. Everest if you gave it half a chance. 

I’ll shut up already and just share the song. 

Last year, an artist name Luke Jerram brought a project to NYC called “Play me, I’m yours”.  Pianos were set up in different areas of New York City to be played.  Ian took part in this and went around the city playing and singing.  I just love this video, not only because you can get little snippets of his songs that tempt you to buy more (hehe) but also because I love to see artists in their rawness, just sitting and playing. 

How can you deny talent like that?  Brilliant!

You can stalk Ian on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Tumblr .  You can purchase his music here on iTunes.

On a personal note…a million eyes. You are the brightest blue. You know who you are. 😉


~ by musicloveaffair on January 31, 2011.

3 Responses to “Inspiring!!”

  1. I totally agree… what talent! esp. the second vid at 2min 30sec. you can’t fake that. 🙂

  2. I just remember thinking “How can this guy be THIS good and be playing a room of a 20 people?” I’m sooo glad he’s finally getting ‘discovered’…hehe. And please God let ‘Afterglow’ be on the new CD…I MUST hear that ‘fleshed out’.

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